Single Crochet: One of the basic crochet stitches.

The Single Crochet (sc) stitch is the most basic, and most dense stitch in crochet. No matter if you use yarn, wool, or cotton, this stitch makes beautiful warm sweaters, hats, scarves, potholders, purses and much more. When you want to create a solid fabric this is the stitch to use. When you learn to crochet this is usually the place to start.

This is also the best stitch to use when felting. Felting will be taught on a later page.

My Mother gave me instruction on how to make a chain. She told me to practice that until I could do it well. I had a ball of chains that was the size of a soft ball when she decided to move on and teach me Single Crochet. The first thing I made was a crochet dish cloth, followed by several potholders.

Single Crochet Swatch

Counting Chain Stitches

The first thing that mystified me was counting chain stitches - where did I really start? When a pattern says, "Start in the second chain from the hook," what exactly was that second chain?

Single Crochet - counting chain stitches When counting chains from the hook - never - count the loop that's on the hook itself. The picture to the left shows how you would count them.

In single crochet you start in the second chain from the hook. I've marked that one with the tip of my scissors.

A word from Mom's Crochet:
This Poncho Vest can by made long or short, and sized to fit.
Click here for Free online pattern with Free PDF download.
Breezy Poncho Vest

What Part of the Chain Loop Do You Pick Up?

If you look carefully at a chain stitch you'll see that there are 3 strings. The picture above shows you 2 and there is 1 string in the back. The back string is usually picked up (crocheting into the bottom loop) and rides on top of the hook. However, there are times when a pattern will tell you to just pick up the top loop - this is usually when finishing work needs to be done or special sewing. Using cotton fiber will give you the cleanest stitches, followed by standard yarn, and finally wool. The fuzzier your fiber, the harder it is to see your stitches.

Single Crochet into bottom of chain Most of the time you will be picking up stitches in your chain like this picture. There will be one loop on the bottom of your hook and two loops on the top. This leaves a nice finished edge. When a pattern doesn't tell you how - this is usually the method to use.
Single Crochet into top of chain If items need to be sewn together or special things added, like fringe, you'll only pick up the top loop of your chain. This gives you working room, at the bottom, of your project.

If picking up the top loop is important most patterns will tell you, however I've seen some that do not. If you're not told how, stop and think about your project - and remember - if you do need to work into the chain end later, just pick up the top loop of the chain.

This is how I hold my yarn.
Holding the yarn for Crochet

This is Making the Actual Single Crochet Stitch

Single Crochet Stitch Working into the top of the Chain (loop) Stitch is easier to photograph, so this is what I'm using.
Single Crochet Stitch Hook the yarn and pull it through the loop.
Single Crochet Stitch This leaves you with 2 loops on your hook.
Single Crochet Stitch Hook your yarn again (this can either be done in front or around - as in the picture below).
Single Crochet Stitch This picture shows what hooking your yarn around the hook would look like. It is not an additional step in the process.
Single Crochet Stitch Pull that loop through BOTH loops on the crochet hook.
Single Crochet Stitch You've just made your first stitch. Continue this across the chain.

Chain One and Turn

Single Crochet - Chain One and Turn When you reach the end of a row you will always need to chain a few stitches before you turn your work to go back in the other direction.

In the case of Single Crochet you will Chain One and Turn.
Single Crochet - Chain One and Turn Simply chain one stitch into the loop that's on your crochet hook.
Single Crochet - Chain One and Turn Then turn your work so you are ready to go in the opposite direction.

Crocheting Into The Next Row

Single Crochet into the 2nd Row When crocheting back (the next row) you'll insert your hook under the two threads at the top.

For a more ribbed look you can pick up just the back loop.

Most patterns will tell you what loop to pick up. If they don't say, pick up both as you see in this picture.
Single Crochet into the 2nd Row Just like before you'll pick up the yarn on the other side ...
Single Crochet into the 2nd Row ... and draw it through. This time make sure to bring it through both loops that your hook went under.
Single Crochet into the 2nd Row With two loops on your crochet hook, draw another loop through both.
Single Crochet into the 2nd Row This is the 'pattern' you'll follow for all your Single Crochet work.

This is what 2 rows looks like.
2 Rows of Single Crochet

Counting Single Crochet Rows

Last, but not least, for this instruction is counting rows. The following pictures show you how to count them.

Row 1
Counting Single Crochet Row 1
Row 2
Counting Single Crochet Row 2
Row 3
Counting Single Crochet Row 3
Row 4
Counting Single Crochet Row 4