Ultimate Crochet 101 Guide to Single Crochet

How to Crochet Single Crochet: Everything You Want To Know!

Single Crochet
Single Crochet. Kathryn Vercillo

Single crochet is a basic crochet stitch that all beginners should learn. When you learn how to single crochet, it becomes easier to crochet all of the taller basic crochet stitches (such as double treble crochet) since you already have the steps down. You can also use single crochet in complex stitch patterns, crochet projects and joining crochet motifs. Here's your ultimate guide to everything you might want to know about how to crochet with single crochet.

How to Single Crochet

First things first, you need to learn how to single crochet. That link will take you to our step-by-step guide for single crochet. Do you work better with visual instruction? If so, here's a single crochet video tutorial.

Color in Single Crochet

You will also want to learn how to change colors in single crochet to give you more options for projects. Of course, if you aren't ready to learn to change colors, you can just work with a  variegated yarn at first. And you can also hold together multiple strands of yarn to work a chunky sc with unique coloring.

Chainless Foundation Single Crochet

Typically when you start a crochet project that is worked in rows, you'll crochet a foundation chain then you'll work your first set of single crochet stitches into that chain. However, some people don't like to work with foundation chains and prefer chainless foundations instead. Learn the foundation single crochet to start projects in a new way!

Choose Your Loops

When you crochet, you typically insert your crochet hooks through both loops. However, you can create different types of crochet patterns by working in the front loop only (FLO) or back loop only (BLO). Some of the options that you have to make your single crochet projects more interesting:

  • Crochet the entire project in FLO sc.
  • Crochet the entire project in BLO sc. Learn how to back loop only single crochet.
  • Alternate rows of FLO and BLO sc (change every row or in groups of rows for different effects)
  • Alternate FLO sc and BLO sc across each row.
  • Incorporate regular single crochet (through both loops) with any of the above options)

There is also a stitch pattern called the split single crochet, that plays with the loops in an interesting way.

Another option is to crochet around the posts from the previous row. Post stitches usually aren't done in single crochet because it's a difficult method, but it's possible to do it. More often you'll see sc post stitches worked around dc stitches from the previous row. Learn back post single crochet.

Other Variations on Single Crochet

In addition to changing your loops, you can change the height of your single crochet stitches using variations on this stitch. Shorter sc is called shallow sc; taller sc is called long sc, extended single crochet or spike stitch. Learn more about these sc stitch variations.

Single Crochet Stitch Patterns

Single crochet is the basis of some really interested textured stitch patterns. Even a beginner can make terrific projects using moss stitch (also called granite stitch).

Moss stitch crochet combines single crochet with chain spaces for a fabulous simple design. There's also a version called thermal crochet that is moss stitch worked in BLO. In addition to moss crochet, some interesting single crochet stitch patterns include:

  • Single crochet clusters or even just sc2tog. This is where you join several single crochet stitches into one big stitch. Sc2tog is also used in decreasing.
  • Star stitch crochet. There are different variations of star stitch; some use sc.
  • Single crochet spiral. You can work sc in the round. Typically you use a slip stitch to join each round and this gives you a flat circle but you also have the option of making a spiral instead. Spiral are often used in freeform crochet.
  • Seed stitch. This crochet stitch pattern alternates sc and dc stitches.

Tapestry Crochet

There is a beautiful type of colorwork crochet called tapestry crochet. It incorporates graphic designs and exquisite use of color to paint pictures, and even portraits, in yarn. And yet tapestry crochet just uses the single crochet stitch! Learn all about tapestry crochet to take your single crochet to the next level. Get some tapestry crochet inspiration here.

Amigurumi Crochet

All of those adorable creatures that you see in the world of amigurumi crochet are made using single crochet worked in the round! You can make crochet food, crochet animals and crochet art using amigurumi! Here are some amigurumi crochet resources for you:

Single Crochet FREE Patterns

Ready to make something using single crochet? Here are some of our free crochet patterns based on single crochet

And there are even more free single crochet patterns on our site! Another great option if you're multi-craftual is to add cross stitch to a single crochet background to create a design.

Single Crochet to Join Motifs

Finally, you can use single crochet as a joining method when you've created a motif-based project and need to connect those motifs. The single crochet join is a simple, textured method of joining together granny squares and other motifs. 

Single Crochet as Edging

A border of single crochet is terrific for giving any project a finished look. A basic single crochet is a common afghan edging, for example. A more advanced alternative is reverse single crochet, also called crab stitch. And there's actually a variation of the reverse single crochet called the Twisted Single Crochet.

And More Single Crochet

And finally, here are a couple more things that you might want to learn to wrap up your single crochet lessons:

  • How to single crochet around a hair band. This can be used to make simple projects.
  • How to crochet a buttonhole in single crochet. It's possible to make entire wearable projects using just sc and it's great if you know how to leave spaces for buttons!

Single crochet may seem like such a simple stitch, and indeed it's a great stitch for beginners, but there are so, so many things that you can do with single crochet. Practice all of the options in this single crochet stitch guide to get a good handle on this foundation of the craft.