A Beginners Guide To Learn To Crochet


Learning to crochet doesn't need to be hard. Crochet your way to a brighter day with this step-by-step guide.

Don’t let the fancy French name put you off. Even if it’s your first foray into crochet, everything’s going to be ok with our guide to learn all the techniques you'll need to crochet a Cardigang masterpiece 😎

Don't know how to crochet? Neither did we! But it doesn't have to be intimidating – with these tips and tricks, and the right tools (🍷) you'll be on your way to crafting the perfect bright and cosy masterpiece in no time.

When you first look at a crochet pattern it can be pretty overwhelming, but here’s a little secret. You really only need to learn a handful of stitches and you can make basically anything! So strap in and let's learn to crochet 💪

Let's start with the hook

Our crochet hook is the tool we use to create our work. If you're right-handed you'll hold the hook in your right hand, if you're left-handed, hold it in your left (lefties... there's a note about left-handed crochet further down the page too!). 

So let's learn how to hold it. Grab the hook between your thumb and forefinger, with your thumb resting on the dent or grip and your index finger on the other side of the hook, like you're holding a knife. This type of grip is the way we suggest you start but each individual will have a slightly different way of holding the hook. You'll then hold the yarn you're working in your other hand. 

Once you've got the hang of wielding the hook, we'll have you knocking out crocheted masterpieces faster than you can say ‘Harry Styles at Coachella’. 

Knitting swatch

The most common stitches

Most beginner patterns will use a combination of a few simple stitches to create a design or pattern.

Single crochet

A single crochet stitch is a basic crochet stitch that creates a tight and dense fabric. It involves pulling a loop of yarn through a stitch and then pulling the yarn through the loops on the hook to create a new stitch.

Double crochet

Double crochet is a taller stitch than single crochet. It involves yarning over the hook, inserting the hook into the stitch, yarning over again, pulling the hook through the stitch, yarning over once more, and then pulling the hook through two loops on the hook at a time until one loop remains. The result is a taller and more open stitch.

Half double crochet

This stitch sits in the middle of a single and a double crochet in terms of height and density. It's made in a similar way to the previous two stitches. 

Crochet swatch

Let's learn to crochet!

Slip Knot

The very first step when you learn to crochet is to secure our yarn onto our hook and we do this by creating a slip knot. You’ll then use this slip knot as your first stitch and create the chain from there. Here's how we do that 👀

Foundation chain

Our foundation chain is a series of chain stitches that becomes the foundation for our piece. It's typically the first step in your pattern, and all subsequent stitches are worked into the foundation chain. The length of the foundation chain determines the length of the first row or round. It is important to create an even tension when making the foundation chain so that the stitches you build from it aren't too loose or too tight.

💡 When counting your chains, don't count the working loop (the loop that is on your hook).

Row one

Once we've got our chain done we'll crochet our first row into that chain. Your pattern will tell you what stitch type to work in but in this example, we'll do single crochet. 

First, you need to get to know your chain. The front of the chain will look like a series of sideways V's. The back of the chain will look like a line of bumps. 

We'll be working into the front of the chain and our hook will go up and under the top loop of the chain (the V shape stitch). 

Chain front and back

Insert your hook into the chain stitch and then complete a single crochet. The video below shows you how to do a single crochet. That steps are; 

Insert the hook into the stitch on the foundation chain. The hook should be inserted under the top strand of the stitch.

Yarn over the hook again, and pull the hook through the stitch. You should have two loops on your hook at this point.

Yarn over the hook one more time and pull the hook through both loops on the hook. This completes one single crochet stitch.

We repeat this until we reach the end of the row. 

Double Crochet

Half double crochet

Fasten off

Fastening off your work is done to secure your stitches. 

Counting your stitches and rows

Leftie who wants to crochet?

Good news! Lefties can follow these instructions too! While most crochet patterns and videos are made with right-handed instructions, there is a simple way you can adapt them for lefties. Left-handed crocheters will produce a mirror image of a right-hander's work, so all you need to do is reverse a few simple terms and you're set! 

When you see... Replace it with...
Right Left
Left Right
Clockwise Counterclockwise
Counterclockwise Clockwise

How to test your tension

Okay, now that you've mastered the basics, it's best to make sure your tension is spot on before you start crocheting your masterpiece. We do this by creating a “tension swatch”. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your piece will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold its shape and might be too big. 

To test your tension, you'll want to grab the yarn and hook that the pattern recommends you use - if you're making a Cardigang Kit then use the yarn and hook included in your kit. Your pattern will tell you how many stitches and rows should make up a 10x10cm tension swatch. Chain a few more stitches than the gauge should measure, then crochet in the specified stitch until your swatch measures just over 10cm high. Then grab your measuring tape or the card that came in your kit and count your stitches and rows to check that your tension is right.

Well done! You've learned all the basics you need to crochet almost anything 👏

Remember learning a new skill can be a little challenging at first, and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature! 

Ready to dip a toe in with a fully-kitted up Cardigan Crochet Kit?

Our kits come packed with all the goodies you need to make a masterpiece – incredibly easy-to-follow instructions, the perfect amount of yarn, how-to videos, and a hook to wield.

Try one and you’ll be hooked, promise! 

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