how to crochet for beginners

How To Crochet For Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you wondering how to crochet for beginners? You've come to the right place! Even if you’ve never held a hook, you're in luck. With a few simple tips and tricks, anyone can learn to crochet.

Get ready to let your creativity flow as we explore all the basics of crocheting!

Table Of Contents

What Is Crochet?

how to crochet for beginners

Crochet is a type of handiwork similar to macrame and knitting. But instead of tying knots with your hands or creating loops with two needles, you use one crochet hook.

With a few simple stitches, you can create many beautiful items. The possibilities with crochet are endless — from blankets and scarves to hats and even toys!

Supplies You Need For Crocheting

If you're looking for a new hobby that won't break the bank, crochet is a great option! All you need to get started is:

That's it! Of course, there are other materials you can eventually use for crocheting, but to start, all you need is those three simple things.

How To Crochet For Beginners: Basic Steps

Once you gather your supplies, it's time to learn how to crochet.

1) Hold Your Hook

Source: Yarnspirations

The first thing you need to do is learn how to hold your hook. As shown in the video above, there are two common ways to do this: the pencil grip or the knife grip. Most crocheters find one more comfortable than the other, so try them both and see what you think.

Pencil Grip

Hold your crochet hook like a pencil with your thumb and index finger. Use your other fingers for extra support and control as needed. This grip relies on your fingers for most of the motion.

Knife Grip

With your thumb and index finger, hold your crochet hook like a knife. Wrap the rest of your fingers around the hook's shaft to help stabilize it. You’ll use your wrist more with this style of grip.

2) Loop Your Yarn

Did you figure out which grip style feels best in your hands? Great! Now it’s time to position the yarn in your opposite hand so you can loop it over your hook.

Take the end of the yarn and pass it over your pinkie. Then, wrap it under your third and middle fingers. Finally, pass it over your index finger. It may feel strange at first, but soon you’ll be a pro at getting it set correctly.

3) Make A Slip Knot

Source: Crochet Guru

With the hook in your dominant hand and the yarn looped around the other, it’s time to make a Slip Knot. Take the tail end of your yarn and drape it over the attached end to create a loop.

Then, flip the loop over, and use your hook to grab the attached end of the yarn and pull it through the loop.

4) Build Your Chain

Source: Kristin’s Crochet Tutorials

Now that you’ve got your yarn onto your hook, it’s time to start your chain. This is the foundation of your crocheted piece.

To make your first chain, use the hook to grab the yarn. Then, rotate your hook. It should now be facing down. This is known as “yarning over.”

Once you wrap your yarn, carefully pull it back through the loop of your Slip Knot. Repeat this process until your chain is the desired length.

As you practice, you’ll get a feel for how tight or loose your stitches should be. Try to keep them a similar tension so your project has a uniform look.

5) Work Into The Chain

Source: Sigoni Macaroni

Once you’ve created the desired number of chain stitches, it’s time to start working into your chain.

Insert your hook into the top loop of your chain. Then, grab the working yarn with your hook like you did above. Pull the yarn through the loop to make a stitch. Continue working into each stitch on your chain until you get to the end.

6) Single Crochet

Source: GoodKnitKisses

The single crochet stitch is one of the most common. On patterns, you’ll see it abbreviated as SC.

To make a single crochet stitch, insert your hook into the stitch you want to work in. Then, yarn over and pull the attached end through that stitch. You should now have two loops on your hook. Yarn over once more and pull it through both loops.

7) Add A Turning Chain


Many patterns have you add a turning chain when you reach the end of a row. This incorporates a bit of height and keeps everything lined up nice and straight.

To add the turning chain, make one chain stitch at the end of your row. Then, you’re ready to move on to your next row and continue adding single crochet stitches.

8) Fasten Off

Source: Knots & Kneedles

Your yarn can unravel if you don’t fasten it off when you’re finished. To do this, you’ll need to secure the end of the yarn.

Start by cutting off the working yarn, leaving about six inches as a little tail. Then, put your hook through your final stitch and yarn over. Pull the yarn back through the loop and continue pulling until the tail is through.

