Now that you’ve mastered making a basic Foundation Chain (FC), it’s time to learn how to make that first crochet stitch. In this photo tutorial I show you how to make a Single Crochet (SC) stitch into your FC, and how to weave in (and hide) yarn tails. As well, with learning this stitch, I’ll link you up with a free, simple washcloth pattern that uses the Single Crochet stitch.
But before we make a washcloth, let’s make a practice swatch (**PLEASE NOTE** If you are left-handed, you will simply be working in the opposite direction):
Gather your supplies:
You will need yarn, a crochet hook, a yarn needle (with an eye large enough that the yarn fits through), and a pair of scissors.
In this swatch, I used Peaches & Creme 100% cotton medium weight yarn, and a 5.5 mm crochet hook. This yarn is better suited for a 5 mm crochet hook, but I wanted to make sure the stitches were visible enough for this tutorial’s photos. When you pick out your yarn to use, read the label, and it will tell you which hook size is recommended to use with that particular yarn.
Step 1- The Foundation Chain (FC) Make a chain of 21 (in patterns, this would be written as “Ch 21”):
Step 2- Insert your hook into the 2nd chain to the left of the hook, the first chain being the one that is on the hook. (There are different ways to insert your hook into the chain, but this is the easiest and quickest way for a beginner):
Step 3- Wrap the working yarn over the hook:
Step 4- Pull the yarn (that you just wrapped over the hook) through the chain stitch. You will now have 2 loops on the hook:
Step 5- Wrap the working yarn over the hook again (like you did in Step 3), and pull the hooked yarn through both of the loops that are on the hook. You now have 1 Single Crochet (SC) stitch completed!:
Step 6- To make your next SC stitch, insert your hook into the next empty chain to the left of the SC stitch that you just made:
Next, repeat Steps 3 through 5 to make your next SC, and continue to repeat Steps 3 through 5 for each of your next SC’s across to the end of your foundation chain. At the end of the row, it should look like this (you will have 20 sc worked into your FC):
Now we make another row of SC’s.
Step 1- To do this, make 1 ch (in a pattern, written as “Ch 1”). Remember from the Foundation Chain (FC) Tutorial how to make a chain (wrap the yarn over the hook, then pull the yarn through the loop on the hook). The “Ch 1” acts as a “turning chain”. It helps to keep the side edges of the rows neat and straight. This is what your “Ch 1” will look like when completed:
Step 2- After you’ve made your “Ch 1”, turn your work around so that the other side of the work is now facing you:
Next, insert your hook under the top 2 loops (shown with the little black arrows in the first photo directly below) of the first SC (which is where the Ch 1 is connected to, shown in the second photo below). Wrap the working yarn over the hook:
Step 3- Pull the working yarn through the 2 loops of the SC, so that you now have 2 loops on your hook. Wrap the working yarn over the hook again:
Step 4- Pull the working yarn through both of the loops that are on the hook. You now have 1 sc made on your second row:
Step 5- Insert your hook into the top loops of the next SC. Wrap the working yarn over the hook:
Step 6- Pull the wrapped yarn through the top loops of the SC. You will have 2 loops on the hook. Wrap the yarn over the hook again:
Step 7- Pull the wrapped yarn through the 2 loops that are on the hook. You now have 2 SC in your 2nd row.
Repeat Steps 4 through 7 of ROW 2 instructions. At the end of this second row it will look like this (20 SC made in this row also) :
To make another row, simply repeat the entire set of instructions that are laid out for ROW 2.
After you’ve completed 6 rows, your work will look like this:
After 12 completed rows, it will look like this (the same, but bigger and better!):
When you reach the size of practice swatch that satisfies you, it’s time to snip the yarn and finish it off! To do this, when you reach the end of your last row, make a Ch 1. Cut the yarn (leave a 5 or 6 inch long yarn tail), and then pull the cut yarn through the Ch 1 with your hook. Pull it tightly so that the knot formed is secure.
It will look like this (photo below), with the working yarn at the top of the work being cut and secured.
