shortcut crochet

For all those who have said to me, "you have to teach me how to crochet!" This one's for you. :)

Simple steps to a single crochet chain stitch after the jump!

I am super excited to share my idea of "shortcut crochet" with my very first tutorial! The idea is to learn the first basic stitch, the single crochet, to make oodles of colorful chains. Then those long chains can be implemented in several quick projects to gain the accomplished feeling of handmade, and confidence in crochet!

Here we go!

Grab a hook and yarn. Any will do.
You need a slipknot on your hook to begin the chain...
Wrap the yarn around your first two fingers,
and insert the hook through the loop from behind.
Hook the long piece of yarn (that's coming from your yarn ball) and pull through.
Slip your fingers out and release the yarn.
Pull ends tight.
The slipknot!

(Keep in mind, there are several different techniques for both the slipknot and single chain. This tutorial is just the exact way I do it, which is most comfortable to me. YouTube instructional videos are a great resource for the many other techniques used to crochet. Also keep in mind, I am right-handed.)

Now for the chain...
 Thread the yarn between your fingers so there is resistance while you are working the chain.
Now grab the yarn end that is hanging from the hook with your thumb and middle finger,
leaving your pointer finger to hold the yarn coming from the yarn ball.
Next, hook the yarn coming from your pointer finger...
Twist the hook to get it to grab the yarn...
(also called a "yarn over" or "yo" in patterns)
Then pull through the slipknot you made!
But don't let go of your loop...
 With the new loop you made still on your hook,
hook the yarn from your pointer finger again...
and pull through...
Now you've got TWO chains!
Keep going!
You've made a single crochet chain!
You will always have one loop on your hook at all times until you are ready to finish it off.
To finish your chain, cut the yarn coming from the yarn ball, then pull your last loop all the way through...
Pull tight to knot the end, done!
Now make another! And another...
 Try different yarn colors, textures, sizes...
(The blue chain in the tutorial pics was made with medium yarn and size 6mm hook.
The red chain in the picture above was made with super bulk yarn and an 11.5mm hook.)

Chain stitches are the foundation of everything that is crocheted. For example, Hat: chain 5. Scarf: chain 15. Blanket: chain 160... all first lines from patterns I've tried. So learning how to crochet a chain is the first thing you need to know when starting this art of yarn.

And you've done just that!

Now, back to the beginning where I said "shortcut crochet"...
I will lead you into several quick projects with these chains this week,
so pick your favorite yarn colors, keep your hook moving, and fill up a basket next to your couch with crochet chains. They're gonna make you smile. :)