How to Single and Double Crochet
Before you start, we recommend first reading our Chain Stitch tutorial, as this tutorial builds on skills learned in that post. One last note, we're using American Crochet terminology for these tutorials. Visit this page for a breakdown between UK and US crochet terminology, if you're familiar with the former.
Now that you've spent a bit of time making crochet chains and feel comfortable with the process, it's time to actually work a crochet stitch. In this tutorial, we'll be learning how to work a single and double crochet stitch. Both of these stitches are used in the body and yoke of our Elara pattern, so learning these building blocks will be a good foundation for learning more complicated stitches.
Follow along in the blog post to learn each stitch, or if you prefer a little more motion, push play on the video below. The video tutorial includes the Treble crochet stitch, which we cover in <insert link blog post>.
Before we start, it's important to understand how these stitches look, especially in comparison to one another.
This illustration is missing the half double crochet (HDC) stitch, which is taller than single crochet, but shorter than double crochet.
The obvious difference between these simple stitches is height. Each of these stitches look identical horizontally, and should have the same stitch per inch gauge.
The first, and shortest, stitch we'll learn is the Single Crochet stitch, abbreviated as 'sc' in most patterns.
Step 1: Chain stitch
To begin, chain 18 stitches on your size H hook using a DK - worsted weight yarn. We're using nightshades in the colorway streetlight for this tutorial. Before we proceed further, it might be helpful to take a look at a few illustrations of the chain stitch, so it's easy to figure out which chain stitch we mean, when instructions say the "second" chain stitch from hook.
Keeping track of which side of your chain stitch is facing is important, so your hook is inserted correctly for the foundation row. The crochet hook is inserted directly into the chain, like the below illustration. We'll show this more clearly further down, but you'll be inserting your crochet hook into the center of the chain, under the back bump (visible in yellow above).
Step 2: Insert crochet hook into chain
One of the most important things when inserting your crochet hook — both the chain loop, as well as the back bump, are visible over your crochet hook. You can see this from the gif above, and it should look like there are two loops on your hook. This is treated as a single loop.
Step 3: Yarn over, and pull through chain loop
Step 4: Yarn over again, and pull through remaining two loops
Step 5: Continue in single crochet
Work a single crochet into the last chain stitch of the row. Crocheting flat is much the same as knitting, in that once you're ready to work your next row, you'll flip your work so that the working yarn and crochet hook is at the right side of the piece. Do this before proceeding to the next section.
Step 6: Chain 1
In crochet, most simple stitches worked flat require at least one chain stitch at the beginning of the row. Think of the chain stitch as the stairstep required to get to the height of the crochet stitch you're working. For the single crochet stitch, that height is equal to one chain stitch. The remainder of the crochet stitches in this tutorial will require more than one chain stitch.
Step 7: Continue row
Keep working single crochet until the end of the row, repeating the process of chaining 1 stitch before the start of the row. Practice a few square swatches of single crochet, to get a feel for the motion, until it feels natural.
The wonderful thing about crochet, once you know how to single crochet, you practically know how to double crochet, as well as the remainder of the simple stitches in the first illustration in this post. All of these stitches are nearly identical in how they are created, the only real difference is the number of yarn overs you will do before inserting your crochet hook into the chain stitch, or the stitch below.
This will make a little more sense after we walk through the double crochet stitch. Start with 18 chain stitches, as with the single crochet tutorial.
Step 1: Chain 3
With single crochet, a chain 1 equals the height of a regular single crochet stitch, and similarly, with double crochet, a chain 3 equals the height of a regular double crochet stitch.
Step 2: Yarn over, and insert crochet hook into 4th chain stitch
Insert the hook into the chain in the exact same way as the single crochet stitch. The difference here, is that you're doing a yarn over first, and inserting your hook into the forth stitch from your hook this time, so your chain 3 counts as your first double crochet stitch.
Step 3: Yarn over again, and pull yarn through chain loop on hook
Step 4: Yarn over again, and pull yarn through first two loops on hook
There are now 2 loops left on the crochet hook.
Repeat Step 4 once more. There is now one loop left on your hook, and the first double crochet stitch is complete!
Step 5: Chain 3
Here, it's easier to see why we count the chain stitches at the beginning of the row as the first double crochet stitch.
Work the next double crochet stitch: yarn over, and insert crochet hook into the next stitch in the row below.
Yarn over again, and pull working yarn through the loop of the stitch below.
Yarn over again, and pull working yarn through the first two loops on the hook. Two loops are now on the crochet hook.
Yarn over again, and pull working yarn through the last two loops on hook.
The second double crochet stitch is now complete! Visit the next blog post here to learn how to work the Treble Crochet stitch.