Last time in our Crochet 101 series, we covered how to create a foundation chain using a chain stitch. Once you have that foundation chain, you’re ready to add rows and texture and to actually start crocheting something. Today, we’re going to start with the single crochet stitch. This is the most basic crochet stitch and it’s the one you’ll use most often when you’re starting out. This lesson is also going to be a double lesson; once I show you how to single crochet (or SC), I’ll also show you how to turn the work and add rows. This might be a long post, so let’s get started!
Remember, any new skill takes some time to master, so if you aren’t where you want to be yet, just keep going! You’ll get better with practice.
Crochet patterns use a lot of abbreviations to save space and make it faster to look through a pattern. The abbreviation for single crochet is SC in standard USA terms. As you learn more stitches and learn to read patterns, you’ll come across a lot more abbreviations so I have a handy little printable to help you keep track of them all. Just click the image below to grab it!
Single Crochet (SC) Tutorial
First, I’ll walk you through the pictured instructions, and then there’s a video at the end if you need a little more help.
1. Hold your chain in one hand and the crochet hook with the other. You’re going to work the first SC into the 2nd space from the hook. You can count the spaces by counting the V’s in the chain, so the second space would be where my thumb is in the picture below.
2. Insert your hook into the chain space. When you insert your hook, be sure to go under two strands of yarn. YO and catch the working yarn in the groove of the hook.
3. Pull the working yarn through the space to pull up a loop. You should have two loops on your hook now.
4. YO again, catching the yarn with your hook.
5. Now pull the working yarn through both the loops on your hook. Congrats! This is the first single crochet stitch (SC). See how easy that was? Continue making single crochets along the chain, working 1 SC into each space in the chain.
This is one row of single crochet. Simply repeat steps 2-7 in each space along the chain. In my example below, I started with a chain of 11 and I have 910 SC at the end. This is because you skipped the first space and worked your first SC into the second space. In the next part of this lesson, I’ll show you how to turn the work and add rows, which also adds back the first stitch space.
Turning and Adding Rows
Once you’ve made the first row of single crochet (or any other stitch), you’ll need to turn the work for the next row. As you get more advanced, you’ll see that some crocheted pieces are worked in the round, or diagonally, or in some other shape. But, for now, you’re really only going to need patterns that are worked back and forth. This means that because you started at the right-hand side of the row and ended on the left, you’ll need to get your working yarn to be on the right side again in order to work the next row.
To do this, you just add one extra chain and rotate the piece around. You can see that in the video below. (If there’s no video, disable adblock so it can load.)
1. After working the last stitch (SC in our case), chain 1.
2. Then turn the work around so that your hook and working yarn are on the right side and the tail yarn is on the left.
3. To work stitches on the second row (and every row after), you’ll be working along the top edge of your piece. So, insert your hook under both strands of the V-shaped space and work one SC as you normally would.
And that’s it! Work all the way down the row, then chain 1 and turn again to start the next row. You can continue doing this for as many rows as you like before you bind off (which will be the next lesson).
Here is my swatch of 10 stitches across and 9 rows tall.
Practice this stitch until you can easily hold and maneuver the yarn and hook, and your stitches become more even. It’s okay if they aren’t all the same at first, but that’s why you practice! The better you get, the more natural the movement becomes, and the better your finished piece will look.
If you want to crochet at your own pace and get more tutorials, tips, and patterns all in one place, check out The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet! It’s an ebook with all my the first 12 lessons (complete with pictures and video just like this post), more tips on choosing the right materials and tools, along with 12 beginner-friendly patterns (also with video). Just click the image below to grab it!
Okay, that’s all for today! Thank you so much for reading this monstrously long post. If you want to get updates when new posts, patterns, and tutorials go live on the blog, use the box below to subscribe to the weekly newsletter! You’ll also get access to freebies in the resource library. If you want more support and to share your progress with others, join the free Facebook group for knitters & crocheters and introduce yourself!
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