Use your blunt needle to weave the end of the yarn into your project. Go in one direction and then turn back and go the other way. Adjust the yarn with your fingers to ensure the tension is even. When everything looks good, cut off the remaining tail.

Now your project won’t come undone.

How To Crochet For Beginners: Next Steps

how to crochet for beginners

Congratulations, you learned how to crochet for beginners! But hopefully, this isn't the end of your crochet journey. Here are some next steps to keep you going.

Learn More Stitches

Now that you know the basics, it's time to expand your repertoire. You can learn the:

  • Double Crochet Stitch
  • Half-Double Crochet Stitch
  • Treble Crochet Stitch
  • Slip Stitch

Don't try to learn these all at once, or you might get confused. Instead, pick one and practice until you get the hang of it. Then, move on to another. Before long, you’ll know them all.

Work On Muscle Memory

The more you crochet, the better you'll become at it. As your muscle memory develops, you won't even need to think about what you're doing, It’ll just happen automatically.

So don't be afraid to practice, practice, and practice some more! Soon, you’ll be crocheting faster than you thought possible.

Practice Counting Your Stitches

In crochet, every stitch matters. Whether it’s a chain, single crochet, or treble crochet, the number of stitches will affect your project's overall look and size.

Take the time to count your chains before starting a new row. It may seem tedious at first, but it will save you from having to unravel several rows later on when you finally discover your stitch count is off. Plus, practicing counting now will improve your overall accuracy and speed.

When you’re counting, skip the loop that’s currently on your hook. You’ll also leave out the slip knot at the end. Neither of these counts.

Learn More About Tension

The step-by-step guide above talks about tension, but we haven’t explained what it means. In crochet, tension refers to how tight or loose your yarn is as you work it. If you have too little tension, your stitches will be too loose and your project will have gaps.

With too much tension, it’ll be tight and stiff. You may have trouble getting your hook in-between stitches, making it difficult to work on your project.

So, how do you achieve the perfect tension? It all comes down to practice and counting. Your pattern likely lists a gauge. This is the number of stitches and rows that should fit into a certain measurement.

Practice making a gauge swatch and compare it to the numbers listed. If you have too many stitches, loosen your tension and try again. If you have too few, tighten things up a bit.

You may need to adjust your tension quite a bit when you’re getting started. But soon you’ll be able to maintain consistent tension from start to finish.

Try A Project

how to crochet for beginners_1

Now is the perfect time to try a small project. Find something with a simple pattern that you can complete in one sitting, like a dishcloth or a coaster.

If you make a mistake, don't worry. Just take a deep breath and undo the stitches until you get back to where it went wrong. Then, try again.

Tips About Patterns

When you’re ready to try your hand at a project, you might feel overwhelmed with all the options. You can find free crochet patterns on yarn websites (like ours), blogs, community boards, and many other places.

Look for a project that looks fun. Your first attempt at crocheting something might be tricky, and having a final product you enjoy can motivate you to keep going.

In addition to the dishcloth and coaster mentioned above, here are some other simple projects to consider:

  • Granny Square (it’s a classic!)
  • Bag
  • Scarf
  • Headband
  • Coffee cozy (you’ll be done in no time!)
  • Face scrubbies
  • Fingerless gloves

And here’s a video tutorial for a super quick heart-shaped bookmark:

Read The Materials List

Patterns typically start with a materials list that specifies the yarn weight and crochet hook size you’ll need. Eventually, you’ll be able to adapt things on the fly. But for now, it’s best to stick with the sizes recommended. Otherwise, it may not turn out correctly.

When you’re shopping, remember that yarn weight doesn’t mean how much the skein weighs. Instead, it describes the thickness and density of the fiber.

Here are some common weights, from thinnest to thickest, along with the size of the crochet hook that typically corresponds to it.

