Beginner Crochet Series: Single Crochet


Yay!Yarn Beginner Crochet Series: Single Crochet - Main Photo

Welcome to LESSON TWO in this Beginner Crochet Series.

(Lesson One and Lesson Three).



NOTE:  The terminology used here is the US term:  Single Crochet.  This same stitch is called Double Crochet in the UK.



To work the Single Crochet (sc), we're going to start with a slipknot and a chain (which you can learn from Lesson One.)

Begin by chaining 15 (Ch 15). 

Crochet chain



Warning: Your first row of single crochet is usually the most tedious, but don't get discouraged.  It gets easier as you go along and do more rows. But we've got to work on this foundation chain first.

To make the first row of single crochet, you're going to work your stitches back along the chain.  There are several places in each chain stitch that we could put our hook into.  But, I'll walk you through what I do most often: 

If you turn your chain over and look at the back of the chain, you'll see some fairly distinct bumps of yarn.  Those bumps are where you'll be putting our hook.   It may be a bit tedious at first. That's OK. Use your fingernail or whatever you need to do to get in under that first bump.

Single crochet where to put the hook on the foundation chain


Single crochet - inserting hook in foundation chain

Once you've inserted your hook, yarn over and pull up a loop.  In more detail, that means: wrap your yarn around your hook from behind and pull it through that bump.

You should now have 2 two loops on your hook.  Once again, yarn over, and this time pull through both loops on your hook.


Single crochet - 2 loops left on hook


Single crochet - yarn over and pull through both loops on hook


Single crochet complete

You've made a single crochet stitch!  Let's keep going... On the back of your chain, look for the next bump of yarn and insert your hook.  Continue with the single crochet:

Yarn Over (YO) and pull up a loop.  YO and pull through both loops on your hook. 

And that's the way you'll work all the way to the end of your chain.

Row of single crochets on the foundation chain

If you need to stop and pull out your work and start over, it's totally fine.

If you're finding that you're struggling to get your hook through your loops, loosen things up a bit.  Loosen your hands, loosen your yarn. Relax. Don't try to fight it. Give yourself some more yarn and some more wiggle room.

As you move along the foundation chain, you're going to have 14 bumps. You started with 15 chains, which gave you 14 stitches in which to work.  This will result in 14 single crochets when your row is done.

Before moving on to the next row, take a look at your work.  It may curl, or it may be uneven.  That's all normal when you're first learning.  Pull on your work to stretch it to smooth it out a bit.  Or, pull it out and start over if you want.  No biggie.




When you're at the end of the first row, and you've counted 14 single crochets, you're going to turn your work and do the same thing all over again. BUT, if you just turn and go, you'll end up with one less stitch each time.  (That's great if you're making a triangle, but not if you're making a square or rectangle like we are today).

To solve this, simply Chain 1 (ch 1) before you turn.  This gives you room to maneuver and to get into the first stitch of the next row - and always have 14 stitches across when you're done.

Single crochet end of row chain 1
Single crochet end of row turn your work
Chain 1 ...and turn your work




This is where it gets a little easier. You're done with the hardest part. From here on out, we are just going to go row after row of single crochet in our little sample.

But, where do you put your hook now? If you look at the top of your work, you'll have what looks like a set of chains sitting on the top.  Those are the tops of the single crochets from the previous row. 

Each stitch has a chain at the top (some crocheters also call this the "V" - it looks like a row of V's hooked together).  Each chain, or each V, has a front and a back. Your hook will go under the whole chain, (i.e. under both the front and the back of the V.

Single crochet where to put your hook when beginning a new row


Single crochet placing hook under front and back loops of the stitch


And now you know all of the steps:  Insert hook, YO, and pull up a loop.  YO and pull through both loops on hook.  Repeat.  

Remember to relax so your stitches aren't too tight and you're not struggling.

When you get to the end, verify that you have made 14 single crochets.  Then, chain 1 (ch 1). Turn your work. Start the next row.

Like with the chain stitch lesson, enjoy this process and just go crazy. Make 100 rows of this. Just relax. Watch a movie. And practice, practice, practice. It'll get easier. It'll get faster. It'll get more even and eventually you'll be able to do it without even looking. But don't worry about any of that. Just practice and enjoy it.

2 rows of single crochet complete


There are dozens (no, hundreds) of other stitches in Crochet Land. But the whole journey starts with the humble single crochet.  Armed with the skills you now have, you can make anything square or rectangular: Maybe a potholder, a placemat, a scarf - even a blanket!  

The size of your project = 

The # of chains you start with PLUS the # of rows you crochet

Don't be afraid to get creative with the kinds of yarn you use. And have fun!

(Wanna learn how to make your first project in practically half the number of rows?  C'mon, I'll show you the Double Crochet next).

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