Basic Stitches in Crochet

Beginning crocheters can check this list to find the most essential basic stitches they will need to know. You'll find a description of each stitch plus links to crochet stitch tutorials, instructions and / or crochet videos for learning each of these six basic stitches in crochet. You'll also get a better understanding of what each crochet stitch is best used for so that even as a beginner you'll know which basic crochet stitch to use for different types of projects.

Edited and...MORE Updated by Kathryn Vercillo

  • 01 of 07

    Basic Stitches: Crochet Chain Stitch

    Basic Crochet Stitches -- The Chain Stitch
    Basic Crochet Stitches -- The Chain Stitch. Basic Crochet Stitches -- The Chain Stitch -- Photo © Amy Solovay

    The chain stitch, abbreviated "ch" is the most basic of all crochet stitches. You'll use the chain stitch in three very common ways:

    1. Chain stitches are used to begin most crochet projects. When a grouping of chain stitches is used at the beginning of a project, it can be referred to as a "starting chain," "base chain," or a "foundation chain."
    2. A "turning chain" is often used between rows of crochet stitches. The height of the turning chain, which is the...MORE number of chains you create (such as "ch 3") depends on the stitches that will be used in that row. 
    3. Chains are often used to connect the other stitches in a crochet pattern, particularly when working in the round. For example, a "ch 2" is a staple instruction throughout the classic crochet granny square motif.
    4. Many crochet patterns utilize chain stitches as a core feature of the stitch pattern; they can create a variety of interesting effects, including picots, openwork lace, and long fringe.

    If you are brand new to crochet, this is the first basic crochet stitch you should learn. Here are some resources for learning about the chain stitch:

    • Chain stitch tutorial -- learn the chain stitch, step by step. This is where you will want to begin.
    • Chain stitch video -- if you learn better with video instructions then you'll want to check out this chain stitch crochet video tutorial

    If the only thing that you know how to crochet is the basic crochet chain, you can still make crochet items. Crochet a set of long chains, knot them together at both ends and you've got your first simple crochet scarf!

  • 02 of 07

    Basic Crochet Stitches: Slip Stitch

    Basic Crochet Stitches -- Slip Stitch
    Basic Crochet Stitches -- Slip Stitch. Basic Crochet Stitches -- Slip Stitch -- Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Slip stitches are useful and versatile. Pictured here is one possible use for the slip stitch; when your crochet instructions tell you to "join with a slip stitch to form a ring," this photo shows an example of what your work might look like.

    In general, slip stitches are useful for joining one crocheted element to another. However, there are many other ways you could use them; in the surface crochet tutorial, you'll learn about different ways you can use slip stitches to add color...MORE and visual interest to the surface of a crochet or knitting project.

    Slip stitches can also be joined to use motifs; for example, you could place a pair of granny squares side-by-side and slip stitch crochet them together. And there are some types of crochet that actually rely entirely on slip stitches including Bosnian crochet and some forms of short row crochet. In fact, the very first reference to crochet in history is a reference in the 19th century to shepherd's knitting, which is slip stitch crochet!

  • 03 of 07

    Basic Crochet Stitches: Single Crochet Stitch

    Basic Crochet Stitches -- Single Crochet Stitch
    Basic Crochet Stitches -- Single Crochet Stitch. Basic Crochet Stitches -- Single Crochet Stitch -- Photo © Amy Solovay

    The single crochet stitch, abbreviated as sc, is another basic crochet stitch you'll need to know and often the first "real" stitch that people learn when first learning to crochet. It's a short stitch that appears frequently in many different crochet patterns.

    Here are some resources for learning the single crochet stitch:

    Single crochet is the foundation stitch used in all amigurumi crochet patterns. If you love amigurumi, you need to know single crochet. If you know single crochet, you're well on your way to making amigurumi.

  • 04 of 07

    Basic Crochet Stitches: Half Double Crochet

    Rows of Half Double Crochet Stitch
    Rows of Half Double Crochet Stitch. Rows of Half Double Crochet Stitch -- Photo © Michael Solovay

    Half double crochet stitch builds upon the basic single crochet stitch by adding an extra step, so it's best to learn single crochet first and then learn half double crochet. In fact, single crochet is really halfway between single and double crochet in terms of height, and it can be helpful to learn both sc and dc (the next basic stitch mentioned below) before learning half double crochet. Half double crochet is a great stitch used in all different types of projects and it's definitely...MORE one that you should know if you want to master all of the basic crochet stitches. Learn how to half double crochet.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Basic Stitches:: Double Crochet Stitch

    Basic Crochet Stitches -- Double Crochet Stitches
    Basic Crochet Stitches -- Double Crochet Stitches. Basic Crochet Stitches -- Double Crochet Stitches -- Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Double crochet (abbreviated dc) combines well with all of the other basic stitches, and there are unlimited ways to use it. The double crochet stitch is the cornerstone of granny square crochet, filet crochet, v-stitch crochet and so many other popular crochet patterns. It's truly a must-learn basic crochet stitch.

    Here are some resources for learning the double crochet stitch:

  • 06 of 07

    Basic Crochet Stitches: Treble Crochet

    Treble Crochet Stitch Worked in Rows
    Treble Crochet Stitch Worked in Rows. Treble Crochet Stitch Worked in Rows -- Photo © Michael Solovay

    The treble crochet stitch (abbreviated tr) is also known as the triple crochet stitch. It's taller than the double crochet stitch, but it follows the same basic steps. In fact, once you know how to double crochet, you can make many different types of taller crochet stitches. This allows you to quickly add height to a project.

  • 07 of 07

    Combining the Basic Crochet Stitches

    seed-stitch-crochet.jpg
    Seed stitch crochet fabric. Kathryn Vercillo

    Once you've learned these basic crochet stitches, you can do almost anything in crochet. A great next step is to start combining the basic crochet stitches to create new stitch patterns. For example, the crochet seed stitch alternates single crochet and double crochet stitches whereas the crochet moss stitch alternates single crochet with chains.