Introduction: Intro to Crochet - Christmas Stocking

Picture of Intro to Crochet - Christmas Stocking

I made a personalized crochet Christmas stocking as a gift (can you tell the receiver is into Star Trek? haha) and it only required three basic crochet stitches. I figured it would be a good opportunity to introduce you all to these stitches. You can do a lot with just a few basic stitches, so it's a pretty easy craft to get started with.

I'm going to show you how to do a chain stitch, a single crochet and single crochet two together. And then I'll cover changing colors and finishing off your work. With just those basic stitches you can make a whole variety of projects,
like scarfs, hats, potholders, arigurumi (3D shapes) and obviously Christmas stockings.

I find crochet to be easier than knitting, so if you want to make something with yarn I would highly recommend trying it!

The stocking pattern isn't mine so I won't go into the details of it. But it's available online for free. You can find the ones I used here:

- Stocking pattern

- Cross stitch pattern

What you’ll need:
- Thick yarn (the thicker the yarn the bigger the stocking will be)

- Crochet hook in a size that matches the yarn (look on the yarn label)

- Yarn needle

- Scissors

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

To get started, you'll need yarn and a crochet hook in a size that matches your yarn. The recommended size is shown on the yarn label.

Step 2: Ch: Chain Stitch

Picture of Ch: Chain Stitch

Most crochet projects start with a chain stitch.

To start, make a circle with the yarn as if tying a knot, but pull a loop through instead of the whole tail. This gives you an adjustable loop.

Put the loop around the hook and pull it closed.

To make a chain stitch, pick up the yarn with the hook and pull it through the loop that's on your needle. And that's it. Just continue to pick the yarn up and pull it through as many times as is needed for your pattern.

This chain forms the base of your work.

For the stocking, I made a chain of 41 stitches.

Step 3: Sc: Single Crochet

Picture of Sc: Single Crochet

Using our chain as a base, we'll make a single crochet stitch in each of the chain stitches. To do so, put your hook through the top loop of a chain stitch.

You can't do this on the one next to your needle, since you'll undo that stitch then, so you'll always start on the second chain stitch from the end.

Pick up the yarn and pull it through the first loop on your needle. Pick up the yarn again and now pull it through both loops on your needle. And that's a single crochet stitch.

Continue by making a single crochet in each of your chain stitches. Through the loop, pull through one, pull through two, repeat.

Since I started my stocking with a base of 41 chain stitches, I'll end up with 40 single crochet stitches. That's because we've skipped the first chain stitch from the end.

When you reach the end of a row, make one chain stitch by pulling the yarn through the loop on your hook. This allows you to start your next row in the last stitch without undoing it. Turn the work around and make a new row by stitching a single crochet in each of the stitches on the previous row.

Since we're now stitching in single crochets instead of chain stitches, you pick up both of the top loops. These form a little V on the top. This will be the approach we'll use for the rest of our project.

Continue making rows of single crochets until your piece is long enough.

Step 4: Changing Colors

Picture of Changing Colors

To switch to a different color, you simply pick up a new piece of yarn and continue with that one. You don't need to worry about unraveling. Just come back at the end to finish the loose tails.

I needed to change colors several times for the stocking, usually at the beginning of a new row. For the cleanest transition, I finished the last single crochet of the previous row with the new color. This is also indicated in the pattern.

Step 5: Sc2tog: Single Crochet Two Together

Picture of Sc2tog: Single Crochet Two Together

To decrease the number of stitches and add some shape to your project, you can single crochet two stitches together.
To do this, go through the loops of the first stitch and pull the yarn through. Then go through the loops of the second stitch and pull the yarn through again. To finish the single crochet, pick up the yarn one more time and pull it through all 3 loops on your hook.

I had to use several decreases for the stocking to make the shape of the heel and the toe.

Step 6: Finish Off Tails

Picture of Finish Off Tails

To finish off, cut the yarn about 10 cm from your work and pull it all the way through your last loop. This makes a knot. Now you can use a yarn needle to pull the end through some stitches to secure it.

And that's all the stitches you'll need to make this Christmas stocking or lots of other crochet projects.

Before finishing the stocking, I decided to personalize this particular project by stitching the receiver's name on the cuff and adding some cross stitching. After that was done I sewed the edges of the stocking closed and finished off all the yarn tails.

I hope you've gained a bit of insight into the craft of crochet and that I've tempted you to try it yourself. I find it much easier than knitting, so if you want to get into yarn projects, crochet is a great way to go.

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Bio: Hi. I'm Ellen, PhD student by day and sewer/crafter/maker by night. I believe anyone can be a maker, so I post videos ... More »
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