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How to Single Crochet

The single crochet stitch is one of the most commonly used stitches among the basic crochet stitches. You won’t be surprised by the wide range of projects that use this simple stitch, from blankets and hats to scarves and home decor items. The single crochet stitch is super easy and fun to learn. Let’s dive into the world of crochet and start with the basics. I can’t wait to show you how to do it!

how to crochet a single crochet stitch for beginners

What will you learn from this single crochet tutorial?

  1. Understand the features of a single crochet stitch
  2. How to crochet single crochet in rows and rounds
  3. How to make increase and decrease stitches
  4. How to crochet in different loops of the stitches
  5. Introducing the variations of single crochet stitch
  6. Introducing the popular single crochet stitch patterns
  7. FAQ

We also prepared a list of free crochet projects for you to practice with single crochet stitches.

What Is A Single Crochet Stitch?

While chain stitches form the foundation row, single crochet stitches are worked into this row to create subsequent rows. Frequently, the single crochet stitch is used to create a dense, sturdy, hole-free crocheted fabric. It’s usually the first stitch beginners learn after learning to make a foundation chain.

single crochet symbol and abbreviation

Abbreviation

Single Crochet is abbreviated as “sc” in US terminology and “dc” (double crochet) in UK terminology. 

[Note: All our patterns and terms are based on the US letter & number system. This guide is demonstrated using the right hand.]

Chart Symbol

In a chart pattern, a Single Crochet is usually represented by an “x” or “+” sign.

single crochet stitch height is equaled to a chain stitch

Stitch Height

A Single Crochet stitch is shorter than a Half Double Crochet stitch (hdc) and taller than a Slip Stitch (sl st). It’s also equivalent to a height of a vertical Chain stitch (ch).

anatomy of single crochet stitch, front loop, back loop, 3rd loop, post of sc stitch, foundation chain, turning chain

Turning Chain For Single Crochet

The turning chain for a Single Crochet stitch is one Chain Stitch. A turning chain raises the yarn to the correct height at the beginning of the next row or round.

Craft Supplies

  • Yarn
  • Crochet Hook

We recommend that beginners use worsted-weight yarn and a 5mm crochet hook. Read more about crochet hooks and sizes.

single crochet step by step illustration

How To Crochet Single Crochet Stitch?

Here are the basic steps on how to do a Single Crochet stitch:

  1. Insert the crochet hook into a stitch; 
  2. Yarn Over (abbrev. YO) and pull the yarn through that stitch to form a second loop on the hook; 
  3. YO again and draw the yarn through both loops; 
  4. You’ve made your first single crochet stitch! 
  5. Repeat to make Single Crochet stitches as requested in the pattern.

💡❓ What is Yarn Over? It’s simply a way of wrapping the yarn around the crochet hook to form a loop. To yarn over, simply bring the yarn from back to front and then over the top of the crochet hook.

Pretty straightforward, right? Let’s grab some yarn and hook and make single crochet swatches!

Single Crochet In Row

Single Crochet Into A Foundation Chain

learn how to make single crochet stitch from a foundation chain, easy to follow instructions.

Make a foundation chain with a slip knot, followed by any number of chain stitches for your crochet swatch. After you’ve completed your Chain stitches, it’s time to begin your first row of Single Crochet stitches!

  1. Make one turning chain (abbrev ch 1) to bring the new row to the height of a single crochet. A turning chain in Single Crochet does not count as a stitch. 
  2. Insert your crochet hook into the second chain from the hook.
  3. Yarn Over (abbrev. YO)
  4. Pull the yarn through that stitch to form a second loop on the hook.
  5. YO again.
  6. Draw the yarn through both loops to complete your first Single Crochet stitch.

Repeat to make Single Crochet stitches until you’ve reached the end of the row. Continue to crochet the next row with the following instructions.

Single Crochet In Next Row

learn how to make single crochet stitch in row, easy to follow instructions for beginners

The next step is to Single Crochet into stitches of the previous row.

  1. Chain 1 (turning chain) and turn your crochet piece clockwise so that the back of the previous row is facing you.
  2. Insert your crochet hook into the first stitch of the row.
  3. Yarn Over.
  4. Pull the yarn through that stitch to form a second loop on the hook. 
  5. YO again.
  6. Draw the yarn through both loops to complete your first Single Crochet stitch on the row! 

Repeat to make more sc stitches until you reach the end. Iterate from 1 to create additional rows.

Single Crochet In The Round

Making Single Crochet stitches in the round is similar to crocheting in rows. The only difference is that instead of starting and ending the crochet on the left and right side edges, it continues to crochet in a round.

What can you make with round crocheting?

