Introduction: Crochet Basics - How to Crochet Common Stitches and Techniques
In this Instructable, you will learn how to create some common and uncommon crochet stitches and techniques. While some many not be as common as others, it's still good to know how to create them, as they may pop up in a pattern you'd like to follow, or you may just want to use them for your own projects. Each step in this Instructable will be based on a separate topic--whether it's just starting a project or continuing a project. If you just want to learn how to crochet a certain stitch/technique, you can look at the appropriate step instead of going through all of them.
In order to actually learn how to create these stitches and techniques, you will need some yarn and a crochet hook. A good starting hook that I like to use is the 5mm crochet hook. It's not too small, so you will be able to work with it easily, but it's not so big as to leave you with enormous holes. If you only have one hook on hand, by all means, use that one! Just keep in mind that the smaller the crochet hook, the tighter your project will be. If you're following a crochet pattern and have only checked this Instructable out to learn how to crochet a certain stitch or technique, it's recommended that you use the hook needed for that particular pattern. Thanks for viewing and enjoy!
Step 1: How to Crochet a Slip Knot, a Magic Circle, and an Adjustable Slip Knot
The normal slip knot is often the only starting technique learned by new crocheters, so they can be used to begin many crochet projects. Normal slip knots are mainly used to start at the edge of a crochet project, but they can also be used to start in the center, like when you want to crochet a circle.
Magic circles are used by many who want to create circles without a gap in the center, such as those who create amigurumi projects. Magic circles basically start you off with a ring and you crochet your first row (or "round") inside of the ring. They're very beneficial when it comes to projects with stuffing because you can tighten your starting point to avoid the gap left by a normal slip knot. One disadvantage of magic circles is that you can only start in the center (or some point inside) of your project.
An alternative to these two techniques, which I have been using to start many of my own crochet patterns, is the adjustable slip knot. The adjustable slip knot is like a combination of the magic circle and the normal slip knot because you can use it to start at the edge or center of a project, and you can tighten it to avoid having a huge gap.
In the video below, you can learn how to crochet all three starting techniques.
Step 2: How to Crochet a Chain With a Normal Slip Knot and an Adjustable Slip Knot
Chains are not only used to start off many crochet projects; they are also often used within projects, like when you need to begin a new row. Chains are very easy to create and are a necessity when crocheting.
In the video below, you can learn to crochet a chain with a normal slip knot, and a chain with an adjustable slip knot. Adjustable slip knots can actually replace normal slip knots in many crochet projects and will leave you with less of a gap at the beginning than those which start off with normal slip knots.
Step 3: How to Crochet a Slip Stitch
Slip stitches are very convenient stitches in crochet projects. They have many purposes, such as joining colors or a new skein of yarn, joining two crochet projects together, and ending rows or projects. They can also be used to create borders to make the edges of a project look nicer. You can watch the video below to learn how to crochet a slip stitch.
Step 4: How to Single Crochet With a Normal Chain
Single crochet stitches are probably the most common stitches used to create crochet projects, since they're often the first and only "filler" stitches learned by new crocheters. Since slip stitches (seen in the previous step) are hard to get the hook back into, single crochet stitches are often used when crocheters want to make tight projects, like clothing or potholders. In the video below, you can learn how to single crochet with a normal chain.
Step 5: How to Crochet a Single Crochet Foundation Chain With a Normal Slip Knot or an Adjustable Slip Knot
Single crochet foundation chains can often be used to replace the first row of single crochet stitches created with normal chains. When you crochet a single crochet foundation chain, you're basically crocheting each chain and single crochet stitch at once. They allow the beginning of your project to be more stretchy than those created with normal chains, which is beneficial when creating projects like scarves.
In the video below, you can learn how to create a single crochet foundation chain with a normal slip knot, and a single crochet foundation chain with an adjustable slip knot. Either one can be used to begin a project, but single crochet foundation chains with adjustable slip knots will leave you with less of a gap at the beginning.
Step 6: How to Double Crochet and Half Double Crochet
When it comes to height, half double crochet stitches are a step up from single crochet stitches, while double crochet stitches are higher than the two. When you don't need to worry about having large holes in your project, but don't want extremely large holes, the two are very convenient--especially if you don't have enough yarn or time to create your project with single crochet stitches.
Double crochet stitches are used more frequently than half double crochet stitches, but the latter can be used if you want something that's in between single crochet and double crochet stitches. In the video below, you can learn how to crochet half double crochet stitches and double crochet stitches.
Step 7: How to Crochet a Double Crochet Foundation Chain With a Normal Slip Knot or an Adjustable Slip Knot
Much like single crochet foundation chains, double crochet foundation chains are pretty convenient because they allow the beginning of your project to be more stretchy than those which begin with normal chains. With double crochet foundation chains, you will be crocheting each chain stitch and double crochet stitch at the same time.
While double crochet foundation chains are almost unknown, those who do use them use normal slip knots because the adjustable slip knots are pretty unknown, as well. Adjustable slip knots will allow you to have less of a gap at the beginning of your project. In the video below, you can learn to crochet a double crochet foundation chain with a normal slip knot, and a double crochet foundation chain with an adjustable slip knot.
Step 8: How to Treble Crochet
Quite like double crochet stitches, treble crochet stitches are very convenient if you're not worried about having large holes in your crochet project. They are the tallest of the crochet stitches and can be very useful if you do not have much time or yarn to work with. One row of treble crochet stitches can basically replace three rows of single crochet stitches using less yarn. They're great for scarves, blankets, afghans, and more, because they're so loose and therefore will allow your project to be less itchy than, say, one created with single crochet stitches. In the video below, you can learn how to treble crochet.
Step 9: How to Crochet a Treble Crochet Foundation Chain
Treble crochet foundation chains are probably the least-known of any crochet foundation chains. When you create a double crochet foundation chain, you're basically adding just one more step to the single crochet foundation chain. Due to this, most crocheters who have created tutorials for treble crochet foundation chains just add one extra step to the double crochet foundation chain, not realizing that there's more to it than just repeating a pattern.
If you were to follow a tutorial on the internet for a treble crochet foundation chain, you probably wouldn't be very happy with the outcome. Most tutorials leave you with a tight foundation row which will not match the width of the rest of the project. The whole point of a foundation chain is to make your project less tight at the beginning, so at that point, you might as well crochet a normal chain and a row of treble crochet stitches.
To remedy this, I've come up with my own version of the treble crochet foundation chain, which allows your project to be even throughout its entirety. You can learn how to crochet my version of the treble crochet foundation chain in the video below.