How To Crochet

How To Crochet

Crocheting has long been a folk art that is both functional and beautiful. This How-to was written to teach you the basic stitches and the abbreviations used in standard crochet. All you need is a crochet hook and some patience to get started.

If you are left handed, then we have the guide and pictures for you too!

What you need

Crochet Hook


Let’s start at the very beginning…remember, as always, practice really does make perfect!

How To Crochet: Holding the Crochet Hook
Holding the crochet hook
Hold the hook between your thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand with the hook pointing back towards your thumbnail. This grip should be firm, but comfortable. You will find, as you become more comfortable, that your hook will find its own comfort zone.

How To Crochet: Holding the Yarn
How to hold crochet yarn
Having an even tension on the yarn is crucial to getting even stitches in crocheting. This is especially important if you are doing patterns that are size-specific, such as clothes. This picture shows the working loop being held between the thumb and middle finger of your right hand, looping over the index finger to control tension. Lace the yarn through the other fingers to also help with tension control and tangling. Again, as you work, you will find a comfort zone…nothing says you have to do it EXACTLY like this!

How To Crochet: Beginning Loop
Beginning Loop in Crochet
A slip knot is used as the beginning stitch. I usually insert my hook through the working loop in the opposite direction that I will work, twist, yarn over then pull it through the loop. Some people prefer to tie the knot by hand, then insert the hook to begin working.

How To Crochet: Yarn Over
Crochet Yarn Over
Abbreviation: yo

Yarn over means just that; you are twisting the yarn over the hook from front to back so that the hook catches it and can draw it through the loop.

How To Crochet: Chain Stitch
Chain stitch in Crochet
Abbreviation: ch

The chain stitch is the most basic and is used to form the base row and rings. You simply yarn over and pull through the loop to make on stitch. Practice this until you can get a chain of uniform looking loops; its all about tension control and can be easier said than done!

How To Crochet: Making a Ring
Making A Crochet Ring
Abbreviation: r# (example: r5 is a chain of 5 stitches made into a ring.)

A ring is made of a desired number of chain stitches with one end attached to another. Chain the desired amount, then slip the hook through the beginning stitch. Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook. Rings are used to start blocks, such as Granny Squares, or can be used as decorations, such as a popcorn stitch.

How To Crochet: Single Crochet
Single Crochet Loop
Abbreviation: sc

The term “crochet” involves picking up a loop or loops from a previous stitch. The term “single” tells you that you will yarn over and pull through the loops one time. Entire items can be made using this stitch, although it may not look very interesting. To do a single crochet, pick up the front AND back loops from the desired stitch (usually the next one unless specified), yarn over and pull through the loop.

How To Crochet: Double Crochet
Double Crochet Loop
Abbreviation: dc

Here, you will yarn over, THEN pick up the FRONT loop of the desired stitch. Yarn over and pull through the first of the three loops on the hook. Yarn over again and pull through the remaining two loops on the hook. For a tight weave, dc in every stitch; for a looser weave, use every other stitch.

How To Crochet: Half-Double Crochet
Half Double Crochet
Abbreviation: hd

This begin just like the dc; you will yarn over, THEN pick up the FRONT loop of the desired stitch. Yarn over again and pull it through all three loops on the hook. For a tight weave, hd in every stitch; for a looser weave, use every other stitch.

How To Crochet: Triple Crochet
Triple Crochet
Abbreviation: tc

Begin the triple crochet by yarning over twice, then pick up the front loop of the desired stitch. Yarn over again and draw it through the first two loops on the hook. Repeat this until all the loops are off the chain. For a tight weave, tc in every stitch; for a looser weave, use every other stitch.

How To Crochet: Tying Off
Typing Off In Crochet
Work and extra chain stitch, cut the end and pull it completely through the loop. Pull firmly on the end to create a knot.

This How To Crochet project was contributed by Machele Bailey

This project uses  8 ply, Double Worsted, DK yarn


  1. Wow, this is great!

  2. thanks for showing this!!

  3. Missing: Front and Back post double crochet.

  4. clearest pictures i’ve seen so far! thanks!

  5. I don’t know how hard this can get but i will learn

  6. i love it soooo much yaaa

  7. I’m interested in returning to crocheting and found the instructions easy to follow and very helpful. I will be returning back to the site often for help and reinforcement while working on my project.

  8. how do you tie in a new yarn when changing to a different color?

  9. this really helped me thanks alot

  10. This was somewhat easy to understand but some of the terms need to be defined more!

  11. simple and clear just what I need

  12. Add more pictures!!!

  13. okay

  14. addey411 says

    It’s nice but seems at a tad difficult

  15. your treble crochet picture is for a left handed person

  16. The half double stitch’s written instructions were a bit confusing for me. The diagram looks like it’s for the lefties.

  17. It is easy to see what you have to do with the pictures.

  18. this is really alot of help

  19. You can’t do no better than these instrutions. Thanks, M.Robinson
    Statesboro, GA.

  20. really useful thank you

  21. Can’t wait to learn! Thankyou.

  22. this is a great way to learn especially when you have no clue what to do. the step by step pictures are key.:)

  23. Make the picture more clear. also how to pull through when and if need to again

  24. Just what I needed~~THANKS..Carol

  25. this was very helpful to me i dont know anything about this.

  26. it was so easy!

  27. Thank you, with a bit of thought and practical application whilst reading, I’ve just learnt to crochet. I’m sure I’m not very good yet, but I get the idea and am producing something (maybe a granny square first). Thank you very much.

  28. i know how to crochet and knit and i just looked at this to see if it was any good, i think it is good but i’ve seen better. the words are a bit confusing, i personally think they need more pictures. anyway that is just what i think.

  29. Would be better if you can provide a short video clip to demonstrate the steps.

  30. I have been trying to learn to dc. This is the only site I have found that explained it in a way that was easy to understand! Thank you very much.
    Kathy Hoskins

  31. Especially liked the great photos to help.

  32. I would be great if your patterns had ratings – easy, quick, beginner etc…

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