  • Flat circle,
  • Flat oval
  • Tube,
  • Sphere,
  • Cone,
  • and more.

How To Crochet A Flat Circle

Let us explain how to crochet in rounds by making a flat circle.

Begin to crochet a flat circle with 1 of these 3 methods: 1. magic ring, 2. a ring foundation chain, or 3. crochet into the second chain stitch from the hook. Work sc stitches into the center of the chosen starting method.

After reaching the last stitch of the first round, finish the circle using 1 of these 2 joining methods, depending on your preference or as directed by the crochet pattern:

  1. Joined Round – Join with a Slip Stitch
  2. Spiral Round – Skip the join; continue crocheting on the first stitch of the next round.

Here are the details on how to crochet in these 2 methods and how they look different.

– Joined Round

learn how to crochet single crochet in round with a slip stitch join
  • With a joined round method, you will close the round with a Slip Stitch before moving on to the next round.
  • A tuning chain is required before the first and subsequent Single Crochet stitches on the next round to bring the stitch to the correct height.
  • The circle will have a vertical seam line made of Slip Stitches.

Important Note: Slip Stitches and turning chains do not count as a stitch. Hence, do not crochet into them. Tighten the Slip Stitches to reduce their size and the visibility of the seam line.

– Spiral Round (Continuous Round)

learn how to make a spiral continuous round with single crochet stitches
  • In a spiral or continuous round, you will not close the round when you reach the end of the round.
  • Make your first sc into the first stitch of the previous round, and the round will grow in a spiral.
  • There is no visible seam line, and the rounds go in a spiral instead.

Important Note: There’s no need to Slip Stitch, chain up, or turn your work. Mark your first stitch of the round with a stitch marker to ensure that you crochet into the correct stitches.

Single Crochet Increase / Decrease

Once you’re comfortable with the fundamentals of an sc stitch, you can experiment with a variety of techniques. For example, you could try increasing or decreasing your stitch count to produce different shapes, or you could combine Single Crochets with other basic stitches to create intricate and complex designs. 

How To Increase Stitches In Single Crochet?

learn how to make single crochet increase, sc inc or 2sc

To perform a Single Crochet Increase, make 2 Single Crochet stitches into the same stitch (abbreviated as sc inc or 2sc). This technique adds extra width and volume to your crochet projects. You can also make three or four single crochets into one stitch.

How To Decrease Stitches In Single Crochet?

A Single Crochet Decrease is sometimes called single-crochet-two-together (abbreviated as sc dec or sc2tog). It is a technique used to reduce the size and change the shape of your work by decreasing one or more stitches in a row. 

A Single Crochet Decrease can be done in 2 ways:

  1. Normal Decrease
  2. Invisible Decrease

– Normal Single Crochet Decrease

learn how to make single crochet decrease, sc dec or sc2tog

A normal decrease is done by joining 2 partially completed Single Crochet stitches with the last yarn draw-through.

Below are steps to perform a normal sc decrease;

  1. Insert the crochet hook into the next stitch. YO, pull through the stitch and draw up a loop (Do not complete the stitch).
  2. Insert the hook into the next stitch. YO, pull through the stitch and draw up a loop. You have three loops on the hook now. 
  3. YO, and draw the yarn through all three loops on your hook. 

Specific patterns may call for a Single Crochet of three or four together (sc3tog or sc4tog). It’s essentially the same as a normal sc2tog, except you will draw loops from the next three or four stitches before yarning over and drawing the yarn through all the loops on the crochet hook.

– Invisible Decrease

learn how to make single crochet invisible increase, sc inv dec

The sc Invisible Decrease is made by inserting the hook into the front loops of the next 2 stitches before making a Single Crochet.

It is ideal for amigurumi projects because the gaps between the decreased stitches are unnoticeable and appear flawless.

Here’s how to single crochet invisible decrease:

  1. Insert the crochet hook into the front loop only of the next 2 stitches (picture 1 & 2). You should have 3 loops on the hook; 
  2. YO and draw the yarn through the first 2 loops on your hook.  
  3. YO again and pull through the remaining 2 loops on the hook.

Single Crochet In Different Loops

The top loops of the stitch consist of tiny sideways Vs, and working in different loops of a stitch creates a unique fabric.

  • The front loop is the part of the V-shaped stitch closest to you.
  • The back loop is the one farthest away from you.
  • The third loop is on the wrong side of your crochet piece.

Working in different loops allows you to:

  • Create a stretchier or softer fabric
  • Explore fun and distinctive textures
  • Produce a decorative border
  • Add a second layer of fabric to the existing piece
  • Join crochet pieces together

Single Crochet Front Loop Only (sc FLO)

learn how to crochet single crochet in front loop only, sc FLO

Sc FLO means to work your single crochet stitches through the front loops of each stitch from the previous round rather than through both loops.

