Welcome back to our Learn How to Crochet for Beginners Series! The first part of our series covered what yarn weights are and the different aspects of crochet hooks. Today we’ll be learning all of the starting basics for stitching: holding your yarn and crochet hook, the slip knot, and the chain stitch. These are the things that help you know how to use the tools you use in crocheting, and how to start each crochet project. Let’s get started!
Holding Your Yarn & Crochet Hook
Before you begin stitching at all, you first have to know how to hold the tools that you’ll be using to make your projects. Let’s start with how to hold your yarn. Holding your yarn between your fingers helps you to control your yarn moving while crocheting, and keeping the same tension throughout your project. Tension refers to the tightness of your stitches, which changes the way your stitches will work up depending on how tight or loose you crochet. The most important part about tension is making sure your stitches are uniform throughout your project, so you want to always hold your yarn the same way when you crochet. Let’s look at a few ways to hold your yarn.
Pictured above is the way that I’ve found is the most comfortable to hold my yarn. To hold it this way, put your strand of yarn first under your pinky, over your ring finger, under your middle finger, and over your index finger.
Once you’ve positioned your yarn on your hand, turn your hand to have the palm face your other hand, and hold the yarn between your middle finger and thumb. This will help hold your yarn in place on your hand while you crochet, and help you control the yarn moving through your fingers along with helping you keep the same tension.
Another way to hold your yarn is to place the yarn under your pinky, and over the rest of your fingers. Then drape the yarn down over your index finger, and hold it in place by putting your thumb up against your hand and the yarn. There isn’t a wrong or right way to hold your yarn, because you just want to find what is most comfortable for you. For some more ways to hold your yarn see my YouTube video that teaches you how to hold yarn. The next thing to learn is holding your crochet hook.
There are two main holds used for holding your crochet hook. The first one, pictured above, is known as the knife hold due to it looking like you’re holding a knife. To hold it this way you place your thumb on the grip, index finger on the working area of the hook, and your middle finger on the backside of the grip. I’ve found this to be my personal favorite, and is the most comfortable hold for me.
The other popular hold is the pencil hold, which is named for its similarity to holding a pencil. To hold your hook this way, you place your thumb on the grip, index finger curved around the grip to touch your thumb, and your middle finger on the back of the working area. Just like holding the yarn, there isn’t a wrong way to hold your hook! Find what works for you, and get ready to start crocheting.
(Like learning better through video tutorials? Check out my YouTube video below on my channel E’Claire Makery for a video tutorial detailing how to hold your yarn and hook.)
The Slip Knot
The Slip Knot is the first step of almost every crochet project, and will get you started on crocheting. To begin the slip knot, take your strand of yarn and hold it in your hands. Placing your right hand under the end of the yarn, form a “u” shape with the yarn, and hold the other side of the “u” in your left hand.
Take the end of your yarn and drape it over the yarn in your left hand to form a loop.
Take the part of the yarn strand under the yarn you draped over it to form the loop. Make a “u” shape with the yarn you pick up in your right hand.
Take the “u” you formed, and put it through the other loop you made, and pull it completely through to the other side.
Now your slip not is finished! To tighten your loop, pull the end of the yarn strand, which will make it smaller. What’s great about the slip knot is that if you keep pulling the yarn it will come undone, and you can start over with what you’re crocheting. Now let’s learn how to do the chain stitch, the first stitch you’ll learn for crocheting.
The Chain Stitch
The chain stitch is the foundational crochet stitch that you use in each crochet project, which helps start crocheting your project. To start the stitch, position your yarn on your hand, insert your hook through the slip knot, and tighten the loop around your hook.
Next, you’ll do what is known as a yarn over, where you put your yarn in front, under, and behind the yarn strand to then hook the yarn with your hook.
Pull the yarn you’ve hooked through the slip knot that is on your crochet hook.
You now have your first chain stitch completed! In a pattern chain stitches will be represented by the abbreviation “ch.” That abbreviation will have a number by it that tells you how many chain stitches you need to make, for example: “ch 15,” which we are doing for our cake slice coaster. You’ll repeat the steps above till you have the number of stitches that is required for the pattern that you are making.
(For a video tutorial detailing how to make a slip knot and chain stitch, see my YouTube video below on my channel E’Claire Makery.)
Now you know the starting basics for how to crochet, and are ready to learn the next steps in crocheting. You’ll be a crochet pro in no time! Stay tuned for the next blog post that will provide the pattern for the Cake Slice Coaster we’ll be making throughout the rest of this series. I can’t wait to continue teaching you how to crochet!