Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crochet Primer: Single Crochet Stitch

Thanks for coming back for Part Three of our crochet lessons. If this is the first one you've happened upon, please first go back to part one and then part two to catch up. If you already know how to set up and do the chain stitch, then stay put. Let's talk about the single crochet stitch.

Just as with the knit stitch, you can go quite a long way knowing only one crochet stitch: single crochet. This is the easiest and most useful of the full-on crochet stitches, in my opinion, and actually might just be my favorite. The single crochet stitch may certainly be used alone to produce a sweet, fine-textured fabric, especially in lighter weight yarns. You could easily work my Clockwise Cap knowing just chain and single crochet.

Let's start with working the single crochet into a foundation of chain stitches. These photos (taken expertly by my daughter Natalie) are from our Learn to Crochet Cowl, so we are working in the round. You need not be working in the round to learn this stitch, however. Just work a few chain stitches, turn, and go in the other direction. At this point you would have a loop on the hook and are looking at a few chain stitches stretching out before you, ready to be worked into. If you are working a flat (not in the round) swatch like this, you will work your first single crochet stitch in the second chain from the hook. The first one right next to the hook is needed to give space for the next stitch.

Notice that each chain has three parts--the chain on top has a thread nearest you and a thread farthest from you, and there lies the little bump underneath. For now, let's work into the top single thread of the chain.

Insert your hook into the chain. We already have a loop on the hook, so the next maneuver will add another loop.

Once the hook is inserted into the chain, take the hook over the working yarn and draw the yarn through the chain. Now you have two loops on the hook.

Take the hook under the working yarn and draw the yarn through both the loops on the hook.

There you go! You have a single crochet stitch. Here is what it looks like when you have few of them in a row. So pretty.

That shows how to work single crochet into chain stitch. To work single crochet into another single crochet below, insert the hook into both sides of the chain that lies at the top of the single crochet stitch. That is, for now. Other more decorative stitches are made by working into either the front of the chain or the back of the chain. To practice, just work into the entire chain.
I must mention, by the way, that this lovely blue yarn in all the pics is Malabrigo Worsted in Blue Surf and the hook is Brittany bamboo.

Have fun practicing single crochet. Tomorrow we double it!

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