Want to learn how to crochet but don’t know where to start? Learning a new craft can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never picked up a hook before - but with this handy beginners guide anyone can jump on the crochet train. All you need is with a few staple supplies and these simple steps.
We’ve got lots of helpful guides and tutorials to teach you how to crochet, from picking the right tools to step-by-step crochet tutorials. You’ll be hooked in no time!
This video uses US terminology, but if you're feeling a little confuzzled at any point about terms our handy crochet conversion table is here to help.
1. Choose your crochet hook
Before you begin picking your project, let's explore the essential tools and materials you need before you learn your first stitch.
Crochet hooks come in all sizes and materials including metal, plastic and wood. The hooked end is used to pull the working yarn through loops to make stitches which eventually evolve into beautifully textured crocheted fabric.
Every crocheter has different preferences when it comes to choosing a hook; some people prefer metal, while others like the warmth of a wooden crochet hook. Soft grip plastic hooks are gentle on sore hands or for those who suffer with arthritis.
Before you decide, check out our crochet hook buying guide which is packed with everything you need to know about types of hook, and how to choose the the right one for you!
Shop crochet hooks for beginners
2. Grab your yarn
Once you’ve chosen your crochet hook, you’re ready to explore the wonderful world of yarn.
Yarn comes in a whole range of different weights, fibre blends and shades. Different yarns work better for certain crochet projects, for instance, bulky weight wool is brilliant for deliciously cozy scarves and blankets, while lighter weights are better for intricate shawls and wraps.
3. How to hold a crochet hook and yarn
While there are heaps of ways to hold your crochet hook, pencil grip and knife grip are often the comfiest and most popular styles.
For pencil grip, hold your hook between your thumb and forefinger, just like you would a pencil. This gives a nice comfy grip as you loop and swoop your yarn. Lots of crocheters recommend this holding technique for more precision when crocheting complex stitches.
Knife grip is more of an overhand grip where you hold your hook like a dinner knife. Many crocheters swear the knife grip is the comfiest technique, but it may not always give the most dexterity.
Every crocheter might have a slightly different method of holding their hook as they crochet - so we recommend trying both and then discovering what works best for you and your hands!
And don’t forget, if your grip causes you any pain at any point, stop. We’ve got plenty of hand exercises to help you stay healthy and nimble as you crochet.
4. How to create a slip knot for crochet
Learning how to tie a slip knot is the very first step to any crochet project. Why? Because it creates the essential adjustable loop which you can use to begin your chain or magic circle.
Take your yarn and measure out a length, making sure there’s enough slack. Lay flat on a surface.
Take short end of the yarn and throw it over long end to create a loop on the flat surface.
Insert two fingers through the loop picking up the short end of yarn and pull through.
Take your crochet hook and place it through the loop and tighten, ready for your chain stitch.
5. How to chain crochet
Learning to chain (ch) is the next fundamental crochet technique every newbie needs in their crochet stitch toolkit, after you’ve mastered the slip knot. This is the foundation step which you’ll use time and time again. Whether you’re beginning a project or starting a new row. Usually the designer will tell you how many chain stitches to make in the tutorial or pattern, but we’ll show you the basics to get you started.
Starting from where we left off, from our chain stitch tutorial, hold your non-working yarn in place with the same hand you are holding your hook, and with your other hand, wrap the working yarn around your hook catching the top.
Swivel your hook catching the yarn and pull through the loop.
There you have it. You’ve made your first chain! Repeat until you have the amount of chains you need on your row.
6. How to single crochet
The US single crochet, which is called a double crochet in UK, is the first beginners crochet stitch to master. Before you begin your first single crochet (sc) row make sure you crochet one extra chain to the number you already have (this will count at the first crochet at the beginning of your row).
Insert your hook into the second loop away from your hook. Yarn over (yo). Pull the yarn through the loop, so you now have two loops on your hook.
Yo and pull through the two loops to complete your first sc! Repeat.
7. How to double crochet stitch
The double crochet stitch, known as the treble crochet in the UK, is taller than the double crochet and an absolute essential for any beginner. Get ready for irresistible scarves and squishy hats. The treble can be used in pretty much any crochet project you can imagine! We’ve got the steps to show you how.
Yarn over (yo), and insert hook into 3rd loop from your hook.
Yo and pull through, so you now have 3 loops on your hook.
Yarn over and pull through 2 loops. 2 loops will be left on your hook.
Yo and pull through the last two loops to complete your first double crochet.
8. How to fasten off your crochet design
Tie up your loose ends, literally. When you’ve finished crocheting, fastening off is the final step to secure your yarn in place. We’ll explain how in 3 easy steps!
Cut your yarn leaving a tail that's long enough to sew in.
Pull the tail of yarn you have just cut, through the final loop and tug tight to secure.
Sew in your loose end or follow the instructions on your pattern for the next step!
More stitch techniques to pick up
Beginner crochet projects
We’ve got a whole collection of beautiful beginner crochet patterns for you to try. Whether it's a chic scarf or vibrant mandala bag, you'll be amazed how easy it is to craft beautiful projects with a few basic stitches. We've rounded up some of our most loved easy projects for you to explore.