***Update: This is going to be my last crochet lesson post. I’ve decided that there are many better tutorials out there that teach crochet, and, since it takes a lot of work to put these together, I will not be continuing this series. But feel free to read these two “introductory lessons!”***
Finally! Here is the next part of the learn-how-to-crochet series! (You can read the first one here.)
Unlike the foundation stitch, with single-crochet you can actually make things! Exciting, right?
To begin you have to make a foundation chain (I showed you how to make that in the first lesson). I think it works well to crochet about 10 stitches for practicing. One thing you must remember is that you always need to crochet one extra stitch at the end (or beginning) of each row so that the rows turn out nice and even. So actually if you want to crochet something 10 stitches long, you need to start with 11 foundation stitches, and if you wanted to crochet something 23 stitches long, you need to start with (can you guess?) 24 stitches.
Since we’re making a practice sample 10 stitches wide, crochet 11 stitches for the foundation chain.
You are going to insert your needle not into the stitch that the loop on your needle is coming from, but the one behind it. Push the hook under the first strand of the stitch, go over the next strand, and push under the last strand. That’s probably confusing, so just look at the picture. =) This is why you always have to make an extra stich at the end of rows – because that extra stitch helps you turn around without making the total stitch-length of your project less.
Now you have three loops on your crochet hook.
Wrap the yarn from the back of the hook to the front.
Pull the hook down, taking with it the strand of yarn that you just wrapped around the hook. Pull that strand through the next two loops but don’t pull it through the last loop. Now you have two loops on the hook.
Wrap the yarn from back to front again…
And again, pull through two loops. This time, since there are only two loops instead of three on your hook, you will pull through all of the loops. Now you have only one loop on your hook.
Hooray for you! You have just completed one single-crochet stitch! That probably seemed very tedious and long, but believe me, after you practice a few more stitches it will only take a few seconds. I just want to make sure you get this.
Ok, now repeat the process: insert your hook into the next stitch (three stitches on hook), wrap yarn from front to back, pull hook through two loops (two loops on hook), wrap yarn from front to back, pull through last two loops (one loop on hook.) Keep going until you come to the end of the row and there are no more stitches. (This row looks kind of weird because part of it is turned on its side and part of it is standing up.)
Here is where you make that extra stitch so the edges look even. Wrap yarn from front to back…
And pull through the loop on your hook. You should still only have one loop on your hook.
Again, push your hook through the two sides of the “v”. Don’t insert your hook in the stitch that the loop on your hook is directly connected to, because that is the turning stitch. Insert your hook into what looks like the second “v” over from the loop on your hook.
Now continue crocheting (wrap yarn around, pull through two loops, wrap yarn around, pull through last two loops, end of stitch, insert hook, wrap yarn around, pull through two loops, etc.)
This is what it looks like when you’ve done a couple of rows.
To finish a piece of crochet, take your hook out of the loop on it, and cut the yarn connecting the piece of crochet to the yarn ball. Don’t cut the yarn too close – leave a tail.
Pull the tail through the loop and keep pulling until it tightens into a knot.
Thread a yarn needle with the tail and weave the tail into the crochet piece.
And there you go! You now know how to single crochet!
After you practice a while and get the hang of it, why not make something? I decided to make a little bag to hold the tiles for Upwords (a really fun word game that we have), but you can use this bag for whatever you want. It’s pretty simple to make if you’ve practiced single-crochet.
1. Crochet a foundation chain of 51 stitches. The actual width of the bag will be 50 stitches, but remember that you always have to crochet an extra stitch for your project to turn out even.
2. Single-crochet until you have a piece of cloth that, when you fold it in half from end to end, is the size you want your bag to be.
3. Fold the piece in half and use a yarn needle to sew together the bottom edges and the side edges. Leave the top edges unsewn.
4. If you want to make a draw-string bag, use your yarn needle to thread a piece of yarn all around the top of the bag. Don’t pull the yarn all the way through the cloth – leave a tail sticking out. Make sure not to sew the edges together! When you come to where you inserted the needle at first, unthread the needle and tie the tails together in a bow. Now when you pull both tails at the same time, the bag will close.