How to Crochet for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know for Your New Favorite Hobby

There’s a special feeling that comes from making something with your own two hands. And crochet is one craft that lets you create so many unique items, from blankets to tapestries to stuffed animals. But before you can develop your “crojo” (your crochet mojo), you'll first need to learn the basics. Learning how to crochet as a beginner can feel tricky, but everybody needs to start as a beginner before they can make masterpieces!

This guide covers everything you need to get started with crochet, from the materials you’ll need to the basic techniques and stitches that’ll get your works of art going. And you’ll find tons more resources within this guide that’ll inspire your future crojo.

Table of Contents

What’s crochet?

What do you need to start crocheting?

Types of crochet projects

Basic crochet techniques

How to start crochet pieces

Basic crochet stitches

Great crochet projects for beginners

Resources for learning crochet


What’s crochet?

Crochet is a process of creating fabric by connecting loops of yarn, thread, or other material using a crochet hook. The word "crochet" comes from the French word "croc,” meaning "hook." Crochet can be worked in a number of ways, but most commonly, it’s worked in rows (creating a flat piece) or in the round (creating a 3D piece).

What do you need to start crocheting?

Before you begin crocheting, you’ll need a few tools and materials. You can pick these up at most craft stores or from online shops, like Michael’s or Jo-Ann.


To start crocheting, you only need a few things:

Crochet hook. Crochet hooks come in many sizes, but for beginners, it’s recommended to start with a larger hook. Our beginner Woobles kits come with a 4mm hook, also known as size G-6 in the US.

Yarn. There are lots of different types and sizes of yarn, but we recommend our Easy Peasy yarn. Our beginner kits come with this specially made yarn because it’s designed to be impossible to split, making it easy peasy to work with! No matter what type of yarn you’re working with, it’s most important to pay attention to its size, which is called the “weight.” The bigger the weight, the bigger the hook you’re going to use, and the bigger your final project will end up being.

Chart explaining yarn weight and recommended hook size
A breakdown of how a yarn’s “weight” affects your crochet hook and project.

It’s often recommended to size down on your crochet hook size when making amigurumi.

Tapestry needle. This is a large-eyed needle that’s used to weave in ends (a fancy term for hiding yarn ends in your piece) and sew pieces together.

Scissors. You'll need these to cut your yarn when you're finished with your project.

Pattern. If you’re just learning stitches and not sure what you want to make, you might not need a pattern yet. But using a pattern can be helpful with getting used to using all the different stitches together. Whether you’re making a flat or 3D object, you can easily find beginner patterns online for free from crochet blogs or by purchasing one through Ravelry or Etsy.

Types of crochet projects

There are two main types of crochet projects: crochet in the round or crochet in rows. Let’s break them down:

Crochet in the round

Crochet that’s worked in the round is typically used to create 3D items like hats, balls, or amigurumi (aka crocheted stuffed figures, aka The Woobles!). There are two main ways to start crocheting in the round. Our favorite way is by using what’s called a magic loop, which is what you’ll find started for you in all of our Woobles beginner kits. Another way is by using what’s called a foundation chain. But with the foundation chain, you’ll end up with a little hole in the middle of your circle. Using a magic loop is our preferred way of working in the round because it guarantees no holes. We’ll walk you through creating a magic loop or foundation chain later in this guide.

Crochet in rows

Crochet that’s worked in rows is typically used to create flat pieces like blankets, scarves, or washcloths. To start crocheting in rows, you'll need to create a foundation chain. Once you have your foundation chain, you’ll turn your work and then start crocheting your way back into the chain. Keep turning and crocheting until you reach the size you want.

Basic crochet techniques

You have your materials, but now what? The next step is learning how to hold them. How you hold your hook and yarn determines the size and consistency of your stitches. It’s important to hold your crochet hook and yarn the way that feels right to you. You want to be nice and comfy so that you can crochet for a long time without your hands hurting.

More of a visual learner? We hear you! All this talk about holding hooks and yarn can feel a little confusing. That’s why we also have a step-by-step video to walk you through it!

How to hold a crochet hook

There are a few different ways to hold a crochet hook, but the two most common are the pencil grip and the overhand grip. Remember that there’s no right answer, just whatever works for you. Test both of these grips out to see what feels better.

The pencil grip: Hold the hook like a pencil, with the hook resting in the space between your thumb and index finger.

