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6 Fundamental Crochet Stitches

Updated: Apr 29


Virtually every crochet pattern calls for at least one of these stitches, and advanced stitches are comprised of combinations of these stitches and similar techniques. Mastering these stitches is essential for developing advanced skills along your crochet journey!


Each stitch has a name. When you see names on a pattern, you will usually see abbreviations that make crochet writing and reading a bit easier. Next to each stitch name in this post, I added the abbreviations for the stitch in parentheses for your reference. In this lesson you will practice making a foundation chain first, then the single crochet stitch, half-double crochet, double crochet, triple crochet, and the slip stitch.


Please note that the crochet stitch names in this post follow American terminology.


In this post, I have explained 6 stitches with corresponding images. For more help, check out my YouTube videos linked after each stitch!


Foundation Chain (ch)


The Foundation Chain is a series of chain stitches beginning with a slip knot. A chain is identified on a pattern by "ch". This series of chains is the foundation in which the first row of crochet stitches are made when working in rows. Conventionally, the foundation chain is not counted as a row by itself in a crochet pattern. The length of the foundation chain, or chain count, corresponds to the number of stitches making up the first row.



Step 1: find the end of your yarn.

Step 2: make a slip knot by looping yarn around a finger, and pulling another loop through the first. (Image 2) Loop size should be easily adjustable.

Step 3: insert hook into loop.



Step 4: snug yarn loop closed around hook - not too tight. Hook slides easily.

Step 5: position hand around yarn loop as shown in image 5. Pinch slip knot between thumb and middle finger and hook working yarn over index finger. Grab excess yarn inside your hand with your ring and pinky fingers so you can maintain tension. Hold crochet hook with your dominant hand.

Step 6: with hook inside loop, hook yarn (image 6) (this is referred to from this point as "yarn over").



Step 7: pull yarn through the loop on the hook. You just made a chain!

Step 8: the first chain should look like image 8 - one chain above the slip knot and one loop over your hook.

Step 9: yarn over again (image 9), then pull through to practice chaining several times. Get familiar with the feel for chaining and handling yarn.


Focus on making chains with similar tension and size. If it's difficult to pull yarn through a loop, loosen up the loop around hook. If your hook falls out of the loop easily, snug it up a bit more. Nothing is permanent here, you can always pull loops out and start over.



After you make some chains, compare with images 10 and 11. Identify the front and back of chain and familiarize yourself with back and front loops as seen from the front view, and the small bumps on the back of the chain. When you follow patterns, you will likely read or hear the terms "back loop", "front loop", or "back bumps of chain". Instructions using these terms are telling you where to insert your hook - and it matters!


Now that we have a chain, we'll start crocheting stitches!


If you need more help, watch this video on YouTube to see how I make a Foundation Chain!




Single Crochet Stitch (sc)


The Single Crochet stitch is the shortest of all crochet stitches and one of the most common. It is identified on a pattern by the abbreviation "sc".


To make rows of single crochet (sc) stitches, you will first need to make a foundation chain. If you have not already done this, follow the previous instructions.



Step 1: identify the 2nd chain (ch) from the hook (image 12).

Step 2: insert hook into the 2nd ch from hook. I insert my hook under both top loops as in image 13.

Step 3: yarn over (image 14).



Step 4: pull yarn through both loops of chain. You should have 2 loops over your hook (image 15).

Step 5: yarn over again (image 16) and pull yarn through both loops on hook (image 17). You made a single crochet stitch!



Your first single crochet stitch should look like image 18. Continue along the chain repeating these instructions to practice making more single crochet (sc) stitches.


When you reach the end of the chain, your row of single crochet stitches should look like image 19.


Familiarize yourself with the look of the stitches - front and back. The front side of your work faces you as you're crocheting. Identify the foundation chain bumps at the bottom of your row. The "working stitches" are the new stitches you've made that are ready for you to continue working on the next row. Your next row of stitches will go into the stitches you just made!


If your single crochet stitches are uneven, pull out the stitches in the row and practice again. This first row sets the tone for the rest of your work!


If you still need help, watch this video on YouTube to see how I make a row of Single Crochet!




Half-Double Crochet Stitch (hdc)


The Half-Double Crochet stitch is a bit taller than the single crochet stitch and it involves another step. It is identified on a pattern by the abbreviation "hdc".


To crochet a row of half-double crochet stitches, you will need to begin with a foundation chain.


Step 1: identify the 3rd chain (ch) from the hook (image 20).

Step 2: yarn over (image 21).

Step 3: with yarn looped over hook, insert hook into the 3rd ch from hook, under both loops of chain (image 22).


Step 4: yarn over again (image 23).

Step 5: pull through chain loops. You should have 3 loops on your hook now (image 24).

Step 6: yarn over again (image 25).


