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|Crochet Basics For Right-Handers|
Basic Crochet Techniques
Holding the Hook
There are two common ways to hold a crochet hook.
The second is to hold the hook in an overhand manner, like a knife. (D19)
Making the Slip Knot
The first step in crochet is to make a slip knot. Making a pretzel shape with the yarn, slip your hook into the pretzel. (D22)
Pull on both ends of the yarn to tighten and adjust the size of the knot and adjust the loop. (D23)
Holding the Yarn
Here's one way to hold the yarn. Feel free, however, to do what feels right for you. Holding the slip knot in your left hand, twine the yarn through the fingers of your right hand.
Your index finger will move up and down as you work to create an even tension or tightness in the yarn.
Making the Foundation Chain
Almost every crochet project begins with a foundation chain. The stitches look like a chain, therefore the name. You will build row upon row of stitches on this foundation chain.
Turn the hook so it faces downward, slide it through the original loop, and bring the yarn with it. (D28)
You have just made one chain stitch! Practice this technique until you can make them fluidly and evenly. Count the stitches as shown in the illustration below. Never count the loop around the hook as a stitch. (D30)
When crocheting in rows, you need to chain a certain number of stitches before starting each new row. These chain stitches are called turning chains. They are necessary to keep the edges of your work even.
More on Foundation and Turning Chains
When crocheting into a foundation chain, you need to skip a certain number of chains before working your first stitch into the foundation. Another way to think of it is making "extra" foundation chains that will serve as the turning chain. For example, if you want to end up with 12 single crochet stitches, you need to start with a foundation chain of 13 (12 plus 1).
Yarn Over (yo) Explained
Catching the yarn with the hook is part of every crochet stitch. Bring the yarn over the top of the hook, back to front, catching it in the groove of the hook. (D25)
Join to Form a Ring using Slip Stitch (sl st)
A slip stitch is used to join the first and last chains in a foundation chain to form a ring. This is the first step in making many motifs, including the ever popular granny square. Insert the hook into the first chain, under both the top part of the chain in the front and the back loop. (D90)
Yarn over, and bring the yarn through both the chain and the loop that is on the hook. You have completed one slip stitch, and have formed a ring. (D91)
To work into the ring, insert the hook into the center of the ring and work the crochet stitches as you would normally.
Work your last crochet stitch until you have two loops remaining. Cut the yarn, leaving at least a 4 inch tail. Draw the yarn through the last two loops. Tighten gently to prevent unravelling. (D101)
Weave In Loose Ends
After you've fastened off, it's important to weave in the loose ends so that they are secure and will not work free. Two methods of weaving in ends are shown below. (D102A&B)
Crochet Lessons ©1997 Crochet Guild of America, Diagrams ©1990 TNNA
The Crochet Guild of America extends its utmost appreciation to The National Needlework Association, Inc. (TNNA) and the Craft Yarn Council of America (CYCA) for their assistance with this "How to Crochet" section. We are especially grateful to TNNA for the use of their diagrams.