Hand holding a crochet hook like a pencil.
Here’s what you’d look like if you were using a pencil grip.

Overhand grip: Hold the hook like a knife, with the hook resting in the space between your thumb and the rest of your fingers. 

Hand holding a crochet hook like a knife.
And here’s what you’d look like if you were using an overhand grip.

 How to hold yarn

There’s lots of different ways to hold yarn, and again, there’s no one right way to do it. Here we’ll break down the Wooble way of holding yarn!

Hold the yarn in your left hand (if you're right-handed) and wrap it around your pinky finger. Then thread the yarn over your index finger. Then, hold the yarn between your thumb and middle finger. Your thumb and middle finger will end up holding your project steady as you create it.

Hold your yarn whichever way is most comfy for you. And don’t worry, left-handed friends! We didn’t forget about you! Since we’re talking about how to hold yarn for right-handed folks, here’s a handy guide for left-handed crocheters.

How to start crochet pieces

There are two ways to start a round crochet piece: with a magic loop or with a foundation chain.

How to start crocheting in the round

Here we’ll walk you through how to start crocheting in the round, starting with our favorite handy-dandy trick, the magic loop.

A magic loop is an adjustable ring that can be used to start crocheting in the round. The magic loop goes by many names, including magic ring, magic circle, adjustable ring, or adjustable loop. If you see any of these names on your pattern, you’ll know it means to create a magic loop. The magic loop can sometimes be difficult to get started, so let’s break this magic trick down. Again, we’re speaking in right-handed terms, so be sure to switch hands, lefty friends!

  1. Turn your left palm so it faces you, then hold the yarn you’re going to be crocheting with, known as the working yarn, in your right hand. Then hold that yarn tail in front of your left palm.
  2. Loop the yarn tail around your left hand’s pinky. The yarn tail should now be behind your hand.
  3. Slip the yarn tail over the back of your left hand, laying it in front of your index finger.
  4. Loop it over your index finger so that it crosses itself in front of that finger.
  5. Where that cross is, hold the yarn with your left thumb. Slip the loop off your finger with your right hand.
  6. Slide your crochet hook through the loop from the right to the left.
  7. Turn your hook to make the tip face away from you.
  8. Grab the working yarn with the tip of your hook and pull it back through the loop while you turn the hook so the tip now faces you.
  9. With the hook in front of the working yarn, bring the hook down and behind the working yarn with the tip of the hook still facing you. This is called yarning over.
  10. Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook. You should have one loop left on the hook.

    From there, you’ll continue adding stitches to your magic loop until you have the number of stitches you want for your first round.

    A magic loop made of the Woobles' Easy Peasy yarn, and showing the yarn tail and working yarn.

    Here’s what your magic loop will look like!

    But what if you just can’t get that pesky magic loop to work? No worries! That’s when you’ll use a foundation chain. Remember, though, that a foundation chain will leave a hole in the middle when working in the round. Here’s a helpful tutorial to make your first foundation chain!

    Still not sure how to get your magic loop or foundation chain started? Check out our videos to learn how to crochet in the round step-by-step slowly.

    How to start crocheting in rows

    Instead of working with a magic loop, you’ll always start with a foundation chain to crochet in rows, but there are a few special things you have to do to get going on your second and third rows. Let’s go through your first few rows. To crochet in rows:

    1. Make a loop with the end of your yarn on top of the working yarn. Put your index finger and thumb in a pinching position under the loop and grab the working yarn.Pull it through the loop.
    2. With your other hand, pull the yarn tail until a knot forms. You’ve now made a slip knot, which is the first piece of a foundation chain. Slide that slip knot down on your crochet hook.
    3. While holding onto the yarn tail near the base of the knot, yarn over and pull the working yarn through the slip knot. You just made your first chain stitch!
    4. Repeat Step 3 until you have as many chain stitches as you need to make your foundation chain.
    5. Now that you’ve got your foundation chain, you’re ready to make your second row.To start Row 2, you’ll chain one more into your foundation chain, and then you’ll start working backwards by single crocheting into the second-to-last stitch’s top loop.
    6. Continue single crocheting into the top loops of the stitches until you reach the end of your chain.
    7. Once you reach the end of the chain, chain one more. For Row 3, you’ll be single crocheting into the full stitches you made in Row 2, not just the top loops.
    8. Repeat Step 7 until you have as many rows as you need.

    A foundation made with the Woobles' Easy Peasy yarn on a white background.

