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Basic Crochet Swatch

Basic Crochet SwatchYou'll start learning how to crochet by making a small practice swatch. You'll learn all the basic stitches on this one swatch.

To start a basic crochet swatch, grab a hook and some yarn in a medium size. I like practicing with big, bulky yarn so I can see the details in my stitches without having to try too hard, so if you have any bulky-weight yarn, I'd recommend that and a size L (8 mm) hook. If you are using worsted-weight yarn, you can use a size J (6 mm) hook.

Cast On (Chain)

Base Chain Video Thumbnail 111321 sm

The video below will show you how to make a slipknot, tension your yarn, and crochet a chain (which is the crochet version of casting on).


Chain Stitch

Abbreviation: CH

To do a chain stitch:
Yarn over, pull yarn through loop on hook.

Swatch instructions

Chain (ch) 12.


Single Crochet Into Chain

Single Crochet Video Thumbnail 111321 sm

To begin working into your cast-on (chain), follow the video below. You’ll learn where to insert your hook (the trickiest part) and how to do a single crochet stitch into each stitch of the chain.


Single Crochet

Abbreviation: SC
Turning chain: 1 st
Where to insert hook: In stitch at base of turning chain.

To do a single crochet stitch:
Insert hook, yarn over, pull yarn through work (2 loops on hook).
Yarn over, pull yarn through both loops on hook (1 loop on hook).

Swatch instructions

Skipping 1st chain (ch), 1 single crochet (sc) in each ch across row. 11 sc.


Turn and Work Next Row

Next SC Row Video Thumbnail 111321 sm

To work another row of single crochet, watch the video below. You’ll create the all-important “turning chain” and learn how to crochet into a row of single crochet stitches. Good news: it’s much easier than crocheting into the original chain!


Swatch instructions

Next 2 rows: Ch 1 (turning chain), 1 sc in each sc across row. 11 sc. Turn.


Examine Your Work

Examine SC Row video thumbnail 111521 sm

Take a close look at the fabric you’ve made. As you watch the video below, you’ll learn to recognize the single crochet stitch, count your stitches, understand why not each row looks the same, and learn how to find the front of your work.


Practice a few more rows of single crochet until you feel ready to learn some new stitches.


Half-Double Crochet

HDC Video Thumbnail 111521 sm

Now let’s add a few more stitches to your repertoire. The half-double crochet stitch is a little taller than the single crochet stitch.

For future reference, it is abbreviated “hdc,” and requires a turning chain of 2 stitches.

Watch the video below to learn the process, then work a few rows of half-double crochet across your swatch. Don’t forget the turning chains!


Half-Double Crochet

Abbreviation: HDC
Turning chain: 2 sts
Where to insert hook: In stitch at base of turning chain.

To do a half-double crochet:
Yarn over (2 loops on hook).
Insert hook, yarn over, pull yarn through work (3 loops on hook).
Yarn over, pull yarn through all 3 sts (1 loop on hook).


Double Crochet

DC video thumbnail 111521 sm

The double crochet stitch is taller than the single crochet stitch and it creates a lacy mesh. It is a very common stitch in crocheting.

For future reference, it is abbreviated “dc,” and requires a turning chain of 3 stitches.

Watch the video below to learn the process, then work a few rows of double crochet across your swatch. Don’t forget the turning chains!


Double Crochet

Abbreviation: DC
Turning chain: 3 sts
Where to insert hook: In second stitch from base of turning chain.

To do a double crochet:
Yarn over (2 loops on hook).
Insert hook, yarn over, bring hook through (3 loops on hook).
Yarn over, pull yarn through first 2 loops on hook (2 loops rem on hook).
Yarn over, pull yarn through final 2 loops on hook (1 loop rem on hook).


Triple Crochet

Triple Crochet video thumbnail 111521 sm

The triple crochet stitch is quite a bit taller than the single crochet stitch and it creates a vertical pattern, like tall windows.

For future reference, it is abbreviated “tr,” and requires a turning chain of 4 stitches.

Watch the video below to learn the process, then work a row or two of triple crochet across your swatch. Don’t forget the turning chains!


Triple Crochet

Abbreviation: TR
Turning chain: 4 sts
Where to insert hook: In second stitch from base of turning chain.

To do a triple crochet:
Yarn over twice (3 loops on hook).
Insert hook, yarn over, bring hook through (4 loops on hook).
Yarn over, pull yarn through first 2 loops on hook (2 loops rem on hook).
Yarn over, pull yarn through final 2 loops on hook (1 loop rem on hook).


Slip Stitch

Slip Stitch thumbnail 111521 sm

The slip stitch is a way to join your rounds when you are working in the round, or to move your hook along your stitches without adding any new stitch height.

For future reference, it is abbreviated “sl st,” and requires no turning chain.

Watch the video below to learn the process, then work a row of slip stitches across your swatch.


Slip Stitch

Abbreviation: SL ST
Turning chain: 0 sts

To do a slip stitch:
Insert hook, yarn over, pull yarn through work and through loop on hook (1 loop rem on hook).

Congratulations!

You’ve now learned all the basic stitches of crochet. Before you try them out on some practice projects, review the following chapter to learn three important tips and tricks for crocheting: sandwiching your yarn tails, switching colors, and the Magic Ring.


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