Basic Crochet Stitches
Crochet is a craft in which a patterned fabric is created by looping yarn, thread, or other material with a hooked needle. Like knitting, crochet consists of pulling loops through other loops, but with the addition of wrapping the working material around the hook one or more times. Unlike knitting, and with a few exceptions, in crochet only one stitch is active at one time. Also, crochet uses a single crochet hook instead of two knitting needles. Crochet has its own system of symbols to represent each stitch type. Reading a crochet pattern can be like reading a foreign language!
There are literally hundreds of different forms of crochet with more in development. CrochetWithDee.com gives a great list of many types of crochet, so be sure to check it out. Hundreds of crochet methods means tons of “advanced” crochet stitches, yet, there are only a few basic stitches. If you can learn these, you can create loads of fun and unique crochet patterns!
In general, the basic crochet stitches are: chain stitch, single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet, and the slip stitch. Some sources also include: triple or treble crochet and double triple crochet. The chain stitch is used to make the foundation of your crochet project and thus, is the first stitch to master. After that, the single and double crochet stitches were the easiest for me to learn. So, these are the three stitches I will show you today.
The Chain Stitch(ch): Making the Foundation Chain
The first advice I will give you about starting your foundation chain is to use at least one hook size larger than what your project calls for. This keeps the foundation chain looser so it is easier for you to make the next round of stitches. This is particularly important for beginning crocheters who often chain too tightly. Once you become more skilled in the art of crochet, this tip may no longer be necessary for you. I started out with a 9.0 mm (size N) hook, but now have no issues with using much smaller hooks right from the star
The Single Crochet Stitch(sc)
The single crochet stitch creates a tight, dense fabric. You can repeat this stitch over and over or combination with other stitches to create a pattern.
The Double Crochet Stitch(dc)
The double crochet stitch is twice the height of the single crochet and a solid, but not stiff fabric. It is often used for making afghans, sweaters, shawls, etc… You can combine this stitch with others to create unique patterns and textures.
With a little practice I know you will quickly master these three stitches and be on your way to creating your first crochet project! Check back for my future posts as I will share some patterns to get you started and of course, pictures of my own projects. Until next time!