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Like with knitting stitches, in Crochet there are only a few crochet stitches that you need to learn, but many, many, ways to combine those stitches to form different patterns.
If you have never crocheted before you have quite a bit to learn! This means learning how to hold the hook while you are working, and how to form the basic stitches.
Starting with how to form a slip knot to begin your piece and forming a chain, to making a single crochet, double crochet and trebles.
© EdieEckman | Flickr - Crochet Stitches
Unlike knitting, you do not have to cast on or cast off your work but you will need to know how to finish off your piece by weaving in the ends of your yarn.
I suggest that for your first attempts at learning how to crochet you find yourself some scraps of wool that you have left over from other projects to practice with.
Crochet cotton is probably too fine for someone who is not familiar with the hand movements involved in crochet and is not as forgiving as wool, you will be able to see every twist in your yarn and every bump and lump in your crocheting.
While you want to be able to see your mistakes so that you are able to correct them with practice, you don't want to be completely disheartened by a few first-time disasters!
Double knitting or 8 ply wool is reasonably easy to work with for a beginner using a 4.0 mm or 4.5 mm crochet hook.
Forming a Slip Knot
Most of your crochet pieces will start with a simple slip knot which forms the first chain stitch.
There are a couple of ways to do a slip knot, you can either use your fingers to make the knot and then slip it onto the crochet hook before you tighten it, or you can use your hook to form the knot.
Without a Crochet Hook
[Method 1 Photos - coming soon]
Form a loop with your yarn - make it large enough to get one or finger fingers through it - and cross the yarn behind the loop. From the front, pull the yarn through the loop and pull to form a knot
With a Crochet Hook
[Method 2 Photos - coming soon]
Make a loop and insert the crochet hook through the loop. Use the end of the hook to pick up the yarn coming from your ball and pull it through the loop. Pull the yarn tight to form the slip knot against the hook.
Now that you have your slip knot on the hook it is time to create a chain of stitches using the chain stitch!
Do you remember doing any finger knitting when you were a kid? Chain stitch in crochet is basically the same as finger knitting except instead of forming the stitches over your finger you use a crochet hook.
[Chain Stitch Photos - coming soon]
Holding the hook in your right hand, slip the hook under the yarn so that it lies across the hook in front of the loop already on your hook. Catch the yarn under the hook and draw it through the loop and you have formed your first chain stitch!
Other Basic Crochet Stitches
Now that you know how to form a slip knot and to create a 'chain of stitches' the next step is to learn a few of the basic crochet stitches, like single crochet, double crochet and trebles.