    Here’s what your foundation chain will look like! When you’re done with your foundation chain, give it a turn, chain one, and then work your way back in rows.

    Basic crochet stitches

    So you know how to hold the yarn and the crochet hook. And you know how to get your project started. Time for the real fun to start! Let’s learn our stitches! Although there are many different types of crochet stitches, we’ll walk you through how to make some of the most common ones. All these steps may get a little confusing, and here at The Woobles, we’ve found that a lot of people learn best by watching rather than reading. That’s why we’ve linked a video tutorial for all of these stitches.

    These stitches (just like all our Woobles kits) are in US terms. Are you a friend from across the pond? Here’s a handy guide for our UK crocheters to translate these stitches! And always double-check before you start a pattern if it’s in US or UK terms.

    The slip stitch: This is the simplest of all the stitches and is typically used to join rounds or to move to a new area in your work. To make a slip stitch:

    1. Insert your hook into the next stitch.
    2. Yarn over and pull the loop through both the stitch and the loop on your hook. There should be one loop left on your hook.

      Click here for a video guide to the slip stitch.

      The single crochet: This is a basic stitch that you’ll find in many different crochet projects, particularly in our beginner Woobles kits. To make a single crochet:

      1. Insert your hook into the next stitch.
      2. Yarn over and pull the yarn through. There should be two loops on your hook.
      3. Yarn over again and pull the yarn through both loops on your hook. There should be one loop on your hook.

        Click here for a video guide to the single crochet.

        The half double crochet: This stitch is a little bit taller than the single crochet. To make a half double crochet:

        1. Yarn over.
        2. Insert your hook into the next stitch.
        3. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the stitch. You should have three loops on your hook.
        4. Yarn over and pull the yarn through all three loops. You should end up with one loop on your hook.

        Click here for a video guide to the half double crochet.

        The double crochet: This is the tallest of the basic stitches. To make a double crochet:

        1. Yarn over.
        2. Insert your hook into the next stitch.
        3. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the stitch. You should have three loops on your hook.
        4. Yarn over and pull the yarn through only the first two stitches on your hook, leaving two loops remaining on your hook.
        5. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the remaining two stitches. You should end up with one loop on your hook.

        Click here for a video guide to the double crochet.

        The increase stitch: Whether you’re starting with a magic ring or a foundation chain, when crocheting in the round, you’re going to need to use increase stitches to make your project bigger. To make an increase stitch, you’re essentially doing two stitches in the next stitch. For the single crochet increase:

        1. Insert your hook into the next stitch.
        2. Yarn over and pull the yarn through. You should have two loops on your hook.
        3. Yarn over and pull the yarn through both loops on your hook. You just completed a single crochet.
        4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3, but instead of working in the next stitch, you’ll insert your hook into the same one you just single crocheted into. You should end up with one loop on your hook.

        Click here for a video guide to the single crochet increase stitch, as well as a trick to making your increase stitch more invisible.

        The decrease stitch: The decrease stitch is the opposite of an increase stitch and is another common stitch when working in the round. Instead of doing two stitches in one, you’ll be combining two stitches to make your crochet project smaller. For a single crochet decrease:

        1. Insert your hook into the next stitch, and yarn over.
        2. Pull the yarn through the stitch. There should be two loops on your hook.
        3. Insert your hook into the next stitch, and yarn over.
        4. Pull the yarn through the stitch. There should now be three loops on your hook.
        5. Yarn over, and pull the yarn through all three loops. You should be left with one loop on your hook.

        Just like with the increase stitch, there’s also a way to make your decrease stitches less visible. Click here for a video guide to the invisible decrease stitch, as well as the regular decrease.

        The chain stitch: The chain stitch is similar to the foundation chain, except that there’s no slip knot at the start. You’ll often use a chain stitch to increase the height of the next row, to leave gaps in your work, or make parts of a toy, such as a doll’s hair or a squid’s tentacles. To do a chain stitch:

        1. Yarn over.
        2. Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook. You should end up with one loop on your hook.

        Click here for a video guide to the chain stitch.

