Ready to learn how to work single crochet? This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to crochet the single crochet stitch (SC) and give you lots of tips for working with single crochet stitches in patterns.
The single crochet stitch, abbreviated SC, is one of the 6 basic crochet stitches. It’s a beginner-friendly stitch that’s easy to learn and fun to crochet.
In fact, since single crochet is so common, it’s often the first technique a crochet newbie learns!
Single crochet is so versatile, too. You can work single crochet in rows, joined rounds or spiral rounds, and in different parts of the stitch for ribbing stitches. Plus, you can use it to make edges, borders, and seams. Pretty handy, right?
How to Single Crochet
In brief, here’s how to work a single crochet:
Insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over, and pull up a loop.
Then, yarn over again and pull through both loops on the hook.
Seems easy, right? But maybe you’re looking for more information and some pictures. I’ve got you covered.
In the rest of this tutorial, we’ll talk about all aspects of single crochet: what it is, how to make it, and when to use it. Plus, I’ll answer your frequently asked questions about single crochet and warn you about some common mistakes to watch out for.
Grab your yarn, and let’s get started!
What is the Single Crochet Stitch?
The single crochet stitch is a simple stitch that’s well suited to a wide variety of crochet projects, like pillows, top-down beanies, and warm sweaters. It’s often used in doll and amigurumi patterns, too.
In the US, it’s called single crochet and abbreviated SC. In the UK, it’s called double crochet and abbreviated DC.
In crochet charts, you will see the single crochet represented by an “X” or a “+.”
A single crochet stitch is taller than a slip stitch and shorter than a half-double crochet stitch.
To start a new row of single crochet, make a turning chain of 1 chain stitch. (For reference, a turning chain is a number of chain stitches you make at the beginning of a row to bring the yarn up to the correct height for the next stitch.)
The ch-1 does not count as a stitch, so you’ll make the first stitch of the new row into the last stitch of the previous row.
Rows of plain single crochet will make a dense, solid crocheted fabric without gaps or holes.
Single Crochet Tutorial
First, I’ll show you how to make one single crochet stitch. Then, we’ll make a swatch of single crochet fabric so I can show you:
- how to single crochet into chain stitches
- how to turn single crochet
- how to single crochet in rows
You can click on any of those links to jump to the section you need.
To get started, choose a yarn and corresponding hook. For beginners, I recommend using a smooth worsted weight yarn and an ergonomic hook. Choose yarn in a light color to make it easier to see your stitches.
Step-by-Step Single Crochet for Beginners
The following in an in-depth description of how to make a single crochet stitch.
- Insert the hook into the next stitch. Put the tip of the hook under both of the loops at the top of the stitch.
- Bring the yarn over the hook, from back to front, and pull a loop of yarn through the stitch. You will now have two loops on the hook.
- Bring the yarn over the hook again, and pull the yarn through both loops on the hook. You will now have one loop left on the hook.
Great job! You have now completed a single crochet (SC) stitch.
Single Crochet into a Foundation Chain
Often, you’ll start a project with chain stitches and a row of single crochet. Here’s how to do that:
- Make a slip knot and a foundation chain of 15 stitches.
- To make the first single crochet, insert the hook into the second chain from the hook. (Remember, we don’t count the chain that is around the hook.)
- Yarn over, and pull up a loop.
- Yarn over, and pull through both loops on the hook.
- Repeat Steps 2-4 to make a single crochet stitch in each of the remaining 14 chains. Be sure to work in the very last chain – it can be easy to miss.
Great job! You have now completed one row of single crochet.
Single Crochet into another Row
After the first row of single crochet, you can turn your work and start another row. To do this, you’ll work into the stitches of the previous row.
- Chain 1 and turn your work clockwise. (Keep your hook in the chain stitch as you turn the work, so you don’t lose your place.) You will now be looking at the backside of the previous row.
- Make a single crochet stitch in the first stitch.
- Continue across the row, making sure to work into the last stitch.
- To start another row, ch-1 and turn.
Fastening Off: Cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch yarn tail. Lift the hook straight up, bringing the yarn tail through the remaining loop on the hook. Pull the yarn tail to tighten the last stitch. Weave in the yarn ends with a tapestry needle.
Single Crochet in the Round
You can work single crochet in rows or rounds. As you may already know, there are two ways to work in the round: joined rounds and continuous (aka spiral) rounds. In either case, working single crochet in the round is very similar to working single crochet in rows.
To work a single crochet in joined rounds, you’ll join the last stitch of the round to the first stitch of the round with a slip stitch. You’ll then chain-1, which does not count as a stitch. Then, start the next round by making a single crochet in the same stitch as the slip-stitch join.
Here’s the trick: When you get to the end of the round, it may look like you have one stitch left. However, this is not a real stitch – it is the slip stitch join. Skip this slip stitch and the ch-1, and make your join to the first SC of the round.
Continuous or Spiral Rounds
Working single crochet in spiral rounds is very simple, too. To make continuous rounds:
- Stitch around the circle in a spiral pattern.
- Make the first stitch of each round into the first stitch of the previous round.
- Don’t join the beginning and end of each round with a slip stitch. Don’t chain up to the next round.