This photo below also shows the Right Side (RS) of the work, which is the side that you want to show off, that you want everyone to look at. If you make a garment, you want the RS of the work on the outside of the garment. When making a piece where you start with the traditional foundation chain (which we did here), the beginning tail of yarn will be on the left hand side when looking at the RS of the work, and when looking at the Wrong Side (WS) of the work, the beginning tail of yarn will be on the right hand side (Opposite if you are working left-handed). The RS and WS of work varies according to different patterns and stitches, and sometimes can be a bit tricky to determine which is which (don’t worry, there are ways to tell!). But for this project, this is the RS of the work:
When finishing up a project, you must also weave in all of your yarn tails (in this swatch, it is only the beginning tail from the FC and the ending tail that you just cut). This is done with a yarn needle (large or small, depending on the thickness of your yarn).
To begin, first string your yarn tail through the yarn needle, and turn work over so that you are looking at the WS of the work:
Next, insert your yarn needle (on the WS of your work) through the top thickness of the stitches you made, a couple of inches across (don’t push your needle through to the other side of the work):
Then pull the needle, with yarn, through those stitches:
Now, turn the needle around and run it back through those stitches, making sure that the needle and yarn are inserted under a different ply of the stitches (so that you aren’t just undoing the weaving you just did):
You can run the needle and yarn through the stitches in the same manner one or two more times to help ensure it’s secure. When you are done weaving it through, cut the yarn as close to the work as possible, without cutting your project, so that you can’t see any of the yarn tail popping out of the stitches:
And you’re done! You’ve made your first SC swatch! Congratulations!
Now that you’ve mastered the Single Crochet, do you think you can handle making your first Washcloth? You’ll be pleasantly surprised, I think, to find out that what you just made is pretty much the same thing as a basic Washcloth. Visit My First Crochet Washcloth- Free Pattern to get started!
Welcome to the first of many of my planned Tutorials!
In this first tutorial, you will find instructions on how to make the Foundation Chain (FC), which is the first step for most people when learning how to crochet.
There are a few different methods for how to begin a crocheted project, however, learning how to make a basic Foundation Chain (FC) is, I believe, the best and most important first method to learn. It is the most basic method, and the simplest.
The FC (also called a base chain or a starting chain), as the name implies, lays the foundation for what you are going to make. It is the FC in which your crochet stitches will be made.
In the instructions below, I used Peaches & Creme 100% cotton worsted weight 4-ply yarn and a size I/9 5.5 mm crochet hook.
If you are right-handed, hold the crochet hook in your right hand and the working yarn in your left hand. Likewise, if you are left-handed, hold the crochet hook in your left hand and the working yarn in your right hand. I am right-handed, so my instructions are shown accordingly. The instructions for crocheting are the same for either hand, just working in the opposite direction.
I hold my hook kind of like how I hold a knife, with my index finger against the handle of the crochet hook, close to the the hook, as shown in this photo:
In the photo in Step 3 below, you can see how I hold the working yarn. Most crocheters hold their hook and yarn in a fashion such as this, but as you get use to crocheting, you might find a way more comfortable and more suitable for yourself.
When making your FC, be sure to not pull on the yarn too tightly. The tension needs to be a bit loose so that it’s easy to pull your stitches through. If you find your tension to be a bit too tight, just start over and try again. In the beginning, I think that every crocheter (even those who are now professionals) have dealt with tension issues. As you practice you will find your natural tension, and then will be able to adjust your hook sizes accordingly.
Now, get your hook and yarn ready and let’s learn how to crochet!
Now, practice, practice, practice.
Once you’ve mastered how to work a Foundation Chain, you are then able to move on to learning the basic crochet stitches, which I will cover in future posts! Keep your eyes on this space, as I will update you when the next tutorial is published!
UPDATE JUNE 23, 2018: The next tutorial, for learning the Single Crochet, is here! Learn To Crochet- How To Make A Single Crochet (SC) & Weave In Ends- Photo Tutorial