        How to read a crochet pattern

        When you see your first crochet pattern, you might feel a little overwhelmed. What do all these letters mean? Before you start worrying that you’re missing part of the instructions, you should know that most patterns won’t spell out all those stitches you just learned. They use abbreviations. Don’t OMG just yet though! Most pattern-makers will include a key. But just in case you’re working on a pattern without one, here are a few common abbreviations you’ll probably come across and what they mean in US terms:

        ch: chain stitch
        dc: double crochet
        dec: decrease
        inc: increase
        lp: loop
        rnd: round
        sc: single crochet
        sl st: slip stitch
        st: stitch
        yo: yarn over

        Stuffed crochet penguin next to stuffed crochet dinosaur facing a larger stuffed crochet hippo.
        Each of these Woobles has its own unique pattern that defines how it looks.

        Once you know how to read a pattern, you'll be able to make all kinds of different projects. A pattern will tell you what to do for each round or row. So, how do you read the directions?

        What if you see:

        sc x 24

        From our handy-dandy chart, we know that sc means single crochet. So you would do 24 single crochets - one in each hole.

        Now what if you see:

        [sc, inc] x 6

        This one may seem a little tricky at first, but it just means that you should do whatever is inside the [brackets] a total of six (x 6) times.. So you’d do a single crochet in one hole, followed by an increase in the next hole. Repeat that sequence of alternating sc and inc a total of six times. 

        What about:

        sc, [sc, inc] x 6, sc

        Just like the one above, the x 6 only affects what’s in the brackets. So you’d do a single crochet, followed by a single crochet and an increase six times (see description above), and finish off with one more single crochet.

         Great crochet projects for beginners

        Amigurumi: Amigurumi, or crocheted plushies, always put a smile on our faces, which is why we have so many beginner kits to choose from. Whether you want to make a fun-loving fox or a perky penguin, you’ll find detailed instructions and all the materials you’ll need to learn to crochet in a Woobles kit. Plus, you’ll have access to The Woobles’ support if you ever get stuck!

        Stuffed crochet penguin with a stuffed crochet bunny and chick on his right, and a stuffed crochet dinosaur on his left.
        Meet Fred and his pals, Pierre, Jojo and Kiki! These are just some of our pals that you can create with beginner and beginner+ Woobles kits.

        Amigurumi may seem intimidating, but not with The Woobles! When you choose to make a Wooble as your first crochet project, you’ll get a crash course on tons of skills, plus step-by-step video tutorials that’ll help you master those new talents. Plus, it’s super motivating to see your new little friend come to life. And we’ll let you in a little secret — uneven stitches are more forgiving when you crochet in the round rather than in rows. Even if your stitches are a little too loose (which happens to the best of us on our very first projects), you’ll still have an adorable little buddy at the end.

        Blankets: Adult-size blankets can take months to make, but a simple blanket without many color changes is a good way to work on getting your tension right while practicing your stitches.

        Flowers: Want flowers that’ll last forever? Learning to crochet flowers as a beginner is a great way to add some splashes of color to your home or gift friends and family. Many rose patterns are an easy starting point, but one day, you can work your way up to something more intricate, like an orchid.

        Coasters: Crocheting a coaster means making something both beautiful and functional. Coasters often work up quickly, so it won’t take you too long to make a whole set.

        Scarves: Scarves are a great project for beginners because many only require basic stitches. You can make them as long or short as you want, and you can learn how to do some fancy additions like tassels or fringe.

        Bags: Crocheting a reusable grocery bag is both eco-friendly and fun! Working on a bag helps you practice your stitches, and you can even learn how to create a mesh-like pattern. Once you make one bag, you’ll be excited to start making totes, purses, and water bottle carriers for yourself and all your friends.

        Hats: Hats are another great project for beginners. You can start by crocheting a flat piece and then seaming it up the back. Or you can crochet in the round and decrease at the top to form the crown of the hat.

        Resources for learning crochet

        You have so many options for resources to learn how to crochet, but here are a few of our favorites. (And we think you’ll find that The Woobles are a helpful place to start!)

        Crochet kits for beginners

        Stuffed crochet chick next to a stuffed crochet bunny next to a stuffed crochet fox next to a stuffed crochet penguin
        With the Easy Peasy Beginner bundle, you get four new friends while learning tons of new skills!

        The Woobles has tons of beginner kits to choose from, so why choose at all? With our Easy Peasy Beginner Bundle, you’ll get four of our best-selling beginner Woobles. The Woobles kits not only give you access to video tutorials with step-by-step instructions but also unlimited support from The Woobles team. Our beginner kits also come with our custom-made Easy Peasy yarn that won’t fray or snag, which makes learning to crochet easy peasy!