When you turn your work to the back, you should see a horizontal bar below the sc you just made; this is the back loop you didn’t work on.

Single Crochet Back Loop Only (sc BLO)

learn how to crochet single crochet in back loop only, sc BLO

In sc BLO, you only work a single crochet stitch into the back loop of each stitch.

The front loop you didn’t work on will appear as a horizontal bar right below the sc stitch on the front of your work.

Single Crochet In Third Loop (sc 3rd loop)

3rd loop of a single crochet stitch, how to crochet from back of the stitch and front of the stitch

The third loop of a crochet stitch is usually more prominent in half double crochet stitches due to how they’re constructed. However, you can also identify the third loop in single crochet stitches. Here’s how to do an sc 3rd loop:

  1. Turn your work to the wrong side;
  2. Identify the horizontal bar located below the V-shaped stitch;
  3. Insert the hook into the third loop and make a single crochet.

Since you did not work on both the front and back loops, they will appear as a line-up sideways V on the crochet piece.

Other Single Crochet Stitch Variations

There are only a handful of basic stitches in the crochet stitch library, but the number of possibilities for using each of them is endless. Here are some fun variations on the basic single crochet.

Split Single Crochet (SSC)

To work an SSC, you will be inserting your hook into the post of a stitch rather than underneath the V-shaped top loops. This produces a knit-like fabric that is more compact than the regular method. Other names for SSC are waistcoat stitch or crochet knit stitch.

Reverse Single Crochet

The mechanics of this technique is the same as regular single crochet. Instead of turning your work after a row, you will work single crochets into the previous row from left to right. The reverse single crochet stitches are sometimes called the crab stitch. 

Herringbone Single Crochet Stitch

The herringbone single crochet stitch creates a lovely zig-zag pattern with alternating diagonal lines. When you rotate this stitch, it looks like a chevron or braid design. This stitch is akin to the standard single crochet, but the hook insertion into the stitch is slightly different.

Stitch Patterns That Use Single Crochet

Combination: Chain stitches and single crochet stitches.

Combination: Single crochet (sc) and single crochet two together (sc2tog).

Combination: Chain stitch and Single crochet 

FAQ About SC Stitch

Can I crochet into one of the loops of a stitch?

Yes. Refer to the “sc in different loops” for a more detailed explanation. But generally, you’d crochet into both loops unless stated otherwise. 

How to keep a straight edge in single crochet?

One of the most common issues beginners face when crocheting in rows is uneven edges. This can happen due to a few factors, like if you miss a stitch, can’t maintain your crochet tension, or use the wrong number of turning chains.

Luckily, there are several ways to resolve this; read the tips on how to keep a straight edge.

Why do I have fewer stitches than stated in the pattern?

When this happens, you’ve probably left out the first or last stitches of the row/round. You may have missed a stitch in the middle section of your crochet piece, but that is more unlikely.

Try stretching your work a little to see which stitch you missed, and go back to work on that stitch. 

Why do I have more stitches than I’m supposed to? 

You’ve probably accidentally placed an additional stitch along the way.

Pause your work and check each stitch to see where that happens, undo a few stitches until you’ve reached the mistake, and continue from there. 

In general, when crocheting, you should:

  • Count your stitches as your work;
  • Mark your first and last stitch with a stitch marker to start and finish at the right stitch;
  • Control your stitches’ tensions so they are consistent throughout your work.

What’s next after making a single crochet? 

Beginner-Friendly Single Crochet Patterns

Ready for your first project? Whatever pattern you choose, the key to success with single crochet is to take your time and pay careful attention to each stitch as you work. With a bit of practice and patience, you can create beautiful projects that showcase the flexibility of this classic stitch!

Yield: Single Crochet Stitch

How to Single Crochet

how to crochet a single crochet stitch for beginners

Learn how to make a single crochet stitch. It's one of the simplest and most versatile stitches you make after a foundation chain.

Active Time 2 seconds
Total Time 2 seconds
Difficulty beginner

Materials

  • Yarn

Tools

  • Crochet Hook

Instructions

  1. Insert the crochet hook into a stitch; 
  2. Yarn Over (abbrev. YO) and pull the yarn through that stitch to form a second loop on the hook; 
  3. YO again and draw the yarn through both loops; 
  4. You’ve made your first single crochet stitch! 
  5. Repeat to make single crochet stitches as requested in the pattern.

single crochet step by step illustration

Notes

Get the full article at https://madefromyarn.com/how-to-single-crochet/ with more pictures and details.

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