How to Single Crochet – Tutorial and Video

Learn how to single crochet with this photo and video tutorial. Newbie crocheters will also learn the parts of a stitch, chart symbols, and pattern abbreviations.

If you’re following along in the 30-day Newbie Series, welcome to Day Two! Today, we’ll learn how to single crochet on top of our starting chains. This is our first actual stitch, and tomorrow we’ll practice single crocheting our first pattern!

NOTE: This tutorial utilizes US terminology. Crocheters in the UK may see this stitch referred to as the double crochet. Learn more about US vs UK terms here.

image of a blue crochet swatch with a purple hook and human hand. Text overlay says, "how to crochet single crochet - free crochet tutorial from you should craft"

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After today’s post and video tutorial, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify the single crochet abbreviation in patterns and the single crochet symbol in charts
  • Define “turning chain”
  • Label the parts of a single crochet
  • Crochet the single crochet stitch in rows

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Identifying Single Crochets in Patterns and Charts

Single crochets are abbreviated in patterns as “sc” and represented in charts with an x or a + symbol.

Let’s look at the simple chart we introduced in yesterday’s lesson:

crochet chart featuring chains and single crochets

Yesterday, we determined that we’re starting off with 19 chains (the blue ovals). Do you see all the pluses (+) in row 1? If we count, we know that we’ll need 18 single crochets to complete the row.

Do you see how each row starts with a vertical oval (ch)? Those are known as “turning chains,” and we always start with one when beginning a row of single crochet stitches.

Do you remember that one blue vertical oval from yesterday? The one that we said was part of the starting chain? When crocheting single crochets, we always chain one extra to serve as the turning chain for row 1. That’s why we have 19 starting chains, but only 18 stitches in each row.

A written pattern based on the chart above would read:

  • ch 19
  • ROW 1: sc in second ch from hook, sc across (18)
  • ROWS 2 – 4: ch 1 and turn, sc across (18)

The parentheses at the end of each row tell you the stitch count.

Parts of a Single Crochet Stitch

Standard crochet stitches (like the single crochet) have two loops at the top, which create a “v” shape. You can count the v’s to see how many stitches you’ve crocheted in that row.

As you’re crocheting, the loop that’s closest to you is the “front loop” and the loop that’s furthest from you is the “back loop.” Some patterns will specify which loop to crochet into (e.g. my Twisted Whims Hat has some sections that are “back loops only”). If the pattern doesn’t specify, you should assume that you’re crocheting into both loops.

purple hook and a small blue swatch of single crochet, labeled

Supplies / Materials

You can use any hook and yarn to crochet single crochet stitches, so practice with whatever you have on hand. If you’re following along in the Newbie Series, you can use either your worsted weight acrylic yarn or your worsted weight cotton yarn.

For the tutorial, I used:

NOTE: My friends at WeCrochet provided the materials for the Newbie Series.

Single Crochet Video Tutorial

Here’s a video to show you how to crochet single crochets. It reviews much of the information found in this post (like abbreviations and parts of a stitch).

How to Single Crochet

ch any number (I chained 14 so I can reuse this swatch on Day 5)

ROW 1:

  • a.) insert your hook into the second ch from your hook (I always crochet into the “back bump“)
  • b.) yarn over
  • c.) pull through the first loop on your hook (you should have two loops on your hook)
  • d.) yarn over and pull through both loops
collage of four images showing how to single crochet

Repeat steps a-d until you reach the end of your starting ch. If you chained 14 like me, you should have 13 sc in row 1.

two hands crocheting a turning chain

ROW 2: ch 1 and turn your work (flip it over).

sc across, inserting your hook into both loops of the stitches from row 1. If you started with 14 ch like me, you will have 13 stitches at the end of row 2.

ROWS 2 – 8: ch 1 and turn, sc across (13)

If you’re planning to use this swatch for Day 5 in the Newbie Series, stop at 8 rows.