How To Crochet For Beginners: Easy Complete Guide

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In this post, you will learn how to crochet for beginners.

You can teach yourself how to crochet step by step by learning the basics of this craft and then building on your skills with more complicated patterns.

Follow the essential steps in this post to get started and learn to crochet.

How to crochet for beginners

What Is Crochet?

Crocheted items are created with looped stitches one at a time, meaning there is no need to keep the stitches on a crochet hook.

Instead, you work into the crocheted piece by looping and pulling the thread through using your crochet hook. 

Crochet is a complex skill, but once mastered, allows you to make beautiful woven pieces to use and wear.

Just remember that even the world’s best crocheters started somewhere – and have all made mistakes!

Give yourself time to get the basics right, and you’ll be making beautiful crochet pieces in no time.

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crochet for beginners

What Is Easier Knitting Or Crocheting?    

Crochet might seem easier than knitting as you need only one tool your crochet hook in comparison to two knitting needles.

And you don’t have to carry your stitches from needle to needle.

Both crafts use yarn to make items, however, knitting uses two knitting needles and the stitches are loops.

Crocheting, on the other hand, uses one crochet hook and the stitches resemble small loops or knots.

If you need a new hobby, then learning how to knit or crochet, or both is a great way to spend your free time.

Check out this post to learn about both crafts, their pros, their cons, their similarities, and their differences – Is It Easier To Learn To Knit Or Crochet?

beginner crochet hook and yarn

Start With The Right Tools

Creating beautiful crochet requires the right equipment.

There are a lot of crochet tools on the market and soon you will build your crochet kit but at the beginning, you only need the essentials your crochet hook and a skein of yarn. 

There are 28 crochet hook sizes from (2,25mm -30 mm) (US B-1 – T-X) 

Which size crochet hook is for beginners?

A crochet hook that would be easier for a beginner to use is a 4 mm (G-6) or 5 mm (H-8) crochet hook.

What is the best yarn weight for beginners?

Yarn – choose either a good yarn for beginners if you are practicing basic stitches or the yarn specified in a crochet pattern.

Medium-weight yarns are perfect for new makers.

Worsted weight yarn is a good choice for new crocheters as it makes up quickly and the stitches are bigger and bulkier than they would be with a lighter yarn so you can see the individual stitches clearly as you work. 

It’s also good to familiarise yourself with the different types of yarn weights, and what they can be used to make.

When we are talking about yarn weight categories it has less to do with the actual weight of the yarn and more to do with how thick the strand of yarn is. 

The yarn weights are categorized with a numbered system by the craft yarn council. 

The higher the number, the thicker the yarn is, from lace weight yarn (0) to jumbo weight yarn (7).

Learn everything about the different yarn weights here – Yarn Weight Guide (+ Conversion Chart)

Think about the fibers too

Moreover, when it comes down to the yarn fibers you can choose whichever you prefer synthetic fibers or natural fibers, or a mix of both.

When you first start crocheting a mix of wool – acrylic yarn is ideal!

I recommend making a trip to a craft store or the local yarn shop and exploring all of the different types of wools and yarns available – it may even inspire you!

Everything you need to know about a ball of yarn is there on the yarn label, from the weight, and the yardage to the recommended crochet size. 

Learn how to read a yarn label here. How To Read A Yarn Label (Step By Step)

More supplies you will need in your crochet kit…

Scissors, a yarn needle, and stitch markers, tapestry needles are also good to have on hand. 

colourful crochet hooks

Getting Started

The next step is to understand how to use your tools.

How to hold your crochet hook

One of the first things to learn is how to hold a crochet hook.

In this article (link above), I describe all of the various methods for holding a crochet hook, along with a useful list of the best crochet hooks for beginners.

There are a few variations in which people hold their hook;

The pencil grip and the knife grip. 

The pencil grip. When you hold the crochet hook, you hold it as if you were holding a pencil (pencil grip) or pen and are about to write, with the hook in between your middle finger and pointer finger.

The knife grip. When you hold your hook like a knife (knife hold), you place your forefinger from your right hand on top of the hook for greater control (an overhand grip).

crocheting a chain

Crochet Patterns And Abbreviations

Crochet patterns

Your pattern is your guide on how to make your crochet project. 

There you will find all the information you need, the yarn (weight and yardage), the hook size, all the tools you need, the abbreviations, photos, and of course the instructions on how to make your items. 

When you first look at a crochet pattern it might be overwhelming and look like you are reading in a foreign language.

Don’t worry you will have it down in no time. 

Check out this post here to learn everything you need to know about understanding your crochet patterns. How to read crochet patterns for beginners

Crochet abbreviations

Patterns use abbreviations that are shortened ways of telling you what techniques to do. 

