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Beginner Basics: Crochet.101

Time to Crochet

The wait is over! Now that you've learned the basic ins and outs of crochet, it's time to get going. We'll show you how.

ANATOMY OF A FOUNDATION CHAIN

Now that you know how to make a foundation chain, you now need to know what the different parts of a chain are before you begin to crochet stitches.

A foundation chain has two sides. The side that faces you while you make the chain stitches is called the top. Along the top, the chain stitches form a line of “V’s.” Each chain stitch “V” has two strands. The strand that is to the right (or nearest you) is called the front loop. The strand that is to the left (or farthest from you) is called the back loop. It is in these loops that you will make crochet stitches.

The side opposite the top is called the bottom. On the bottom, the chain stitches form a single line of “bumps.” Examine them closely and you’ll see that they are actually loops as well. These are called the bottom loops. Some projects will have you crochet into the bottom loops, but for now we will be referring only to the two top loops.

counting chain stitches
counting chain sts    

Looking at the foundation chain, note that the loop that’s on the hook is not counted as a chain stitch, nor is the slip knot. When you count the chain stitches, always count from the first stitch after the hook to the last stitch before the slip knot.

   

WHY AND WHERE

You will be learning how to do four basic crochet stitches. They range in height from the shortest to the tallest as follows: single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet. Into which chain stitch you make your first crochet stitch depends on the height of the finished crochet stitch. One chain stitch equals the height of a single crochet stitch, so you will make your first stitch in the 2nd chain stitch from the hook. Here, the 1st chain stitch (or the one that was skipped) is the one chain stitch needed to obtain the height. For a half double crochet, you need two chain stitches to equal the height, so you will make your first stitch in the 3rd chain stitch from the hook (skipping the 1st and 2nd chain stitches). Likewise, a double crochet begins in the 4th chain stitch (three chain stitches to equal the height) and the treble crochet begins in the 5th chain stitch (four chain stitches to equal the height).

Although it’s good to know why and where you begin to crochet a stitch, you don’t need to rely on your memory because directions for a pattern stitch will always state where to begin.


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