In the world of DIY, crocheting has become indispensable. You can see self crochet everywhere – in fashion, as small accessories or as decoration. There are numerous creative ideas. Would you like to be able to do something like that? With us you can learn how to crochet. These basic instructions for beginners will show you the most important crochet techniques and stitches.
Material – wool and crochet hook
In addition to the right wool, crocheting depends on the crochet hook and its size. The size of the crochet hook and the thickness of the wool always depend on exactly what you want to crochet. Use sturdy yarn if you want to crochet a bag, for example. Very soft yarn is ideal for caps and scarves to make them cuddly. The manufacturer’s information will tell you all the details about the wool. Basically, you can’t do much wrong when buying wool and needles. As soon as you have decided on a ball, you can recognize the most important key data on the banderole:
On it you can read the weight and barrel length of the wool, the colour and composition, as well as the appropriate needle size. The symbols tell you what is meant by what. If the banderole shows a needle size of 4 to 5, you should get such a crochet hook.
To start and learn the most important techniques, a medium yarn and a crochet hook with a needle size of 4 to 5 are sufficient. This is not too filigree, but also not too thick and perfectly suited for learning crocheting.
Before you get started, you should know how to hold a crochet hook and wool in your hands.
There are two ways to hold the needle: either you hold it like a knife or like a pin in your guiding hand (right-handed people hold the needle to the right, left-handed people hold the needle to the left).
The wool is logically guided with the other hand. There are numerous ways to wrap the wool around your index finger – from the front or the back, only once or several times. Start intuitively and you will quickly find the best variant for you. There is no right or wrong with the wool guide.
The thread is attached to the crochet hook with a simple loop.
The most important meshes
crochet air meshes
The air stitch is the simplest of all crochet stitches and the most important basis for every crochet piece. You need the air mesh when crocheting an air mesh chain at the beginning of a crochet piece as the first round or as a ring, at the beginning of a new round as a spiral air mesh or when crocheting air mesh arches.
The air mesh chain is a series of many air meshes that are simply crocheted one after the other. For example, the air mesh chain is used as the first round when crocheting a sweater, scarf or headband.
Tip: If you want to crochet into the air meshes in the second round, be careful not to crochet them too tightly. With loose air stitches, which you can easily cut into, you will be able to complete the second round as if by magic.
In addition to the linear beginning of a crochet piece, there is also the circular beginning – the ring. Air stitches are closed with a warp stitch to form a ring. This air mesh ring is used when crocheting caps, baskets or even bags – i.e. for all crochet pieces that have a round base.
Spiral air mesh – If you have finished a round of the crochet piece and want to start a new round afterwards, the air mesh is often crocheted as a spiral air mesh. Simply crochet an air mesh and turn the work. Now crochet in the other direction, using the air mesh as the turning axis.In more complex crochet patterns, air mesh arcs are connecting air mesh chains that run in an arc, as in this shopping net.
Click here for detailed instructions on crocheting air meshes: Crochet air meshes
Crochet warp stitch
The warp stitch is used as the round end – it connects the first with the last stitch. It is very flat and stable and therefore perfectly suited for a clean finish of a round or for joining different crochet pieces, such as the Granny Squares. If you connect them with warp stitches, you are definitely holding them.
The warp stitch is visually rather inconspicuous, but you can still crochet it around a crochet piece as a decorative edge.
The exact instructions for the warp stitch can be found here: Crochet warp stitch
Crochet tight meshes
Another important technique when crocheting is to crochet firm meshes. As the name suggests, these stitches are very strong and stable stitches that are often used on caps.
The crochet piece becomes even, stable and opaque with firm meshes. That’s why solid stitches are mostly used with Amigurumis, because these small stuffed cuddly toys have to be very durable and robust. The opaque pattern also prevents the filling cotton wool from being seen.
If you need a firm edge, firm meshes are just as suitable.
Here we have the detailed crochet instructions for fixed meshes: Crochet tight meshes
In contrast to the firm meshes, crocheted chopsticks produce a looser mesh with larger holes. Depending on how loose the crochet piece is to become, the chopstick can be modified and “enlarged”. By the height of the stick you can determine the height of the holes in the crochet piece. The firm stitches are small and stocky, while the stick is longer. In the following, we will show you different variations of the chopstick.
Rods are firm meshes on raised stilts.
We start with half the stick. This is a little bit higher than the fixed mesh. You take a third stitch on the crochet hook by means of a cover and stitch all three stitches together.
Here you will learn how to crochet half sticks: Crochet half sticks
The whole or also simple rod is now clearly higher than the firm mesh and the half rod. It consists not only of an envelope, but also of two firm meshes.
In this guide we will show you how to crochet whole chopsticks: Crochet whole chopsticks
The double stick begins with two envelopes. It is therefore almost twice as high as a whole stick. Finally there are four stitches on the crochet hook, which are gradually cut off until there is only one stitch left on the needle.
