Monday, November 18, 2013

Basic Crochet Stitches

The most basic of crochet stitches include the chain stitch, the slip stitch, the double crochet stitch and the treble stitch. It is important to be confident and capable about forming these stitches, as the majority of crochet patterns include all of them. However you can and will find patterns which omit either the treble or the double crochet stitch so it is essential that you learn at least one of these basic stitches. Nevertheless it won’t be long before you find the need to have both in your crocheting skills repertoire.

To begin crocheting it is essential to start from the begin setup position. This is achieved by looping the yarn round itself into a looped ring, then inserting the hook into the loop and catching the yarn with your hook, and bringing it back up through the looped ring and lastly by tightening the slip knot onto your hook.

The next task is to hold the crochet hook in your normal dominate hand in a style that suits you (either like a pen or as when holding a knife) whilst holding the yarn securely with your free hand just below the slip knot.

The chain stitch is the first crochet stitch used in all patterns; providing the foundation row or ring for either straight line or circular crochet. It is a very simple stitch abbreviated as ch in crochet patterns.

To work a series of chain stitches, wrap your yarn round your hook (two loops on hook) and then pull your hook through the first loop on its shaft. Now you have only one loop on your hook, and one chain stitch formed. Repeat this process for as many chain stitches as needed for your individual crochet pattern or project.

When crocheting in the round – circular garments like hats and doilies and squares are made this way – you need to join the chain stitches together with a slip stitch. A slip stitch is abbreviated to ss in crochet patterns. This is very simple. Just insert your hook into the middle of the first chain stitch crocheted, pick up the yarn and draw the hook back out again leaving two loops on the hook. Now just draw the hook through the first loop on the hook thus leaving only one loop on the hook and joining the work into a ring.

The double crochet stitch abbreviated to dc or in America the single crochet stitch is very similar to that of the slip stitch just described above. However the hook is placed into the next stitch to be worked. This will vary depending on what project you are making. After inserting the hook into the appropriate position, pick up the yarn and draw the hook back out of the stitch, leaving two loops on the hook. Now wrap the yarn again round the hook making three loops on the hook. Finally draw the hook through all the loops to leave just the one loop on the hook, with one double crochet stitch worked.

The last basic crochet stitch we are going to deal with is the treble stitch, abbreviated to tr in crochet patterns and also known as the double crochet in America. This is the hardest of the basic crochet stitches and is the meat and vegetables of crochet, as many advanced stitches and techniques are based around this stitch. Consequently it is a good idea to be proficient at performing this crochet stitch.

To crochet a treble stitch, first wrap the yarn round the hook before inserting your hook into the stitch where you wish your treble to be located. Catch the yarn as before and draw the hook out of the stitch. At this point you will have three loops on your hook. Again wrap the yarn round your hook, making four loops on the hook. Now draw the hook through the second and third loops on the hook, leaving you with two loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn round the hook again making three loops and draw the hook through these remaining loops, leaving you with just one loop on the hook and one treble formed.

You now have the basic techniques to crocheting, as we have covered the basic crochet stitches. You will be amazed at how many patterns and projects are now at your disposal with just this limited amount of crocheting knowledge. Don’t just take my word for it go and look for yourselves! And remember… have fun!!!

Ana Smith is a highly skilled crocheter with over thirty years experience and author of

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