Crochet abbreviations are dived into UK and US terms. 

But aside from some basic differences, the rest of the abbreviations are the same.

All the abbreviations used in the pattern will be included so you will always have your guide.

Example ;

  • ch – chain stitch
  • Sl st – slip stitch
  • sc- single crochet
  • tch or tch – turning chain

All crochet patterns are written in abbreviations, so before you begin, I recommend reading my list of crochet abbreviations.

This is an exhaustive list of all acronyms you’ll find in a standard crochet pattern. – Crochet Abbreviations And Terms (US + UK)

It’s a good idea to print this off and keep it in hand, allowing you to refer to it if you get stuck.

What Are The 5 Basic Crochet Stitches?

The five basic crochet stitches are:

  1. Chain stitch (ch): This is the foundation stitch used to start most crochet projects. It creates a series of interconnected loops, forming a chain.
  2. Single crochet (sc): This stitch is worked by inserting the hook into a stitch, yarn over, and pulling the yarn through both the stitch and the loop on the hook. It creates a tight and dense fabric.
  3. Half double crochet (hdc): This stitch is slightly taller than the single crochet. It is worked by yarn over, inserting the hook into a stitch, yarn over again, and pulling the yarn through all three loops on the hook.
  4. Double crochet (dc): This stitch is taller than the half double crochet. It involves yarn over, inserting the hook into a stitch, yarn over again, and pulling the yarn through two loops, then yarn over again and pulling through the remaining two loops on the hook.
  5. Treble crochet (tr): This stitch is even taller than the double crochet. It is worked by yarn over twice, inserting the hook into a stitch, yarn over, and pulling through two loops at a time, repeating this step until there is one loop left on the hook.

These five basic crochet stitches serve as building blocks for many crochet patterns and can be combined and modified to create various intricate designs and textures.

Learn The Basic Crochet Stitches

Making a slip knot

Starting to crochet requires creating a single slip knot that will provide the foundation for the rest of your work.

Every pattern begins with a slip knot, so this is an essential part of learning how to crochet.

You can find out how to create a slip knot here – how to make a slip knot (step by step).

tightening up the slip knot

Creating a crochet chain

After mastering the slip knot, you can begin working in chains or rows to build on your pattern.

The next step after creating your slip knot is starting a crochet chain.

Most designs begin with a slip knot and a chain of stitches; this usually forms the first edge of your piece, your foundation chain.

Learn how to create a chain here. – How to start a crochet chain.

crochet chain in cotton yarn

How to single crochet

After you’ve created your first chain of stitches, you can learn how to single crochet and create your first stitch.

This is the most fundamental of all crochet stitches and can be worked in rows or in curves to create crocheted items.

Learn how to crochet the single crochet stitch here. – How to single crochet (SC).

single crochet swatch with crochet hook

Learning more basic crochet stitches

Next, you can advance your single crochet stitch to learn how to double crochet (how to double crochet (dc) for beginners), how to do the half-double crochet stitch, and how to do the treble crochet stitch (how to treble crochet (tr)).

Combining these stitches will mean that you can start working on patterns that use single, double, or treble crochet techniques.

pulling yarn through two stitches with a crochet hook

Moving onto more advanced beginner techniques

If you feel like you’ve mastered these basic stitches, you can now learn how to make a crochet decrease or increase.How to make a single crochet decrease

This will allow you to shape your work by making rows or circles larger or smaller.

When you feel confident, you could also try learning how to crochet the popcorn stitch; a great crochet technique for beginners.

Check out the crochet lessons {with video tutorials} for more information and video tutorials. 

You can also see video tutorials on my YouTube channel here.

popcorn stitch example in cotton

How Many Types Of Stitches Are There In Crochet?    

There are many different types of stitches in crochet, each with its own unique characteristics and uses.

There are many other types of crochet stitches as well, including cluster stitches, popcorn stitches, and Picot stitches, among others.

The choice of stitch depends on the specific project you are working on and the desired effect you want to achieve.

What Is The Easiest And Fastest Crochet Stitch?  

The single crochet stitch is generally considered to be the easiest and fastest crochet stitch.

It is a basic stitch that is often used as a foundation for more complex stitches, and it can be used to create a wide variety of patterns and textures.

To work a single crochet stitch, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over again, and pull through both loops on the hook.

Repeat this process for each stitch in the row or round, and you’ll have a simple but sturdy piece of crochet fabric.

What Is Tension In Crochet?

Tension in crochet refers to the tightness or looseness of your stitches as you work.

The tension can affect the size, shape, and overall appearance of your crochet project.

