Lesson One by Teri Hanson © Feb. 2020
There truly is nothing hard about learning to crochet! It’s simply a matter of learning a few basics, learning the basic stitches and how to read a pattern. Once you master these, in small steps, you’ll be creating lovely projects with ease.
To start you only need a couple crochet hooks and a skein or two of yarn. Visit your local craft store for these inexpensive supplies. I would suggest the following supplies to start out.
- 5.5mm hook, 5mm hook and 4.5mm hook – metal hooks or metal hooks with rubber handles are fine (see my post on crochet supplies if you like)
- Hobby Lobby – I Love This Yarn is a good easy to work with yarn.
- Michaels – Impeccable yarn is also a good starting yarn.
- Caron Cotton Cakes are a great starting yarn as well and perfect for these beginner and kitchen projects.
- Lily Sugar & Cream Cotton yarn is another of my favorites and great for any project that will be washed a lot.
- Tape Measure
- Large eye needle – metal or plastic will do fine
- Needle threader – I love the inexpensive metal ones shown in the picture above.
- Stitch Markers – you can find most anywhere and often come with a crochet hook set like the one I feature in my Crochet Supplies post.
Last but not least …. I’d suggest picking up the two books I’ve listed in the sidebar at right. The dictionary is available in various forms and the one for reading patterns is free for kindle unlimited users! I’ve found both to be excellent resources.
Once you have your supplies your next step is to practice, and practice some more! Start with the basic stitches below and a few small projects. When you are comfortable with the basic stitches try a small blanket or another larger project. You can find several beginner blanket projects right here on my site and there are tons more online. I find Pinterest is a great source for free patterns.
Before we get started I’d like to mention that during my time in learning crochet from online sources I’ve discovered that – beyond the basic stitches – you often find a single stitch with different names from one source to another. It’s also common to find stitches beyond the basics to be worked differently by multiple sources. It’s for this reason that I suggest finding a couple of different online sites that you like and stick with them for your guide to working other stitches. There is always the dictionary I’ve mentioned as well. If you happen to be a visual learner you will also find a lot of stitch tutorial videos online to learn from. That said, I’ll be growing my crochet video tutorials as I create new patterns so be sure and check them out here on the site.
Now that we have all of that out of the way ….. let’s start having some fun and learn the basic stitches as we create some cute squares! These learning squares – if created with the Caron Cotton yarn – can be used for wash clothes, hot pads, trivets and more. Get comfy and have some FUN!!!
- Chain stitch
- Single Crochet
- Double Crochet
- Half Double Crochet
- Foundation Chain Stitches
Lesson 1 – most projects begin with a chain stitch with a specific number of chains. Watch the video below and make a chain. It will likely be very tight or very loose on your first try. Make a chain of 20 stitches, pull it out and make it again. Do this as many times as needed till you find you are getting a pretty even and consistent chain. Not much fun but a good chain is the key to a successful project!
- Project materials: 5mm hook – Caron Cotton Cakes Beachglass
- Finished size: 8.5” square
Our first square will be created entirely of single crochet stitches so you will have a good feel for it by the time we are finished. Note that your tension may be looser or tighter than mine and therefore your square may be smaller or larger than mine and that’s ok. Everyone’s tension changes over time and with the more projects you work.
Pattern Instructions . . .
- CH30 – make a chain of 30 stitches
- *Now we will work back in the opposite direction by making a SC (single crochet) stitch in the first chain from the hook. Work a SC (single crochet) stitch in each of the chains across the row to the end of the chain. When you reach the end count the stitches and if all went well you will have 29 stitches. CH1 (chain 1) and turn your work*.
- Repeat above from the * to * till you have 35 rows total. NOTE: stop and measure about every three inches to see where you are with your own square. As stated before your square could be not as wide or wider than mine and you want to match the height with the width of your own square. This means you could have less or more rows than me.
- End your work by making a slip stitch as seen in the video then cut your yarn. You will then weave the beginning and ending yarn tails back into existing stitches to secure them. NOTE: it’s always a good idea to leave at decent length tail to weave in.
Here is how a pattern would be written for this project
- Chain 30 stitches
- Row1: SC in second chain from hook, SC in each stitch across the row, CH1, turn. (29 stitches)
- Row 2: *SC in first stitch from hook and each stitch across the row, CH1, turn*
- Repeat R2 until the height of your washcloth is the same as it’s width.
- Tie off yarn and weave in tails.
That’s it! You have made your first project. Make a few more then check back next week for Part 2.
Happy stitching . . .