Learn the crochet basics with our easy guide. We've broken down the steps into simple stages so it's easy to learn, starting at the very beginning - the slipknot and chain. Crochet expert Freddie Patmore teaches you how it's done in this video:
How to make a slipknot
Twist end of yarn over itself to form a loop, with ball end of yarn behind the loop. Holding hook in right hand, insert top of hook through loop and draw a loop of main yarn through.
Pull ends of yarn to tighten the knot against the hook.
Make a chain (ch)
Hold the knot between thumb and first finger of left hand. Place main yarn over third finger and down under fourth finger of left hand.
Crook fourth finger round yarn to hold it firmly in place, but loosely enough that the yarn can run freely through the fingers. The tension is obtained by how loosely or tightly the yarn flows through the fingers.
For alternative ways to hold your hook and yarn and to find a method that suits you, see our video here.
Take up a loop by passing hook under main yarn and catching the thread in the hook — the main yarn is always picked up in this way and is referred to as yarn over hook (yoh). Draw a loop through previous loop on hook thus making a chain (ch).
Repeat until required number of chains is made (not including the knot at beginning and the loop on the hook).
The number of chains made allows a extra chains for the depth of stitch to be worked on 1st or foundation row. The pattern will specify in which chain from hook the first proper stitch is to be worked. For example, on double crochet foundation row, the second chain is worked into first.
At the beginning of each pattern row, a length of chain is worked and the actual number of chains depends on the height of the following stitches.
Unless otherwise stated, these should be as follows: 1 chain for double crochet, 2 chains for half treble; 3 chains for treble; 4 chains for double treble.
Because of these chains, the top of the first stitch of the previous row must be missed, and the first proper stitch is worked in top of the second stitch, except for double crochet (sometimes the 1 chain at beginning of row is not counted as a stitch so the first double crochet has to be worked in first stitch).
The final stitch of the row is worked in top of the chain made at beginning of previous row. When working crochet stitches, always insert hook from front to back under the two loops across top of each stitch, unless otherwise stated.
How to crochet: Slip stitch (slst)
This stitch is usually worked to join rounds or when shaping. Insert hook in the designated stitch, yarn over hook and draw through the chain and the loop on hook at the same time.
Inserting hook in following stitch (your pattern will tell you where), work in this way over required number of stitches or until specified place is reached.