Yarn Weight US Crochet Size Metric Size (in mm)
Lace B-1 2.25
Super Fine C-2 or D-3 2.75 or 3.25
Fine E-4 or F-5 3.5 or 3.75
Light or Light Worsted G-6, 7, H-8 4, 4.5 or 5
Medium or Worsted I-9 J-10 5.5 or 6
Bulky or Chunky L-11 or M/N-13 8 or 9 
Super Bulky N/P-15 10
Jumbo P/Q or Q 15 or 16

When you look closely at your crochet hook, you should see the size stamped onto the thumb grip or on the side of the shaft. If you’ve bought a set of hooks, look through them to find the right one. If you’re buying a single hook to get started, double-check the size before purchasing.

The yarn can be more complicated at first. You may not yet be able to recognize the different weights by look or feel. However, as you get more experience with different fibers, you’ll gain confidence in this area.

For now, refer to the label on the skein or read the product description on the website. For GANXXET yarn, the yarn category and suggested crochet hooks are listed in the Overview section on our product pages.

Here’s a screenshot showing where to look:

Screen shot of yarn for sale for crocheting

Feel free to swap out the colors listed in the pattern. You want to create something you love; part of that comes with using colors you like.

Review The Pattern

Even though your yarn and hook are now ready, it’s not quite time to crochet. First, take a moment to read through your pattern.

You’ll see lots of abbreviations. Some stand for different stitches, while others represent an action. Right now, it may look pretty confusing, but don’t worry. Soon, you’ll be able to decipher everything with ease.

For now, here’s a quick reference:

  • Ch: chain stitch
  • St: stitch
  • Sl st: Slip stitch
  • Sc: Single crochet
  • Dc: Double crochet
  • Hdc: Half double crochet
  • Tr: Triple crochet
  • Lp: Loop
  • Cont: Continue doing what you were doing
  • Inc: Increase by adding one or more stitch
  • Dec: Decrease by removing one or more stitches
  • Turn: Rotate your piece so you’re working the next row
  • Join: Combine two stitches together, typically by working a slip stitch into them
  • Rep: Repeat the step

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. But, it has the main abbreviations you should see in a pattern for beginners.

If your pattern has something different, the Craft Yarn Council has a master list of crochet abbreviations you can refer to.

Once you’ve reviewed your pattern and know what steps you need to take, it’s time to start crocheting. Follow the directions one line at a time, and don’t be afraid to pull out stitches and try it again.

Other Crochet Tips To Consider

how to crochet for beginners

Here are some tips and tricks to remember as you begin your crochet journey.

  • You will make mistakes. Don’t let them discourage you. Instead, view it as a learning opportunity and keep practicing.
  • Take breaks when you need them. While crocheting can be a relaxing hobby, it can initially feel overwhelming. It’s OK to put your hook down for a bit and try again later.
  • Experiment with different types of yarn. Different weights and textures of yarn can significantly impact the outcome of your project. Don’t be afraid to try new materials and see how they affect your crochet stitches.
  • Try new hooks. If you don’t like how your hook feels in your hands, try one made of a different material. Wood, plastic, and bamboo are good options for beginners.
  • Watch videos. If you’re a visual learner, simply reading about how to crochet for beginners might not be enough. If you’re feeling lost, watch some video tutorials for extra help.
  • Connect with other crocheters. Historically, community members occasionally got together to chat and work on handicrafts. While this isn’t as common today, you can connect with other crochet enthusiasts online through social media platforms or forums.
  • Practice. Like any other skill, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. It’ll take time to develop your crocheting skills, so keep trying.
  • Have fun. Hobbies are meant to be enjoyable, so don’t forget to have fun while you stitch. Let your creativity flourish and celebrate your accomplishments.

You Can Crochet!

Women crocheting

Crocheting may seem difficult at first, but with some practice, you'll soon be a pro. Before long, you'll even be able to show someone else how to crochet for beginners. And that’s the sign of a true crocheting master.

So, pick up some beautiful GANXXET yarn and get started today. Happy crocheting!

1 comment

  • chana

    beautiful and clear steps for beginners! i searched for something very gradually and clear for my young granddaughter and this seems the best!!!!

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