Crochet Basics: Single, Half Double, and Slip Stitch

Learn to crochet this fall!Learn to crochet this fall!Welcome back to Crochet Basics! We’ve covered how to get started and read a pattern, how to make a slip knot and foundation chain, and now you’re ready to learn some stitches! Once you learn how to crochet these basic stitches, you can start making a fabric! You’ll be equipped to try many beginner crochet patterns, such as blankets, scarves, and much more!

Single Crochet Stitch (sc)

To start Row 1, take your foundation chain in your hand (the one that’s not holding the hook), and insert your hook into the second chain from the hook. Pull the yarn through the stitch so that you have two loops on your hook. Yarn over, and pull the yarn through both of those loops. Voila! Once you’ve completed a row, chain 1 (ch 1) and turn your work over. To start the next row, insert your hook under the first stitch and continue making sc stitches.  The stitches look like little v’s, and you want to insert the hook under both strands of yarn in the v, not into th v like you would insert into the stitch on the foundation chain when making Row 1. Remember to ch 1 at the end of every row before turning your work to start the next row.

Learn to crochet this fall!Half Double Crochet Stitch (dc)

A half double crochet stitch (hdc) produces a tight fabric, and is in between the height of single crochet (sc) and double crochet (dc). To start, yarn over and insert your hook into the first stitch on the row (or into the 3rd chain from your hook). Pull the yarn up through the stitch so you have 3 loops of yarn on your hook.  To complete the stitch, yarn over and pull the yarn through all 3 loops. Before turning your work for the next row, chain 2 (ch 2) when working in hdc. To start the next row, insert your hook into the 3rd chain from your hook, which should be the last stitch from row 1. 

To show you the difference in height of the stitches, here are some swatches. The far left is 9 rows of sc, the next swatch is 6 rows of hdc, then 5 rows of double crochet (dc), and far right is 3 rows of treble crochet (tc).
Learn to crochet this fall!Slip Stitch (sl st)

Slip stitches are used when you want to move across the row without adding height, and are the shortest of all crochet stitches. It’s more of a technique than a stitch. They are also used to secure stitches to make a round. They can be used in seams, and for joining two crocheted fabrics. To create a sl st, insert hook, yarn over and pull through the stitch as well as the loop that’s on your hook. So the stitch is made in one motion… yarn over and pull through the stitch and the loop all at once.

Practice these stitches and make some rows, then you’ll be ready to learn double & treble crochet! -Holly

Credits // Author: Holly Neufeld, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Video: Jeremy Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • In making rounds, do you start your next round into the slip stitch or into the next crochet?

  • I love that lime green yarn! I see the brand and name but do you know a good place online to purchase that? I’m having a hard time finding it. Thanks!

  • It would be great to have a video showing the turning over and starting a second line part! Also – for the single crochet stitch, you start off in the second ‘loop’, after that do you keep skipping and going to the second loop? Or after the first stitch do you go directly to the next one.
    Hope that makes sense!! Love knitting, but find crocheting way harder!
    Aoife 🙂

    • Once you make your turn and finish the first stitch (and skipping any stitches as required at the start of a new row), you would ordinarily stitch into every stitch. For instance, if your instructions say “Ch 3, turn, sk 1 (or dc in 2nd st from hook), then dc across” you would only skip that first stitch at the beginning, and work a double crochet into all of the other stitches to the end of your row. In a pattern worded like this, your turning chain counts as the first dc for the new row.

  • That’s so awesome!! I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for the heads up, Emma 🙂

  • Like your other readers I’m so excited for this series. I’ve checked out NUMEROUS old timey books at the library that led to frustrated nights and knots of yarn all over my living room. YAY CRAFT VIDEOS! Thanks ladies!!

  • Thank you so much! I got some yarn and needles and I started. The videos are so useful.
    One question: are some projects more recommended for crocheting, and others for knitting? E.g. better to crochet blankets, but knit a cardigan?

  • You must have read my mind. I dug out my crochet needle and bought a new roll of yarn YESTERDAY and now I see this post. There are signs everywhere. Signs that I should start my craft projects. Thanks for this!

  • I used to crotchet when I was younger. I loved it! Endless coasters and pot holders for my family and friends. I would love to get back into it..and this has encouraged me to do just that! Yay!

  • Do you think you’ll ever do the same kind of tutorials for knitting? I just recently got back into it after rage-quitting the first time and taking up crochet 🙂

  • I love crochet! And I love your blog, so i hope i will learn some new tips here soon 🙂

  • I actually bought yarn and a crochet needle after your last crochet post! I was so inspired- it looked so lovely! Right now my scarf is about 7 inches… slow but steady x
    -Emily |

  • Hey, I really like this but it’s a little tricky for me to follow with the video. I found another blogger from the last post who has pictures that may help if you’re like me and need to see it step by step 😛

  • I’ve missed Holly! I remember her blog a few years ago as well as the RVA original shop!

  • definitely saving this for future reference. my crocheting skills are abysmal, so I need all the help I can get.

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  • Yes, Holly will be teaching how to make that blanket on the blog soon! 🙂


  • You’re in luck Sarah, Holly will be teaching how to create that blanket on the blog soon!


  • Do you have a pattern or tutorial for the blanket behind you? Absolutely adore it!

  • I love knitting but I have never tired Crochet might have to this winter!!

  • love love love this neon green yarn ! thank you for the tutorial! do you know the brand of this yarn or where you found it?

  • That neon green yarn is totally making me want to overcome my “instant gratificationness” and pick it up again.

  • Oh crocheting! It was all the rage suddenly for some while in my village while I was growing up(in Ghana). I loved it! I will pick up again. I’d love to make some sweet things for my little ones. Thanks for the post!

  • Pinned for later because I definitely want to learn!
    The Accidental Mama

  • I already know how to crochet and am head over heals in love with it 🙂 I think that it’s wonderful that you guys are showing your readers how to crochet. It’s a fun and wonderful hobby. Ps: I’m totally in love with the black and white plus motif blanket in the background. Pattern please if you have it!!!

  • My sister taught me to crochet a few years ago (I was the knitter, our grandma taught me when I was younger 🙂 but I haven’t made anything so of course I didn’t remember. I am desperately in need of some new dish washing cloths (exciting, I know) so I will be using this series as soon as I can find a minute!

  • I’ve always wanted to do crochet or any kind of dyi but I never feel like my hands can do the work..
    Xo, Belen from A Hint of Life

  • Perfect timing with this post! My best friend is creating a blanket for her 1st child: a baby girl! She always loved knitting, but now she wants to learn crochet. I’m going to send her a text to read this, very insightful!

    Happy Wednesday 🙂

  • Yay, another ABM video!! You guys should 100% do more of these. I think it’s sweet you’re having Holly teach us crocheting just in time for us to get some projects done for the holidays. I have to learn how to crochet in more than just a straight line!


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