If your tension is too tight, your stitches will be smaller, and the finished project will be stiff and inflexible.

On the other hand, if your tension is too loose, your stitches will be larger, and the finished project will be floppy and lack structure. 

Achieving the correct tension is important, especially when making items that need to fit a specific size, such as clothing or blankets. 

To ensure consistent tension, it’s important to use the same hook size and yarn weight throughout your project and to work at a comfortable pace. 

If you find that your tension varies throughout your project, you can try using a smaller or larger hook to adjust your tension, or you can practice working on a swatch to achieve the desired tension before starting your project.

crochet hooks and yarn

Crochet Pattern Skill Levels

Crochet patterns are categorized into 4 skill levels.

  • Beginner Crochet Patterns. Very easy patterns using basic crochet stitches like the single crochet stitch, the double crochet stitch, or the treble crochet. These patterns are very simple and often include step-by-step tutorials. For example dishcloths, scarves, and hats.
  • Easy Crochet Patterns. Easy patterns include more complicated stitches and techniques than the basic patterns but are still doable by absolute beginners. Might Include shaping and colorwork. For example, shawls, scarves, hats, and crochet blankets.
  • Intermediate Crochet Patterns. Intermediate patterns use complicated stitches and techniques like colorwork and shaping. As well as more complicated designs. For example, intermediate patterns include more complex blankets and garments, hats with complex stitch patterns, and intricate amigurumi.
  • Advanced Crochet Patterns. Advanced patterns are typically the most challenging, using complex stitch combinations and techniques that may be unfamiliar to many crocheters. These patterns may require extensive shaping and construction techniques and often use fine weight yarns. Examples of advanced patterns include complex garments, lace shawls, and intricate crochet sculptures.

The best place to start when learning how to crochet is to try beginner-friendly crochet patterns, which include more basic stitches and no requirements for grading.

You can start with patterns for beginners and learn about the different types of crochet skill levels.

You will find you are going to work your way up the ladder quickly.

crochet circle

How To Crochet If You Have A Dominant Left Hand?

Crocheting if you have a left dominant hand is not difficult, but it can be challenging if you are trying to learn from patterns that are written for right-handed crocheters.

Here are some tips to help you get started with crocheting left-handed:

  • Get left-handed crochet hooks: You will need to use a left-handed crochet hook, which has a flat thumb rest on the opposite side of the hook. 
  • Find left-handed beginner crochet tutorials: Look for tutorials and videos that are specifically designed for left-handed crocheters. These resources will show you how to hold the hook and yarn and how to create different stitches.
  • Reverse the pattern instructions: If you are using a pattern that is written for right-handed crocheters, you will need to reverse the instructions. For example, if the pattern tells you to start with a slip knot on the right-hand side, you will need to start with a slip knot on the left-hand side.
  • Practice and be patient: Learning to crochet left-handed can take some practice and patience. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you a little longer to get the hang of it. Keep practicing and soon you’ll be crocheting like a pro!

Remember that crocheting left-handed is just as valid and enjoyable as crocheting right-handed.

With some practice and the right resources, you can create beautiful crochet projects with ease.

Practising Crochet Patterns for Beginners

Once you’re confidently creating chains and rows of basic stitches, the next step is a crochet pattern.

What is the easiest thing to crochet for a beginner?

If you are new to crocheting, it is best to start with a simple project that will help you learn the most common crochet stitches and techniques. 

Here are a few easy things to crochet for a beginner: 

  • Dishcloth: A dishcloth is a great first project because it is small, easy to make, and useful. All you need to make a dishcloth is some cotton yarn and a crochet hook.  Check out a free crochet pattern here. – Crochet Dishcloth Pattern Set (Quick Designs For Beginners)
  • Scarf: A simple scarf is another great beginner project. You can use a basic stitch such as single crochet or double crochet and make a long rectangle that can be wrapped around the neck. Check out crochet scarf patterns here – Crochet Scarf Patterns
  • Granny square: A granny square is a classic crochet motif and a great way to practice basic stitches. Once you have made a few granny squares, you can join them together to make a larger project such as a blanket or a pillow. Check out a free crochet pattern here – Basic Granny Square Pattern
  • Headband: A simple headband is a quick and easy project that can be made using a basic stitch and a few rows of crochet. Check out an easy headband pattern here – Crochet Headband Pattern (Beginner Friendly!)

Remember, the most important thing is to choose a project that you are excited about and that you will enjoy making.

Ready to start making?

Try one of these easy beginner crochet patterns:

Free Crochet Patterns For Beginners

Make something simple to help you practice the basic crochet stitches.

Choose from one of the patterns below that are perfect for beginners!

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