You can find crochet instructions for double chopsticks here: Crochet double sticks
The relief stick is crocheted exactly like the whole stick. Here only the puncture point changes. A distinction is made between relief sticks that are pierced from the front and relief sticks that are pierced from the back. The sticks are not crocheted into the loops of the preliminary round, but completely around the individual sticks of the preliminary round. Alternating the stitching point results in different patterns on the front and back. The name “relief” is derived from the fact that raised structures can be crocheted in this way.
The step-by-step instructions for the relief stick: Crochet the relief stick
Thread Ring / Magic Ring
Now we show you another start for round base areas, next to the air mesh ring. A kind of loop is put into which the first round is crocheted. These can be fixed meshes or rods – it doesn’t matter. The trick with the thread ring is that the stitches can be easily pulled together after crocheting the first round and the ring closes.
Compared to the ring made of air meshes, the thread ring is not so thick at the beginning, because a complete first row is crocheted. With the air mesh ring all stitches of the first row are crocheted into a hole, which makes the start a bit thicker.
You can learn how to crochet a thread ring here: Crochet thread ring
We recommend the crab stitches for beautiful edges such as a neckline, pocket opening or sleeves. They are as firm as firm stitches, which is almost logical as they are backwards crocheted, firm stitches. Crocheting backwards can be difficult for some beginners, but it’s worth it.
Crochet round transition
A clean round transition is not easy, especially for beginners – often you don’t know where to crochet the last stitch, whether to close the round with a warp stitch or with a fixed stitch. We now show you a great variant for a clean lap transition, which is especially important for caps or bags.
You have reached the last stitch of the preliminary round. Now continue crocheting as follows. Do not pierce the last stitch of the preliminary round, but leave it free.
Close the round as usual with a warp stitch through the first stitch of the preliminary round. So far so good.
The beginning of the next round looks like this. Replace the first stitch (no matter if fixed stitch or sticks) with the corresponding number of air stitches:
Fixed mesh = two air meshes
rods = three air meshes
Now the first stitch is crocheted normally, but through exactly the same stitch through which you crocheted the warp stitch for the finish.
Continue with the round as usual until the end. Once you have reached the end, release the last stitch of the preliminary round.
Tip: Set a round marker. This can be a loop marker or a piece of thread. This is pulled through the first stitch of the round. So you always know when the round ends.
Would you like to design your crochet piece in a colourful way? We will now show you how to change the yarn colour.
You have reached the end of a round. Now cut the thread generously.
Then take the new thread and pull it as a loop through the stitch on the crochet hook.
The two threads are then knotted together.
Now you can continue the next round as usual.
In many crochet instructions the increase of stitches is unavoidable. You will need this technique especially for round bases. The circle of the crochet must increase evenly round by round. For this purpose, the stitches of the preliminary round are evenly doubled, tripled or quadrupled. Depending on the instructions, there will be different curves in the crochet piece.
It is very easy to increase the number of stitches. You only have to crochet two stitches into one of the stitches of the preliminary round. The result = You have made two stitches out of one stitch. In this way you can multiply each stitch.
Counting is important when increasing the mesh size. You must not get confused.
In these instructions for a crochet hat you can learn and apply the increase of meshes directly: Crochet cap
Just as it is important to accept stitching, it is also very important to remove stitching in some instructions. The mesh size is the opposite of the increase in mesh size. You make one stitch out of two meshes. The crochet piece becomes smaller and narrower when you stitch stitches together.
Depending on which stitches you crochet, the crochet techniques differ. In the following we will show you the variants for fixed stitches and sticks.
Stitching off firm stitches
Step 1: The first stitch of the preliminary round is stitched and the thread is taken. You now have two stitches on the crochet hook.
Step 2: Then stitch the second stitch of the preliminary round and pull the thread again. You now have three stitches on the needle.
Step 3: Now fetch the thread and pull it through all three stitches on the needle.
In this way you have made a firm stitch out of two firm stitches.
If you crochet this mobile phone pocket, you can learn and practice the meshing: Crochet mobile phone pocket
mesh off chopsticks
Step 1: First an envelope is fetched as usual. Then you prick the first stitch of the preliminary round. You now have three stitches on the needle.
Step 2: Then pick up the thread and pull it through the first two stitches on the needle. So there are only two stitches left on the needle.
Step 3: Now repeat the procedure for the second stitch of the preliminary round. Make an envelope, prick the stitch. You have three stitches on the needle.
Step 4: Get the thread and pull it through the first two stitches on the crochet hook.
Step 5: Pull the thread through the three stitches on the needle.
This is how you made a stick out of two sticks from the preliminary round.
Now you know the most important crochet basics and can get started. In the following we have compiled many instructions for beginners in which these techniques are applied. With a little practice you can soon crochet a cap or even a bag. You will see that with time crocheting becomes child’s play.