Stitching School: Chaining and the Single Crochet

singlrcrochet4 I’ve had a crush on crochet for a long time. I feel like I’ve been giving a lot of attention to Knitting lately -which I also love- and I really wanted to wax poetic about crochet. I love the way that I can improvise and work organically. You can connect it to just about anything that has holes in it. It’s thick and warm and textured.

Crochet is also one of the only garment construction methods that can’t be reproduced by machine. Even to this day, anything that’s crocheted is 100% handmade.

Oh and did I mention it’s fast? Many crochet projects can be finished in just one or two evenings.

I first learned to make a slip knot and work a chain stitch from my mom when I was pretty young – like under 10. I never progressed past that point though. Just a whole lot of chains for a long time. I tried it many times, but it never worked out well. Then when I was 20 or so I picked up my grandma’s hook and yarn and made my first granny square. It didn’t come easy though and it wasn’t reproducible.

It was, like with knitting, when i moved to Dekalb that I started my first and finished my first crochet project. A tea cozy from Simple Crochet… pardon the pun, but seriously, I was hooked. I’ve been crocheting ever since.

So how do you crochet? It all starts with a slip knot:


Then you make a foundation chain:


And then you work your first single crochet:



Then you work your second and third rows:


I’m hoping to have a few fun crochet announcements on Monday to share with you, three things in fact.

In the meantime though pick up your hook and yarn and try out a little chaining and single crochet. There are a lot of fun, quick projects in the crochet section of the archive that would be just the thing to use up those bits!

12 thoughts on “Stitching School: Chaining and the Single Crochet

  1. I also learned at an early age and still crochet a lot for I can do it faster than knitting. It is fun and quick.

  2. I love you! I have been crocheting for years and years….don’t aske me how old I am. I have a blog that I have been sharing my crafts and some linkies to how-to’s and I linked your knitting “how-to’s” a while back. I had several of my friends and family email about crochet “how-to’s” I cannot wait for them to see this!!! ps…I dont have a lot of followers, its not my goal…I do it mostly for family and close friends.

  3. Crochet was my first fiber love. I’ve left her in favor of more glamorous techniques, but I always come back. My favorite thing about crochet is that you can make any shape and work in any direction. It is very organic, as you said.

  4. I also love Crochet, My Mum taught me to knit but I found Crochet easier, I use it a lot to edge my machine knits.

  5. Wow this is great, thanks so much for posting this. I’ll bookmark it as a resource for anyone I know wanting to learn to crochet.
    I didn’t know that about crochet being impossible to reproduce by machine – I love that! I guess it makes sense though – the fact that you can do so many things with crochet – go off in any direction, twist and turn, would make it pretty hard to design a machine for. But for busy fingers? Perfect! Last night I crocheted the cocktail ring from Craft:04.
    Crochet is clever stuff indeed!

  6. I just learned to crochet about 5 or 6 months ago and I love it too! I like to combine knitting and crocheting sometimes. There are certain things that are better knitted and certain things that are better crocheted, ya know? I’ve been making scarflettes that are knitted with crocheted edges and decorative trims. You can see them here if you’d like: They are also a great way to use of leftover pieces of yarn!

  7. Kristin, this is a great tutorial and I’d like to try it but I have a question about the hook. Don’t they come in different sizes? How do you know which one to use? Thanks!

  8. Oh Patty that’s a great question! I think I’m just going to turn that into today’s post (or maybe tomorrow’s depending on how the day goes). It’s a question I get asked a lot about knitting and crochet.

  9. I just started and I do know the basic loop de loop stitch. I hope someone can answer a couple of basic questions for me. #1 when you run out of thread I tie a knot and double it to make sure it doesn’t come out during washing. But they show more than I’d like, what is the proper way to add thread? #2 I watched a purchased (waste of money) on begining. It showed how to change color but it doesn’t always work, some of the color goes into the next chain. What am I doing wrong? I’m making this for my Mom for nap time cover. She’s using the one I made in 1979 when I was expecting my son. I enjoyed doing it, so it ended up as big as the crib. We used it for yrs for my son and my Mom still uses it. It’s baby colors so I’m making a tan w/multi-colored stips looks good for something that doesn’t know what they are doing. I do have to practice on keeping my stiches the same size. I have torn it apart 3 x’s. One side was much wider than the other and I couldn’t settle for that. I have to watch someone, I can’t do it from the books. Thanks for any tips greatly appreciated.

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