On this second day of our challenge, we’ll be tackling the very first stitch that any crocheter needs to learn.
Here’s today’s challenge in a nutshell:
- The chain stitch is a simple crochet technique which only needs a few motions. Getting started with the chain stitch requires setting up a slip knot(an almost identical process).
- Today’s goal: Successfully start with a slip knot and work on making chain stitches until you are comfortable with it and are seeing consistent results. A chain that is 21 stitches long will be needed for the next part of our project
See today’s video below, as well as the notes below. You can also see my original post teaching the chain stitch (with pictures) HERE.
Notes from Day 2
Making a Slip Knot
To set yourself up for crocheting the chain stitch, we need to start by making a slip knot.
A slip knot involves taking the end of your yarn and wrapping it once around the end of the crochet hook (not on the very tip, but just somewhere on the half with the hook end). For a right-handed person such as myself, this means you are holding your hook in your right hand and the yarn is coming from the left.
Very specifically, I put the end of my yarn under my hook from the left, and then pass it over the top of the hook going back in the same direction. Now without counting the “short” end that is now over top of the hook(in my case) the rest of the yarn that leads away from the hook and probably ends in a ball or skein is called your working yarn. I want you to know what that means as you hear me (or other crocheters) say it.
From here on I find it helpful to keep a fingertip pressed against the hook to hold the yarn in place(much like you would hold a dinner knife).
Side note: although the way I am holding the hook/yarn is very common, it is not the only way.
Now to finish making a slip knot, you will need to place the short end of yarn on top of the working yarn(with the hook still inside your loop).
Make a “yarn over”, which means you literally wrap the next bit of your working yarn around the top of the hook. At this point you will now have two loops of yarn on your hook.
Finally, use the hook to pull your second loop of yarn through your first, creating something that looks a bit like a noose. A gentle tug on this tightens up the bottom portion, which leaves you with a finished slip knot.
(If you are unable to watch the video for this right now, I highly recommend you look at the photo tutorial on this page, to see what I’m talking about).
Creating Chain Stitches
Now that you have very detailed directions for crocheting a slip knot, you might be shuddering to think how complicated the actual stitches might be. Well, I’m sorry if I’ve made it seem intimidating, so let me put your mind at ease.
To continue making chain stitches after you have your slip knot, you simply need to:
- yarn over
- draw the yarn over through your last loop
That’s it! Basically, every single chain stitch is just a repeat of a slip knot, minus creating that first little tight portion of the knot. Two simple motions are all it takes for each stitch.
Now although chaining is simple in theory, I know it may still take some practice to get comfortable with. So for today, just try to practice chaining until you are starting to feel like you have the hang of it, and until your stitches are hopefully turning out more and more consistent.
When you are ready to move on, start a new chain of stitches and make one that is 21 stitches/chains long(after the slip knot, because the initial slip knot does not count as a stitch). When you’re done with that, we will learn our second stitch!