Step 7: pull yarn through all 3 loops on your hook (image 26). You made a half-double crochet stitch! It should look like image 27. Continue practicing half-double crochet stitches along your foundation chain. A simple row of hdc stitches should look like image 28. If they're uneven, take them out and keep practicing!


If you still need help, watch this video on YouTube to see how I make a row of Half-Double Crochet!




Double Crochet Stitch (dc)


The Double Crochet stitch is taller than the single crochet and half-double crochet stitches, and it involves yet another step. It is identified on a pattern by the abbreviation "dc".


To crochet a row of double crochet stitches, you will need to begin with a foundation chain.


Step 1: identify the 4th chain (ch) from the hook (image 29).

Step 2: yarn over (image 30).

Step 3: with yarn looped over hook, insert hook into the 4th ch from hook, under both loops of chain (image 31).


Step 4: yarn over again (image 32).

Step 5: pull through chain loops. You should have 3 loops on your hook now (image 33).

Step 6: yarn over again (image 34).


Step 7: pull yarn through the first 2 loops on your hook only, leaving you with 2 loops on your hook (image 35).

Step 8: yarn over again (image 36).

Step 9: pull through both loops on hook to finish the stitch (image 37).


You made a double crochet stitch! It should look like image 37. Continue practicing double crochet stitches along your foundation chain. A simple row of dc stitches should look like image 38. If they're uneven, take them out and keep practicing!


If you still need help, watch this video on YouTube to see how I make a row of Double Crochet!



Triple Crochet Stitch (tr)


The Triple Crochet stitch is taller than the double crochet stitch and it involves another step. It is identified on a pattern by the abbreviation "tr". Triple crochet stitches can also be called treble crochet stitches.


To crochet a row of triple crochet stitches, you will need to begin with a foundation chain.


Step 1: identify the 5th chain (ch) from the hook (image 39).

Step 2: yarn over 2 times (image 40).

Step 3: with yarn looped over hook, insert hook into the 5th ch from hook, under both loops of chain (image 41).


Step 4: yarn over again (image 42).

Step 5: pull through chain loops. You should have 4 loops on your hook now (image 43).

Step 6: yarn over again (image 44).


Step 7: pull yarn through the first 2 loops on your hook only, leaving you with 3 loops on your hook (image 45).

Step 8: yarn over again (image 46).

Step 9: pull through 2 loops on hook, leaving you with 2 loops on your hook (image 47).



Step 10: yarn over again (image 48).

Step 11: pull through last 2 loops on your hook (image 49) to finish stitch!

You made a triple crochet stitch! It should look like image 49. Continue practicing triple crochet stitches along your foundation chain. A simple row of tr stitches should look like image 50. If they're uneven, take them out and keep practicing!


If you still need help, watch this video on YouTube to see how I make a row of Triple Crochet!




Slip Stitch (sl st / ss)


The Slip Stitch is more of a technique than a stitch. It is identified on a pattern by the abbreviation "sl st" or "ss". Slip stitches have a very low profile - smaller than single crochet. They are used to move yarn along a row without building up height. They are also used to connect rounds when crocheting in the round.


To crochet a row of slip stitches, you will need to begin with a foundation chain.



Step 1: identify the 2nd chain (ch) from the hook (image 51).

Step 2: insert hook into the 2nd chain (image 52).

Step 3: yarn over (image 53).



Step 4: pull through chain loops and loop on hook (image 54). This completes the slip stitch!


After slip stitching a few more, your row should look like image 55. Keep practicing along the chain and your row should look like image 56. Note that the slip stitches look similar to the foundation chain itself, so when you work into the slip stitches, be sure that you're looking at the correct side.


If you still need help, watch this video on YouTube to see how I make a row of Slip Stitches!



As previously mentioned, slip stitching is a technique that can be used to move yarn along a row without adding much of a profile. Image 57 shows you what this could look like. In this image, there is a row of only double crochet stitches that were made into the foundation chain. A new row started on top of the first, with only slip stitches in the first 5 loops. Then, a chain of 3 was made to raise the height of the profile to begin making double crochet stitches once more! You can really see the difference in height here between a slip stitch and a double crochet stitch. The slip stitches look like the top loops of the double crochet stitches! This is a great technique to seamlessly move stitches further along the row without adding any height.



In image 58, you will see all stitches you've learned here used in the same row. Notice the difference in height between them. Now that you know how to make these stitches, practice with each of them in maintaining even tension. That is the biggest challenge for beginners! If you can make a row of all of these stitches that comes out evenly (all stitches the same size and shape) you're ready to tackle more complex stitches!


If you need more help, please visit my YouTube channel to watch me make these, and more complex, stitches!


In my next post, I'll show you how to end and begin rows using the stitches you have learned here! Be sure to subscribe to stay updated with the latest tutorials and patterns! If you want to see posts about something else, please send me a message with some feedback!



Happy crafting!

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Rebekah, your instructions are well-written and easy to follow. You've included a lot of detail that helps the instructions make sense. Nice job! :)

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