Tip: With continuous rounds, it’s a good idea to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round, since there won’t be a seam!
Increases and Decreases
Single crochet increases and decreases are used to create shape and volume. Here’s how to make them.
How to do a Single Crochet Increase
A single crochet increase, sometimes abbreviated “sc inc”, is very easy to do.
To make a SC increase, simply make 2 SC in one stitch. The increase will add one stitch to your stitch count.
You can also make 3 or even 4 SC into the same stitch if your pattern calls for it.
How to do a Single Crochet Decrease
A single crochet decrease is also quite simple. For this stitch, you’ll work two neighboring stitches together to create one stitch.
In patterns, the single crochet decrease is often abbreviated “sc dec” or “sc2tog”, but you may also see it written as “single crochet the next 2 stitches together”.
To make a SC decrease:
- Insert the hook and pull up a loop in each of the next two stitches. (There will now be three loops on the hook.)
- Yarn over, and pull through all three loops on the hook. There will now be one loop on the hook. The decrease stitch is complete.
Variation: Invisible SC Decrease
Here’s a variation on the single crochet decrease that creates a decrease so seamless, it’s almost invisible. I use this decrease all the time, especially in amigurumi patterns.
Here’s how to make an invisible sc decrease:
- Insert the hook into the front loop of the first stitch. (You will have 2 loops on the hook.)
- Insert the hook into the front loop of the second stitch. (Three loops on the hook.)
- Yarn over and pull through the first two loops on the hook. (Two loops on the hook)
- Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook. (One loop on the hook, and the decrease stitch is complete.)
Working Single Crochet in Different Loops
When you make a regular single crochet, you insert your yarn under the top two loops of the stitch. These top two loops are often referred to as the front loop and the back loop.
You can create variations of the standard SC stitch loop by working solely in the front loop, back loop, or various combinations of loops.
One very common variation is called “single crochet in the back loop only”, abbreviated as SC BLO. This stitch pattern creates a stretchy, ribbed texture that’s perfect for hat brims and sweater cuffs.
SC BLO is the same as regular SC, but with one small change. Instead of inserting the hook under both the front and back loops of each stitch, you’ll only insert the hook under the back loop.
This stitch, called “single crochet in the front loop only,” produces a slightly more open, elongated fabric with pretty horizontal lines.
Single Crochet Ribbing
Single crochet ribbing can refer to a few different stitch patterns. In most cases, it refers to SC made in the back loop only when crocheting in rows. It can also refer to alternating rows of single crochet and slip stitches.
So, if you are not sure which ribbing stitch to use, you can always refer to your particular crochet pattern.
FAQ and Troubleshooting
Here are some common problems that all beginners have when they first start crocheting:
- My crochet edges are uneven.
- My swatch is getting larger (or smaller)!
- I have too few (or too many) stitches.
Don’t worry; we’ve all made those mistakes. But luckily, I’ve got a few tips for you.
Your crochet rows may be uneven if you are inadvertently adding or subtracting stitches.
- The easiest way to solve this problem is to count your stitches as you work. Make sure you are getting the same number for each row.
- Remember that in single crochet, the turning chain does not count as a stitch.
In some cases, you may be starting and ending your rows in the wrong place. Here’s how to fix it:
- Use a couple different colors of stitch markers to mark the first and last stitch of each row. This should help you know where to stitch.
- Then, double-check that you are starting and ending your rows in the correct spot. For single crochet, make the first stitch of the row into the last stitch of the previous row. Then, you’ll make the last stitch of the row into the first stitch of the previous row.
Patterns Using Single Crochet
Now that you’ve mastered the single crochet stitch, here are a few free crochet patterns that use single crochet:
- Classic Crochet Baby Booties with Folded Cuff
- Easy Crochet Ribbed Beanie
- Free Crochet Heart Pattern
- Reusable Cotton Crochet Face Scrubbies
Explore More Crochet Tutorials
If you’ve enjoyed this single crochet tutorial, you may also be interested in these posts:
- How to Half Double Crochet Stitch (HDC)
- How to Crochet a Magic Ring (Magic Circle Tutorial)
- How to Crochet Moss Stitch (Linen, Granite, Woven Stitch)
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- crochet hook
- Make a slip knot and a foundation chain of 11 stitches.
- To make the first single crochet, insert the hook into the second chain from the hook. (Remember, we don't count the chain that is around the hook.)
- Yarn over, and pull up a loop.
- Yarn over, and pull through both loops on the hook.
- Repeat Steps 2-4 to make a single crochet stitch in each of the remaining 9 chains. Be sure to work in the very last chain - it can be easy to miss. At the end of the row you will have 10 stitches.
- To start a new row, chain 1 and turn your work counter-clockwise.
- Make a single crochet stitch in the first stitch (which is the same as the last stitch of the previous row.
- Continue across the row, making a sc in each of the remaining 9 stitches.
- Repeat steps 6-8 to make as many rows as needed.
Be sure to check out the rest of the post for lots of tips and tricks about:
- single crochet in rows
- single crochet in the round
- and more frequently asked questions
Sarah Stearns is an artist, maker, and blogger at sarahmaker.com
Her work has been featured in Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and more.
Sarah lives and works in North Carolina with her husband and young kids.