If you are a beginner, the crochet chain stitch and slipknot are the first things you need to learn.
But first, I just have to mention that crochet is such an amazing hobby to have!
The possibilities are endless. Projects are easy to customize. And of course, you get to play with all the amazing yarns out there!
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra.
Like anything, learning to crochet well takes some practice, although it is not difficult. Once you put your mind to it, you will be crocheting like a pro in no time!
If you want some important tips that all crochet beginners should know, check out these 15 Unique and Important Crochet Tips for Beginners.
Written instructions for the slip knot and the crochet chain stitch are set out below along with photos. However, if you prefer demonstrative instructions, you can check out the video provided as well.
The instructions here are geared towards right-handed crocheters although the techniques will be the same for left-handed crocheters.
To begin crocheting, you are going to need to gather a few materials.
My go-to store for crochet materials is Michaels. They carry everything you will need to begin your crochet journey.
There are so many kinds of yarn out there. Learning about the different fibres and weights is a lesson all in itself. For this reason, I suggest you find a simple, worsted weight, acrylic yarn for this tutorial. The yarn label will set out the weight and fibre content for you.
Worsted weight, acrylic yarn will be easy to work with and holds up well when stitches are taken out and remade.
You do not need to choose a fancy, expensive yarn although it will be tempting. There are many affordable yarns out there that are perfect for when you are starting.
I personally love Loops and Threads Impeccable yarn. It is soft and nice to work with and comes in 56 different colours. I have made many crochet projects using this yarn.
Try to pick a colour that you really love as this will help inspire you as you learn.
I do have to note however that dark yarns can make it hard to see the stitches you are creating. I suggest sticking to lighter colour yarns at this point.
You can not crochet without a hook of course! The first hooks I ever purchased were aluminum hooks and I use them to this day.
There are many other options out there such as bamboo and plastic. Again, learning about crochet hooks is a post in itself.
As I can personally vouch for them, I suggest buying aluminum hooks to start. The sizes you will probably use the most are G, H and I. However, for this tutorial, an H (5.00mm) hook is perfect for your worsted weight yarn.
Holding Your Yarn and Hook
I am only going to touch briefly on this subject as I do not personally hold my hook and yarn in the traditional way.
I am a strong believer that you should find a way to hold your materials that is comfortable for you. As long as you can keep your tension even and make your stitches with ease, you should not have any problems.
I suggest looking at a tutorial like this one from Yarnspirations to see the “traditional” way of holding your hook and yarn. As you move along learning your stitches, you will most likely find a position that you feel most comfortable using.
In any event, if you are right handed, you will hold your hook in your right hand and your yarn in your left. Your ball of yarn should be to the left of your body. This will help avoid tangles and make it easier to feed yarn to your hook.
When you crochet, you will always be working from right to left (if you are right-handed).
When making your crochet chain stitch foundation, this is not as important however it is a good thing to keep in the back of your mind as you go along.
How to Make a Slip Knot
To begin your project, you will need to form a slip knot which will become part of your first chain.
There are many, many different ways to make slip knots. As with almost everything in crochet, you will find a way that works the best for you. Below, I have set out the main steps of how I make my slip knots.
Although it may seem a little complicated, it actually is quite simple. Watching the video above should help clarify any confusion you may have about these steps.
- Pull out a long piece of yarn from your skein. You will want lots of freedom of movement of your yarn for this step and anytime you crochet. Leaving yourself a long pull from your skein will also help with tension in your stitches down the road.
- Hold about three inches of yarn between both hands. Hold the end in your left hand and the part attached to the ball of yarn in your right (Image 1).
- Pin the end you are holding in your left hand against your middle finger of the same hand, with your thumb. Then wrap the yarn with your right hand around your index and middle fingers (Image 2).
- Continue to wrap the yarn around your fingers, crossing the first wrap around to make an “x” (Image 3).
- Turn your left hand over so the back of your fingers are now facing you. Bring the yarn across your fingers one more time, underneath your first wrap (Image 4).
- Use your ring finger to pin the yarn against your middle finger and hold it in place. Drop the yarn that you are holding in your right hand (Image 5).
- With your right hand, pull the top strand of yarn over the bottom strand (Image 6).
- Pull the strand that was the bottom strand (now the new top strand) up towards your finger nails (Image 7).
- Continue to pull the yarn until it comes off your fingers (Image 8). Tighten up the knot you now have by pulling the ends of the yarn. You now have a slip knot (Figure 9)!
You can make the slip knot bigger by stretching it out with your fingers and cinch it up by pulling the string still attached to the ball of yarn.
The more you make slip knots, the easier they will become. Before you know it, you will be able to make them in your sleep.
Crochet Chain Stitch
Now you can move along to learning the chain stitch. As you may know, chains form the base of your crochet projects. They are the foundation that you will build your crochet stitches on.
If you are using a pattern, it will tell you how many chains you need to create. For now, just make as many as you want until you get the hang of it.
- First, insert your hook into the slip knot loop and tighten it up against the hook. Just like in the photo above. Also make sure the loop is not too tight and that you can slide the yarn back and forth on your hook.
- Grab the knot under your hook along with the hook itself with your right hand. This will help to keep it the slip knot in place. Hold the yarn attached to the ball in your left hand and bring it over and around your hook (Image 10). This is called a “yarn over”.
- Slide the hook back towards your slip knot, hooking your yarn over as you go (Image 11). I find it easiest at this point to now grab the knot under the hook with my left hand. This holds it steady and anchors it as I bring the hook through with my right hand.
- Finally, pull the yarn you grabbed with your hook through the loop that was originally on your hook (Image 12). This is called “pulling through” or “pulling up a loop”. You should be left with a loop remaining on your hook.
Yay! You have created your first crochet chain stitch!
Repeat the steps above to make as many chains as you need.
I hope you are not feeling any frustration. But if you are, that is perfectly normal. I sure did.
Hang in there, and keep practising! You will get it, I promise. Once you feel comfortable with the crochet chain stitch, it is time to move on to the single crochet.
Soon you will be able to complete some simple projects like this crochet pumpkin and many more.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I am happy to assist you with any issues you are having. You can also follow me on Facebook and Pinterest where I have curated many crochet projects for beginners.
Until next time, happy practicing your slip knots and chains!