6 Basic Crochet Stitches for Beginners

Learn How to Work the Basic Crochet Stitches
Mollie Johanson

Crochet is an easy craft to learn. You only need to know a few stitches to be able to begin making a wide variety of projects. In this guide, you'll learn about the six most common beginner crochet stitches with tutorials, videos, helpful tips, and a few project ideas, too.

Within a short time, you'll know how to make a crochet chain and a slip stitch so you can start easy projects. From there, learn more basic stitches and begin to make a variety of scarves, hats, shawls, and blankets.

Country-Specific Terms

This guide uses U.S. terms for crochet stitches. When working with UK patterns, be sure to convert the terms.

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Watch Now: 6 Essential Crochet Stitches You Need to Know

  • 01 of 06

    Crochet Chain Stitch

    Crochet Chain Stitch Example
    Mollie Johanson

    Before learning the chain stitch, learn the slip knot, which is what you need do to secure the yarn on the hook to begin crocheting. Then learn the basic chain stitch, abbreviated in patterns as "ch." Most crochet projects begin with the chain stitch as a grouping, typically referred to as a starting chain, base chain, or a foundation chain.

    A turning chain often starts 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 used in that row. For example, a double crochet row begins with three chains.

    Crochet chains often connect other stitches in a crochet pattern, particularly when working in the round. For example, throughout the classic crochet granny square motif, a "ch 2" separates double crochet stitches to create a space in each corner of the square.

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

    Experiment with a simple project using a basic crochet chain. Crochet a set of long chains, knot them together at both ends, and make your first simple crochet scarf.

  • 02 of 06

    Crochet Slip Stitch

    Crochet Slip Stitch Example
    Mollie Johanson

    Crochet slip stitches are small and simple. They are the foundation of all crochet. The abbreviation for slip stitch in a pattern is usually "sl st." The most frequent use of the slip stitch is when you're working in the round, and you'll be instructed to "join with a slip stitch to form a ring" or "slip stitch to close round."

    Slip stitches are useful for joining one crocheted element to another. For example, you can place a pair of granny squares side-by-side and slip stitch crochet them together.

    Crochet slip stitches are also often used for adding flourishes. For example, in surface crochet, slip stitches add color and visual interest to the surface of a crochet or knitting project. It's almost like you're using slip stitches to embroider a flourish on a crocheted item.

  • 03 of 06

    Single Crochet Stitch

    Single Crochet Stitch Example
    Mollie Johanson

    Learning the crochet chain and the slip stitch gives you a solid foundation to start crocheting projects. The single crochet stitch broadens your ability to crochet even more projects. Many patterns include the single crochet stitch, which is abbreviated as "sc."

    Single crochet stitches are short stitches that create a dense fabric. You can use various sizes of hooks or yarn, as well as altering the stitch to create different densities. Once you learn the single crochet stitch, you can customize it depending on which loops you work through.

    The single crochet stitch is also the foundation stitch in all amigurumi crochet patterns. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed toys and other three-dimensional items. Crocheting creates just the right density of fabric for amigurumi items.

  • 04 of 06

    Half Double Crochet Stitch

    Half Double Crochet Stitch Example
    Mollie Johanson

    Half double crochet stitch builds upon the basic single crochet stitch by adding an extra step. The height of half double crochet stitch is halfway between single and double crochet stitch. The stitch, abbreviated as "hdc," shows up in many projects. Though the half double crochet is a little more open than the single crochet stitch, it still offers enough density to create warm projects. The half double crochet stitch also builds fabric quicker than the single crochet stitch. This stitch is helpful when you want to crochet a project in a hurry.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Double Crochet Stitch

    Double Crochet Stitch Example
    Mollie Johanson

    The double crochet stitch, abbreviated "dc," combines well with all the other basic stitches. The double crochet stitch is the cornerstone of granny square crochet, filet crochetv-stitch crochet, and other popular crochet patterns. These patterns incorporate the basic double crochet to change the look of an otherwise basic project.

    Once you learn the double crochet stitch, you can make it look different depending on which loops you work through. For example, working in the back loop only creates a ribbed design that makes handsome blankets, cuffs, and bands for hats.

  • 06 of 06

    Treble Crochet Stitch

    Triple Crochet Stitch Example
    Mollie Johanson

    The treble crochet stitch, also known as the triple crochet stitch, is abbreviated in patterns as "tr." The stitch is taller than the double crochet stitch and follows the same basic steps. 

    Once you know how to double crochet, you can make many different types of taller crochet stitches including the double treble, triple treble, and even taller stitches. This stitch allows you to quickly add height to a project. Taller stitches also create looser fabric. Looser crochet fabric drapes better and has more breathability, which is ideal for open, lacy shawls and light blankets that require tall stitches.

    Now that you've learned these six basic crochet stitches, you're on your way to becoming a most proficient crocheter. Experiment by combining the basic crochet stitches to create new stitch patterns. For example, the crochet seed stitch alternates single crochet and double crochet stitches and the crochet moss stitch alternates single crochet with chains. You'll soon start to pick up any crochet pattern for beginners with confidence.