Basic Crochet Stitches for Beginners

Learn How to Crochet with This Basic Stitch Guide

Basic Crochet Stitches

Luis Diaz Devesa, Getty Images

This is a basic crochet stitch guide that will show you how to craft some of the most common beginner crochet stitches. The great thing about crochet is that you only need to know a few stitches to be able to make a wide variety of different projects. You need to learn how to make a crochet chain and a slip stitch to start your projects, and then you need to know at least one basic stitch (single crochet or double crochet are most common) to be able to make a crochet scarf, shawl or blanket.

This...MORE crochet stitch guide includes information about six beginner stitches. There is a description of each stitch along with links to related crochet stitch tutorials, instructions and / or crochet videos to help you learn exactly how to work each fundamental stitch. This guide also offers beginners a better understanding of how each stitch is best used so that it is easier to select the right projects for each stitch.

  • 01 of 07
    Crochet Chain
    Ruth Jenkinson, Getty Images

    The chain stitch, abbreviated "ch" is the most basic of all crochet stitches. (Before learning the chain stitch, you must learn the slip knot, but that's not technically a crochet "stitch" since it's just what you do to get the yarn on the hook.)

    You'll use the crochet chain stitch in three very common ways:

    1. Chain stitches are used to begin most crochet projects. When a grouping of chain stitches is used at the beginning of a project, it can be referred to as a...MORE "starting chain," "base chain," or a "foundation chain."
    2. A "turning chain" is often used at the start of each new row in a crochet project. The height of the turning chain, which is the number of chains you create, depends on the stitches that will be used in that row. For example, a double crochet row begins with a chain three.
    3. Crochet chains are often used to connect the other stitches in a crochet pattern, particularly when working in the round. For example, a "ch 2" is a staple instruction throughout the classic crochet granny square motif, where it is used to separate double crochet stitches to create a space in each corner of the square.

    Some advanced crochet stitches use chains within this instructions to create the stitch.

    A very common crochet edging is the picot stitch, which incorporates a crochet chain into it to create texture. Openwork lace or mesh, long fringe and big loops all use crochet chains as a core feature of their design.

    If the only thing that you know how to crochet is the basic crochet chain, you can still make crochet items.

    Crochet a set of long chains, knot them together at both ends and you've got your first simple crochet scarf!

  • 02 of 07

    Crochet slip stitches don't get a lot of attention because they are small and simple, but they are the foundation of all crochet. The most frequent use of the slip stitch is when working in the round; the crochet instructions will say something like "join with a slip stitch to form a ring" or "slip stitch to close round".

    In general, slip stitches are useful for joining one crocheted element to another. In addition to joining the end of the round to the beginning, slip...MORE stitches can also be joined to use motifs. For example, you could place a pair of granny squares side-by-side and slip stitch crochet them together.

    So, crochet slip stitches are often in the background, but there are opportunities to showcase this beginner crochet stitch as well. For example, in a surface crochet tutorial, you'll learn about different ways you can use slip stitches to add color and visual interest to the surface of a crochet or knitting project. It's basically embroidery on crochet, using slip stitches as the embroidery.

    Plus there are some types of crochet, including Bosnian crochet and some forms of short row crochet, that actually rely entirely on slip stitches. In fact, the very first reference to crochet in history is a reference in the 19th century to shepherd's knitting, which is slip stitch crochet!

  • 03 of 07
    Single Crochet Cushion in the Round
    Ruth Jenkinson, Getty Images

    Learning the crochet chain and the slip stitch sets the stage for making things, but you really need to learn at least one more stitch to crochet a variety of projects. Many people begin by learning the simple single crochet stitch. Abbreviated "sc", this is a short stitch that appears frequently in many different crochet patterns.

    Single crochet stitch variations

    Once you've learned the single crochet stitch, you'll be able to make it look different depending on which loops you...MORE work through. For more information, visit our pages about loops and crocheting through loops.

    Single crochet in amigurumi

    Single crochet is the foundation stitch used in all amigurumi crochet patterns. If you love amigurumi, you need to know single crochet. If you know single crochet, you're well on your way to making amigurumi.

  • 04 of 07
    Half Double Crochet Stitches
    Kathryn Vercillo

    Half double crochet stitch builds upon the basic single crochet stitch by adding an extra step, so it's best to learn single crochet first and then learn half double crochet.

    In fact, single crochet is really halfway between single and double crochet in terms of height, and it can be helpful to learn both sc and dc (the next basic stitch mentioned below) before learning half double crochet. 

    Half double crochet is a great stitch used in all different types of projects and it's definitely...MORE one that you should know if you want to master all of the basic crochet stitches. It builds fabric more quickly than single crochet but still offers density for warm projects.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Crochet Granny Square, Round 3
    Kathryn Vercillo

    Double crochet (abbreviated dc) combines well with all of the other basic stitches, and there are unlimited ways to use it. The double crochet stitch is the cornerstone of granny square crochet, filet crochet, v-stitch crochet and so many other popular crochet patterns. It's truly a must-learn basic crochet stitch.

    Double crochet stitch variations

    Once you've learned the double crochet stitch, you'll be able to make it look different depending on which loops you work through. You can...MORE create a ribbed design, for example, working in the back loop only.

  • 06 of 07
    How to Treble Crochet
    Kathryn Vercillo

    The treble crochet stitch (abbreviated tr) is also known as the triple crochet stitch. It's taller than the double crochet stitch, but it follows the same basic steps. In fact, once you know how to double crochet, you can make many different types of taller crochet stitches including the double treble, triple treble and taller. This allows you to quickly add height to a project. Taller stitches make looser, more draped, fabric with more "breathability".

  • 07 of 07
    Kathryn Vercillo

    Once you've learned these basic crochet stitches, you can do almost anything in crochet. A great next step is to start combining the basic crochet stitches to create new stitch patterns. For example, the crochet seed stitch alternates single crochet and double crochet stitches whereas the crochet moss stitch alternates single crochet with chains.