This is an excerpt from the Book - Learn to Crochet. Click here to buy the full book.
All crochet stitches are based on the action of a loop pulled through another loop with a hook. When crocheting, right handed people work from right to left.
When learning the basic steps, begin with 8ply yarn and a 3.50mm hook OR 4ply yarn and a 2.50mm hook, so that each stitch is clearly visible. Practise the simple steps first before attempting the finer threads.
In all crocheting, pick up the two top threads of each stitch unless otherwise stated. The two top threads consist of a front and a back loop.
TO MAKE A LOOP
1. Grasp the thread near the end between the thumb and the forefinger of the left hand.
2. With the right hand, make a loop by lapping the long thread over the short thread.
3. Hold this loop in place between the thumb and the forefinger of the left hand.
1. With the right hand, take hold of the broad bar of the hook as you would a pencil.
2. Insert the hook through the loop and under the long thread. With the right hand, catch the long end of the thread. Draw the loop through.
3. Do not remove the hook from the thread.
1. Pull the short end and the ball thread in opposite directions to bring the loop around the end of the hook, but not too tight.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFT HAND
1. Measure with your eye about 10cm along the ball thread from the loop on the hook.
2. At about this point, insert the thread between the ring finger and the little finger, having the palm of the hand facing up.
1. Bring the thread towards the back, under the little finger and the ring finger, over the middle finger and under the forefinger towards the thumb.
1. Grasp the hook and the loop between the thumb and the forefinger of the left hand.
2. Gently pull the ball thread so that it lies around the fingers firmly, but not tightly.
3. Catch the knot of the loop between the thumb and the forefinger.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE RIGHT HAND
1. Take hold of the broad bar of the hook as you would a pencil.
2. Bring the middle finger forward to rest near the tip of the hook.
1. Adjust the fingers of the left hand, the middle finger is bent to regulate the tension, the ring and the little fingers control the thread. The motion of the hook in the right hand and the thread in the left hand should be free and even. Ease comes with practice.
CHAIN (ch) is the basis of all crocheting. Chain is used to begin crocheting, to obtain height at the beginning of a row, and in patterns where an opening or a hole is required. When crocheting the starting row (foundation chain), work the chain stitches more loosely than the following rows.
1. Pass the hook under the thread and catch the thread with the hook. This is called "thread over" or yarn over hook.
2. Draw the thread through the loop on the hook. This makes one chain (ch). The loop on the hook is not counted as a stitch.
1. Repeat Step 9 until you have as many chain (ch) as you need - one loop always remains on the hook.
2. Always keep the thumb and the forefinger of the left hand near the stitch on which you are working.
3. Practise making chain stitches until they are even in size.