        Step-by-step tutorials

        Photo of video tutorials that teach crochet
        We designed our tutorials to be easy to follow for both right-handed and left-handed crocheters.

        There are a ton of tutorials available online and in books that can help you learn how to crochet. Our tutorials, which are for both right-handed and left-handed crocheters, come in a variety of formats, including video, pictures, and written instructions, but we find that video is one of the best ways to learn to crochet as a beginner. The Woobles has tons of video tutorials to help beginners learn the basics and beyond, from how to read a pattern to sewing pieces together.

        Crochet books

        Photo of book cover reading “Crochet Amigurumi for Every Occasion”
        Pre-order our upcoming book to learn how to make some very special friends who want to celebrate with you!

        Many crochet books contain fun patterns with thorough directions, and there are plenty of crochet books for beginners. Whether you're a beginner or have been crocheting for a long time, our upcoming book, Crochet Amigurumi for Every Occasion, will have you making creatures and critters that your loved ones will adore. From an otter ready to wed his otter half to a bear that’ll wish your loved one a bear-y happy birthday, all of our celebration-themed patterns come with detailed instructions, tutorial photos, and even links to videos for more help if you ever get stuck.


        Crocheting is a hobby that unlocks new doors. You’ll not only have a new way to create gifts for yourself and your loved ones, but you’ll also have found a hobby that helps you relax and unwind. One day, after spending some time as a beginner, you’ll even be able to create your own patterns. And, perhaps even better, there’s a whole community out there of Wooblers and fellow crocheters waiting to meet you, whom you can learn from and share your crojo-inspired patterns with.

        Happy crocheting!

        Do you have any tips for crochet beginners? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more crochet tips and tricks.

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        The Woobles' penguin crochet kit


        What’s the first thing a beginner should crochet?

        The Woobles kits are great for newbies and long-time crocheters alike. Many Wooblers’ very first crochet projects were our beginner kits, from Tanya the Tiger to Jojo the Rabbit. No matter how you learn best, the Woobles has got you covered with step-by-step tutorials and our support team ready to answer your questions. Plus, you can only find our Easy Peasy yarn in our kits, which is specially-designed to be impossible to split (because splitting yarn is just no fun). And we’re always dropping new kits with new friends to meet. If you ever get stuck, you’ll have the whole Woobles community, plus tons of tutorials, to help you out.

        What’s the easiest thing to crochet?

        A chain is most likely the simplest thing to crochet, but The Woobles beginner kits are the easiest exciting project to make. Even if you make a mistake and even if your stitches are a little too loose, our amigurumi plushies will still turn out as cute as a button. The Woobles makes crocheting so easy to learn because each kit comes with all the things you need, from the right tools to easy-to-navigate tutorials. We’ll be with you every step of the way as you work your way up to our intermediate kits!

        Is it easier to knit or crochet?

        There's no easy answer to this question since it depends on a lot of things, from what type of yarn you’re using to the dexterity in your fingers. Still, knitting is usually seen as being slightly easier than crochet. Knitting stitches are generally considered a little easier to learn, plus you don’t really have to see your stitches in order to knit, unlike with crochet. But everyone is different, so some newbies to the yarn arts might just find that crochet comes more naturally, especially if you start out with one of The Woobles beginner kits. Many Wooblers consider crochet easier thanks to The Woobles’ guidance.

        Can you learn crochet by yourself?

        Absolutely! Crochet is a great craft to learn by yourself. Not only that, but it’s a great time to learn crochet, especially with The Woobles’ help! Our beginner kits even come pre-started for you, with the tricky magic loop already waiting for you to crochet into. The Woobles breaks down the basics so you never feel overwhelmed. Our tutorials are designed for beginners, so even if you’ve never picked up a crochet hook before, you can come away from a Woobles kit ready to tackle your next project. Plus, one of the biggest frustrations for newcomers doesn’t exist in a Woobles kit - splitting yarn. Splitting yarn can cause a hopeful crocheter to feel like they’ll never be able to learn stitches, but with our Easy Peasy yarn, it’s impossible for your yarn to fray. You can practice your stitches without the hassle of yarn that just doesn’t want to cooperate. And although you’ll be learning on your own time, you’ll never be all by yourself. You’ll have the help of your fellow Wooblers, as well as our eager-to-assist support team. Ready to get crocheting? The beginner Woobles are ready to teach you!

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