If you’re a beginner just diving into crocheting, it can be really intimidating to get started with all the terminology and abbreviations out there. I started crocheting over a year ago, and since then, I’ve waded through the scs, hdc, and dcs, and gone on to make tiny adorable toys, shawls, sweaters, blankets, and more! If I can do it, you can too. Let’s break down the easiest crochet stitches for beginners.
The single crochet stitch is the easiest stitch for beginners because it only has three steps. It forms the basic building block of all the other crochet stitches and stitch patterns, and is the only stitch used for amigurumi.
Let’s take a look at what the single crochet and other beginner stitches look like, as well as projects you can make of each!
1. Single Crochet Stitch (sc)
The single crochet stitch is created by pulling up a loop, yarning over, and pulling through both loops. It can be worked in turned rows and also in the round, and forms the basic building block of all crochet stitches.
The best way to practice this stitch is to make a few chain stitches and then single crochet across. When you get to the end of the row, make another chain stitch, turn your work, and then crochet back across. This video will walk you through the process.
Single crochet stitches are small and dense, and each stitch is approximately square shaped. On top, horizontal “v” shapes are visible which you work into with your hook. When laid flat like the swatch above, each row looks like a line, and only the side of each stitch is visible.
The single crochet is the fundamental basic building block for all the other crochet stitches. Once you master this stitch, all the rest will fall into place — so the single crochet is quite possibly the hardest thing to learn about crochet! If you’re struggling, don’t worry because it’s all downhill from here.
It took me a while to get the hang of the single crochet, but once I figured it out, everything was smooth sailing and it felt like the heavens had opened up.
What can I make with the single crochet stitch?
There are many crochet projects that only use single crochet stitches. Amigurumi (crochet toys) exclusively use single crochet stitches, so once you learn this stitch and the magic ring you’ll be able to make lots of amigurumi!
Apart from crochet toys, there are also many home decor and basic accessories you can make with just the single crochet (and chain). Here are just a few:
The single crochet stitch is extremely dense and results in a granular, pixelated look. This means that it can be great for projects that need an extremely close, thick fabric, like beanies or warm scarves.
2. Half Double Crochet Stitch (hdc)
The half double crochet stitch is about 1.5 times as tall as the single crochet stitch. It is created in the same way, but with an extra yarn over at the beginning to give the stitch extra height. This stitch is one of the most popular stitches because of its yarn and time saving efficiency.
This stitch is remarkably versatile and extremely popular because of how neat it looks, and it also happens to work up extremely quickly! For this reason, it’s a common choice for garments or other projects where covering a lot of space quickly is necessary.
The half double crochet looks very similar to the single crochet, but it’s a little taller and there is a small gap between each stitch. For this reason, the swatch above looks less dense than the single crochet swatch, and each row is relatively taller.
What can I make with the half double crochet stitch?
These sweaters are made up of a majority of half double crochets! Since the half double crochet is a taller stitch than the single crochet, each round is fairly visible as a line. This is the main distinguishing factor that differentiates crocheted garments from knit garments. Since crochet stitches are so much larger than knit ones the rounds are often extremely visible. Also, since each stitch is fairly large, the sweater can have a pixelated look because they are more visible individually.
I have made the Static Sweater above and can confirm that it works up extremely quickly! It’s very rewarding to be able to crochet a garment with just one stitch with amazing results.
3. Double Crochet Stitch (dc)
The double crochet stitch is twice as tall as the single crochet stitch, and is an extremely time efficient. Projects made only with double crochets will be very breathable with gaps between the stitches, making it ideal for blankets and shawls.
Double crochets look very similar to single and half double crochets, but they are even taller! Fabric made of double crochets are also significantly less dense than those made from single crochets, since the height of the stitches makes the gaps between them longer. Because of this trade off, double crochets are used less frequently than half double crochets since the fabric has less structural integrity.
However, double crochet stitches are still ideal when you’re trying to cover a large surface area and don’t need the fabric to be particularly dense, or it is desirable to have gaps visible.
What can I make with the double crochet stitch?
These projects are all made mostly of the double crochet stitch! Since double crochets have a tendency for having more gaps than half double and single crochets, projects made with this stitch are more breathable and looser and also have a beautiful drape. The stitches are also incredibly tall, so the rows are also very tall. Comparing the cardigan on the right to the half double crochet sweaters above, it’s easy to see the difference in the height of the rounds.
4. Moss Stitch
Once you’ve mastered the chain, single, half double, and double crochet stitches, you’re ready to tackle more advanced stitch patterns. Stitch patterns are just combinations of the three basic building blocks that we’ve just gone over, but repeated over and over to create interesting textures. The last few stitches I’ll show you are all examples of stitch patterns.
The moss stitch is made up of single crochets and chains, making it one of the easiest stitch patterns, but results in an evenly textured fabric. This stitch is more interesting than just a single crochet stitch and immediately ups your crochet game! Click here for a tutorial.
What can I make with the moss stitch?
The moss stitch creates such a beautiful texture and works incredibly well with colorwork. These projects exemplify how the moss stitch creates a different texture than just the single, half double, or double crochet without adding too much more complexity.
5. Granny Stripe Stitch
Granny squares are a trademark of crocheters everywhere and are so fast and easy to work up. The granny stripe stitch mimics the classic granny square pattern but can be worked in rows as well as rounds so that you can take the granny square wherever you go.
This stitch features small clusters of double crochet stitches that are interspersed with each other to create an interlocking pattern with artful gaps. It’s such a unique texture and adds immediate interest to your project, whether it’s a coaster, infinity scarf, or headband. This stitch is no harder than the double crochet itself which certainly earns its spot as one of the easiest stitches! Click here for a tutorial.
What can I make with the granny stripe stitch?
All of these projects are extremely simple, but instantly elevated with the granny stripe stitch. It’s incredible how complex and detailed crochet projects can be when each stitch individually is quite simple. Remember, this stitch is no harder than the easy double crochet — it’s so remarkable what a different combination of stitches can create!
6. Mini Bean Stitch
This last stitch lands in a middle ground between the moss stitch and the granny stripe stitch. Its name comes from the texture that this stitch creates. Fabric from this stitch looks as if there are many tiny beans criss crossing across it, with a tight, dense structure perfect for dishcloths or blankets.
Believe it or not, this incredibly textured stitch is made up of lots of chains and yarn overs — nothing complicated here! Check out this tutorial to begin your first mini bean stitch project.
What can I make with the mini bean stitch?
These projects all feature the super cute mini bean stitch. The benefit of using stitch patterns like this one is that you don’t necessarily need colorwork to add interest to your project, so feel free to just crochet away without worrying about unnecessary ends to weave in or balls of yarn to keep nearby!
I hope you enjoyed this round up of the easiest crochet stitches and that this article encourages you to get started on one of the projects!