For the first of our crocheting techniques blogs, we're starting with the very basics, from how to hold the hook and yarn, to how to create a slip knot. If you're a beginner crocheter these illustrated tips from Nicki Trench are a great start to learning to crochet.
Holding the hook
Pen position Pick up your hook as though you are picking up a pen or pencil. Keeping the hook held loosely between your fingers and thumb, turn your hand so that the palm is facing up and the hook is balanced in your hand and resting in the space between your index finger and your thumb.
Knife position But if I’m using a very large hook and chunky yarn, then I may sometimes change and use the knife position. I crochet a lot and I’ve learned that it’s important to take care not to damage your arm or shoulder by being too tense. Make sure you’re always relaxed when crocheting and take breaks.
Holding the yarn
Pick up the yarn with your little finger in the opposite hand to your hook, with your palm facing upwards and with the short end in front. Turn your hand to face downwards, with the yarn on top of your index finger and under the other two fingers and wrapped right around the little finger, as shown above.
Turn your hand to face you, ready to hold the work in your middle finger and thumb. Keeping your index finger only at a slight curve, hold the work or the slip knot using the same hand, between your middle finger and your thumb and just below the crochet hook and loop/s on the hook.
Holding your hook, yarn and crochet
Keep your index finger, with the yarn draped over it, at a slight curve, and hold your work (or the slip knot) using the same hand, between your middle finger and your thumb and just below the crochet hook and the loop/s on the hook.
As you draw the loop through the hook, release the yarn on the index finger to allow the loop to stay loose on the hook. If you tense your index finger, the yarn will become too tight and pull the loop on the hook too tight for you to draw the yarn through. Some left-handers learn to crochet like right-handers, but others learn with everything reversed – with the hook in the left hand and the yarn in the right.
Yarn round hook
To create a stitch, catch the yarn from behind with the hook pointing upwards. As you gently pull the yarn through the loop on the hook, turn the hook so it faces downwards and slide the yarn through the loop. The loop on the hook should be kept loose enough for the hook to slide through easily.
Making a slip knot
The simplest way is to make a circle with the yarn, so that the loop is facing downwards.
Make a circle of yarn as shown.
In one hand hold the circle at the top where the yarn crosses, and let the tail drop down at the back so that it falls across the centre of the loop. With your free hand or the tip of a crochet hook, pull a loop through the circle.
Put the hook into the loop and pull gently so that it forms a loose loop on the hook.
For more basic crocheting techniques, check out our video tutorials with Laura Strutt.
Now you've mastered the basics, check out Learn to Crochet by Nicki Trench for beginner's crochet patterns.