Once you have mastered how to work crochet you’ll be well on your way to making corsage motifs, squares for blankets and beautiful edgings.
Hooks come in many shapes and sizes but to start off choose a 4mm hook with a plastic handle. You will also need a ball of mercerised DK cotton, which has a coating that prevents it from splitting thus making it ideal for the beginner.
Holding the hook and yarn.
Hold the hook in your right hand between thumb and index finger. The yarn is held in your left hand, leaving your right hand free to manoeuvre the hook. Wrap the yarn around the little finger of your left hand, passing it under the third and middle finger and bringing the yarn over your index finger. This will keep the tension of the yarn even as you work.
Make a slip knot
Before you can begin crocheting, you must work a slip knot. Use your fingers to make the slip knot. This is similar to the slip knot made when casting on stitches to knit, but using the crochet hook to draw the loop through. This now creates the first loop on the hook.
Chain stitch (ch) This is the first stitch you need to learn; even the most decorative stitches are a variation on chain stitch.
Hold the short end of the yarn in your right hand below the slip knot. Bring the yarn in the left hand from main ball round the hook from the back to the front by passing the hook under the yarn.
Keeping the yarn taut in the left hand, draw the hook and the yarn through the loop on the hook. One chain stitch has been completed.
Repeat these two steps until you have the required number of chain stitches. As you work, release the short end of the yarn and hold closer to the hook. If you need to count stitches, don’t include the slip knot.
How to join the chain into a ring You will need to learn this easy technique before you can make any motifs, and to work in rounds.
Insert the hook from the back to the front of the first chain stitch. Remember that the slip stitch does not count as a stitch. You will have two loops on the hook.
Pass the hook under the yarn in the same way you worked a chain stitch and draw the yarn through both loops on the hook, slipping them off at the same time.
The ring is now secure and once you have mastered the next couple of crochet stitches you can start working into it, working in rounds not rows.
Double crochet stitch (dc) Crochet a length of chain stitches (10cm is ideal for apractice sample). This will be the foundation row for working the double crochet.
Insert the crochet hook into the next stitch, passing it from the front to back of the stitch. Pass the hook under the yarn in the left hand in the normal way, so the yarn is wound around the hook.
Draw the yarn through to the front of the first loop on the hook; you will have two loops on the hook after this action.
Pass the hook under the yarn in the left hand and draw through both loops on the hook, slipping the loops off the hook at the sametime. One double crochet stitch has been completed.
Insert the crochet hook into the next chain stitch in your foundation row and repeat the above steps. Continue in this way until every chain stitch has been worked into with a double crochet.
Turn a row (dc) If the double crochet is to be worked in rows, you must turn the work after the last stitch.
Turn the work over, so the last stitch made is the first in the new row. Work one chain stitch. This will count as the first stitch on the hook, and it also produces the height of the stitch.
Continue working in rows of double crochet, working a turning chain at the start of every row. The right side and wrong side stitch patterns look similar, except in the foundation row.
Slip stitch (sl st) This stitch is used to join stitches together, or to join the stitch to another point in the work.
Insert the hook from the back of the stitch to the front and pass the hook under the yarn in the left hand in exactly the same way as you worked the chain stitch.
Draw the yarn you have just passed over the hook through both loops on the hook. Slip both loops off the hook at the same time.
Britain and the United States use different abbreviations for crochet stitches, which can be very confusing as some of the American abbreviations are the same as the UK ones but refer to another stitch.
All the lessons and patterns in Ideas use the UK abbreviations, but it is advisable to keep this chart handy for easy reference when you start your projects.
ss slip stitch
sc single crochet
dc double crochet
dtr double treble
sl st slip stitch
dc double crochet
dtr double treble
ttr tr triple