How to Single Crochet + Great Gifts for Beginners!

December 11, 2012Allison Murray


This has nothing to do with anything but I actually just ate a handful of these little blow-pop individual candies. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if they didn’t have gum in the middle but I totally chomped those suckers down like I hadn’t eaten in hours. Then I began to worry about the gum in the guts (for years, right?) and now I’m a bit irrationally panicky. I say irrationally because I can totally surmise how ridiculous this is even in my odd state. Just had to get that off my chest, we can move on now.

Are you one of the many wanting to get in on the crochet fad? I hear from people all the time how lucky I am to be able to do it and that they wish they could. Which is why a while back ago I decided to start my online instruction of crochet my way.

Today we’re going to cover the single crochet. It’s the easiest thing next to a chain (which you will need to know how to do first, check this post on how to chain if you need to). The single crochet is the smallest stitch but you can use them to make absolutely anything.

My Mimmie still has a primary color variegated afghan that my aunt Lisa made for her years ago. The entire massive thing is made of single stitches. My sister and I would argue about who got that particular throw on cold mornings watching the little bit of Saturday cartoons Mimmie would actually let us watch. Why fight over that afghan in particular? It was the warmest because the holes were the smallest!

When you’re new to crocheting I really like to recommend that your first projects be small, useful ones. First off the smaller they are the quicker you will complete them which is confidence building. Secondly, if you make something that is useful and you actually use, the sense of accomplishment is aa huge reward. That’s why I’d like to recommend you crochet washcloths. Whether you keep them for yourself, or give them as gifts this Christmas, they are a very rewarding little project.

For this project you will need:

Now to be honest, I can’t tell you all of the brands of cotton yarn that are available. What I can tell you is that I use Sugar ‘n Cream and I love it. They have lots of colors to choose from and if you make the size I have here, you can get 3 washcloths from two skeins. I have seen this yarn for sale at Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.

For the photos I used acrylic yarn as it worked better, so yours will look a bit different, but the principals are the same.


First chain 30 times. (how to chain here) Hold your yarn firmly at this point and chain twice more, leaving your finger to hold your place.


This pic is kind of difficult to see what is happening and I’m sorry for that…

You know where your fingers are holding place on the chain? Take your hook and push it through the vee shape right ahead of your fingers.

Push your hook up a bit so that you have some space between the yarn on it and the curve at the end.


Take your hook and wrap it around the yarn as it is coming out of the skein. This is called “yarn over”.

Pull through ONLY the first loop on your hook.


If you set your hook down at this point, it will look like you still have two loops on the hook like in the pic above.


Getting back to it, yarn over.


Pull the yarn through both loops on your hook in one swoop. You’ll go back to only having one loop on your hook.


So let’s go over this again not all broken up by the pictures. Push the hook through your chain (1 loop on hook). Yarn over and Pull through one loop. (2 loops on hook) Yarn over. Pull through both loops. (back to 1 loop on hook). Repeat.


Continue until you reach the end of your chain. The pic above is where I have run to the end.


Now at the end, chain twice. These two chains are going to act as your first single crochet in the next row we’ll be working on.

By the by, I am right handed, so I crochet from right to left and to be honest I’m not sure how lefties do it but I’m presuming left to right. It goes without saying that my pics and directions reflect the right handed method.

When we complete a row, we “turn over”. This basically means to reset the piece so that you are working from right to left again like in the pic above.


You’re going to be working on the side that is facing toward you. See how on the edge it looks like each single chain you made as a “vee” shape just like the chain you begin with? Shove your hook in throught the side of the “vee” closest to you.

Yarn over. Pull through one loop. Yarn over. Pull through both loops. Repeat.
When you reach the end, chain 2 and turn. Stop and tie off when you cloth becomes a square.


And what happens when you realize that you missed a stitch or messed up? Take the yarn off of your hook and pull. Everything will begin to very easily unravel.

Take care, though, as you can easily unravel your work when moving your piece around or if, like me, you are a crazy cat lady and your crazy cats like to “kill” your crochet projects.


When making washcloths, I like to make one that is variegated like in the pic above and another solid in one of those colors. Fold them up and wrap a ribbon around them and you have an adorable little gift to give out. When you get used to making them, you can bust one out every hour or so!

Comments (5)

  • Cassie

    May 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Thanks so much! I love your site, and now I can crochet! I tried everything from books to videos to websites, but yours really helped! (I`m still more of a knitter though.) Thanks again!

    1. Allison

      August 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      You have no clue how happy that makes me, Cassie! Thanks so much for saying so :)

  • Rose

    September 15, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Cool, another crazy cat lady. Are we all afraid of bugs? Love your blog. I commented on your chainmaille bracelet and loved it, love this tut too. Been crocheting for a long time and you explain it well.

    1. Allison

      September 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Thanks so much, Rose! Anyone who defines themselves ad “crazy cat lady” is a friend of mine!

  • Sonya

    January 20, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Oh, I am so happy to have found your site. I am trying to teach myself using books and having a hard time knowing where to start. I am going to try making wash cloths tonight! Thanks!!

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