Now that you’ve mastered the basics of crochet, it’s time to learn the next step: Single Crochet! This stitch is super easy to get the hang of. With it, you can crochet just about anything; though it would be best to start making something simple first, such as a dish cloth, coaster or something square. (The square-ish item will also double up as your gauge.) I’ll explain further along as we go.
Remember, crochet is all about drawing loops through loops, and twisting the yarn and crochet hook for ease of doing so. You’ll often see it abbreviated as “sc” in patterns. (And chain stitch will be “ch st.”)
Now then, to work! 🙂
When we last left off, you’d learned how to complete a row of chain stitch:
(You can ch st to your heart’s content, by the way! By no means do you have to leave it a little stub like mine. 🙂 )
What we’re going to do now is maneuver the positioning of the row so that it’s horizontal instead of vertical. Make sure you have decent tension control with your left index finger. Also, keep the tip of your right index finger over the yarn loop on the hook, and keep the ch st row itself between left thumb and middle finger (both optional, depending on fingering, but I find it really helps maintaining position for the piece):
Notice how the first three “braids,” or stitches, of the row are visible above. Each little braid is a ch st. When working with sc, about 99% of the time you’re going to be crocheting into the second st from the hook. Most patterns will say this in some form or other, most notably: “sc [or some other stitch] in 2nd st from hook and in ea st across.” It basically means you’re going to skip the first little braid and go straight for the second one. Why skip it? Well, if you insert your hook back into that stitch you’ll probably end up undoing that st, as that was where the yarn was just at; the “source” of the last stitch.
Okay, now that that’s explained (hopefully articulately enough…)
You’re going to insert your crochet hook into the top of the second ch st from hook. I probably should have put a little arrow or zoomed in a little to clarify… will update this post with newer photos soon. That being said, hopefully you can see where to insert the hook, and where you’ll be making your first single crochet st below:
Now comes the fun part! Using your left index finger and right wrist, wrap the yarn clockwise around the hook, as though you were making another ch st. This technique is called a yarn over (or “yo” for short):
This time, instead of ch stitching, you’re going to pull the yo-ed loop through the loop the hook was just inserted in. In other words, you’ll be pulling this newly-wrapped yarn back through the inserted loop, which is still the top of the second ch st:
You’ll now have two loops on the crochet hook:
Yarn over again, keeping the tension just right (and using your left thumb and middle finger to keep the bottom of the stitch level):
And pull that yo-ed loop through the remaining two, forming a single crochet st:
And there you go! Huzzah, one sc complete!! 🙂
At this point, you can keep crocheting along all the other ch sts till the end of the row. Because this is a basic row–there won’t be any increases or decrease for this tutorial–make sure to only insert your hook through one ch st per one sc. If you insert the hook too many times into the same stitch, it will cause the row to curve over. (This is good if working with hyperbolic corals, but not so good if you want the piece to remain more straight and angular).
Practice makes perfect, right? So that’s what we’ll do–and keep doing, until you have mastered the sc. It can get a bit fiddly working in this manner at first, but once you get the hang of it crochet will be second nature to you!
Insert hook into next ch st…
Yarn over, and pull through… yarn over and pull through two remaining loops on hook…
Are you sensing a rhythmic kind of pattern to this? Good! Because it’ll stay that way for each stitch. [Insert, yo, pull through one, yo and pull through two.]
After crocheting a few scs you’ll start to see something like this:
And, once you reach the end of the row, it’ll look like this:
The last st can be a bit tricky for the first row, because that’s where the slip knot is. But if you adjust the tightness of the first st a little, the crochet hook should go in just fine.
To complete a second row, and all the rows beyond, you’ll need to make one ch st at the end of each row to keep the edges/sides even.
Regardless of what row you’re on, turn the work clockwise, or flip it to the left:
And start crocheting back down the row! This time, instead of inserting the hook into one loop–meaning, the top of a ch st–there will be two braided loops at the top of each st to sc into (unless a pattern indicates otherwise).
Unfortunately I didn’t get a clear picture of the braided loops up close… will have to post an updated photograph of it here sometime soon.
Here’s a photo of the piece a few more rows in:
It’s not very visible in this picture, but every two rows you’ll start to see a ribbed kind of pattern. This is, indeed, called a crochet rib, and is used occasionally as an indicator for row count.
To measure gauge, keep crocheting until the piece looks square. (Or rather, if you started with 10 ch sts, crochet roughly 10 rows.) Measure in cm or inches and write it down for future reference. Oftentimes when trying to figure out if a finished product of a pattern will be the same size (because everyone’s crochet tension varies), it’ll be helpful to compare your own gauge with that of the indicated gauge on the pattern.
That’s it for this lesson! The next lesson will cover more of the semi-advanced basic stitches, such as double crochet (dc) and treble crochet (tr).
Tomorrow there will be a new CB Store Update. I’ll give you a hint: it has something to do with the mini dolls. 😀 Oh, and I’ll try to get these posts published at an earlier time of day… yesterday I was in the midst of a car trip with my family and a good friend of ours, so yes, we are still traveling. Totally worth it, though. 🙂
Anyway! The daily posting shall resume… with some added bonuses, as you’ll soon discover! Until then!~