Crochet Basics

Crochet Basics

 Crochet Basics

There are so many ways to learn how to crochet.
From books, video tutorials, classes, friends and family.

My Nana taught me when I was very young, but when I came to re-learn a few years ago I found people like Mikey from the Crochet Crowd very helpful, his videos on YouTube are great!
However you learn best is the right way for you.

I have now added some video tutorials to help with the basic stitches, you can find them all a little way down the page, but read on first. 🙂

All I wanted to cover here is the basics of stitch sizes, which loop to work into and a few handy tips and hints I have picked up along the way.

To me the two most important things are COUNT your stitches and RELAX.
Take your time... remember "slow and steady wins the race".

When you relax your tension will be more even, and your results will look more even.

So lets start with some stitches...
This photo shows single crochet [sc], through to triple treble crochet [ttr].

sc to ttr

If you look closely you can see a diagonal thread crossing the stitch on the hdc and the dc, this shows that you have wrapped the yarn over the hook [yo] once before putting the hook through the stitch.
With the tr you can see two diagonals, three with the dtr and four with the ttr.

Also as you look at the photo you can see each of the stitches has been made through both loops of the stitch below.

When you are working in rounds, you will always be working with the right side facing you and the top loops of the stitch will sit to the right [or left for left handed] of the post of the stitch.

rnd2

The post of the stitch is very difficult to see in a single crochet, but as the stitches get taller the post is easier to see.

When you are working in rows you will turn your work at the end of each row and so will always be working into the back of the row you just made and this reverses the top loops to be on the left of the stitch [right for left handed].
This is very important to remember if you want to get straight sides when working in rows.

row1

 

To ensure a straight edge try using a stitch marker in the first stitch of each row, this will show you the last stitch when you turn your work.

end row

You will often need to tilt your work slightly to see the loops, but here you can see how the edge is straight and even.

Crochet Basics Video Tutorials

♥ Slip Knot

 

♥ Chains

 

♥ Single Crochet

 

♥ Half Double Crochet

 

♥ Double Crochet

 

♥ Treble Crochet

 

 

Though, normally you will work into both of the top loops of a stitch, there are times when a pattern will call for working into the back loop [bl] or the front loop [fl]

When working a front loop, put your hook through from bottom to top, and work stitch as normal.

front loop

♥ Handy Hint : When working  a back loop, put your hook down from top to bottom, through the middle of the two top loops, into the space between stitch posts, and flick your hook towards the back of your work. This will actually pick up the "3rd" loop and stop you getting "stretched" loops.

In photo 3 you can see the 3rd loop picked up by the hook.

back loop

♥ Back Loop Stitches using the 3rd loop

 

Here you can see the difference. Working the front loop gives a smooth effect and working the back loop gives a ridge along the work, which some patterns will then ask you to work into on subsequent rows or rounds.

fl and bl front

 

Ok so lets move on to working stitches around the post.

Working front or back post stitches adds lots of texture to your work. It is how you can make a rib effect, or create chunky ridges, or work designs on top of your normal stitches.

To work a front post stitch, put your hook through from front to back to front and make your stitch as normal.

You can see the front post stitch sits on the front of your work and hides the top loops of the stitch.

front post col

To work a back post stitch, put your hook through from back to front to back and make your stitch as normal.

You can see the back post stitch sits at the back, with a loop created around the post of the stitch and pushes the top loops forward.

back post col

When working front or back loop stitches, because they are below the level of a normal stitch of the same size, you will need to make normal stitches either side one size smaller.

So here you can see normal dc with front post tr. [fptr]

fp4

And here are normal dc with back post tr. [bptr]

bp6

 

♥ Front and Back Post Stitches

 

As always if you have any questions I am always more than happy to help, please either add a comment or contact me here or on facebook

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8 Responses

  1. Thank you Helen for the wonderful designs you have provided us.

    Can you provide a tutorial on tying in your ends so they will be secure for washing, blocking, etc.? I have had projects unravel after working for hours… and I thought they were completely secure!

    Thank you so much!!!
    Debbie Pawlin
    ps. I totally love your designs and work. Thank you so much!!

    • Helen Helen

      I will be doing a tutorial really soon for you 🙂

  2. This is wonderful! Thank you so much for the clear directions and clearly marked photos. I’m an advanced knitter, but in some ways crochet is totally mystifying to me (like the mystery of where a row stops; you knit until you run out of loops – super easy – but I’m never sure if I’m at the end of a row of crochet or if I’ve gone too far). I’m trying to get better; I started with a hat (total success!) and now I’m making my first sweater (Relaxed Crochet Sweater) and that’s also going well. But I’d love to get good enough to make some of your amazing blankets/mandalas. I’m still perplexed by granny squares and how they’re made, but I’ll get there, and a tutorial page like this helps a ton! Thank you!

    • Helen Helen

      Glad you found it helpful 🙂

  3. Never knew that about working the front and back loop. Mine are always stretchy. I’ll use your method next time.

    • Helen

      Glad it has helped 🙂

  4. Hi,would be lovely if you could help me as I’m stuck. I want to make a kitchen glove and follow a graph, it’s not crocheted in rounds and therefore I don’t know how to do the increase on the edge of the work. As in the first row it has 40 stitches and in the next row it has 43 but it all needs to be done on the edge. Thank you so much

    • Helen

      Hi Manuela, the pattern you are using should tell you, but as a general rule , when you are working in rows and you need to increase you make the extra stitch in the 2nd stitch and the next to last stitch of the row. That will give you an even increase of 1 stitch per edge. I hope that helps 🙂

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