The Basics

Wicker basket holding balled up yarn
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Here’s a basic list of terms and techniques that you may come across when reading about crochet.

Hook style:

Tapered (photo)- Tapered hooks seem to be the better beginner hook. They have a smoother head and the yarn seems to flow over it well.


Inline (photo)- Inline hooks are more like a tube with a notch cut out of the side and a slightly pointed head. These seem less popular because that edge is less smooth and more likely to “catch” on the yarn.

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Oddly enough, I have recently discovered that I prefer the inline hooks. I am notorious for crocheting very tightly. If I were to follow a pattern calling for an H hook, I would use an I hook just to get it even close to the size in the pattern. But I knew that so it was okay. When I use the inline hook I can’t pull as tightly and therefore my stitches come out more as they are intended to.

Hook sizes:

Most hooks will have a Letter, Number, and mm size stamped on the side. 

Hook size is important for projects that require proper gauging (like garments and wearables). It’s also helpful to know the recommended hook size for the type of yarn you are using. 

Hook holds:

I didn’t know there was a difference until I watched my sister-in-law crochet.

Knife hold: This is what I do. I hold the shaft of the hook in the palm of my hand and the head of the hook between my thumb and first finger. 

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Pencil hold: What my sister-in-law does. (Also, I’ve found this to be the more common hold.) Basically, you hold the hook like it was a pencil and the head of the hook is the point. 

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From what I’ve seen and what I’ve read, there’s no real difference as far as the outcome. I feel like my knife hold contributes to my tighter crochet. I’ve tried the pencil hold and it just ain’t happening.

Stitch abbreviations and Crochet Terms

(I’m just going to give you the abbreviations for now, I’ll add in the links to the tutorials as I get them up.)

US Terms

CH-Chain

SC-Single Crochet

HDC-Half Double Crochet

DC-Double Crochet

TC-Treble Crochet

INC-Increase

SC2DEC-Single Crochet Decrease

DEC-Decrease

SK-Skip stitch

FDC-Foundation Double Crochet

FSC-Foundation Single Crochet

FHDC-Foundation Half Double Crochet

FPDC-Front Post Double Crochet

FPSC-Front Post Single Crochet

BPDC-Back Post Double Crochet

BPSC-Back Post Single Crochet

FLO-Front Loop Only

BLO-Back Loop Only

You’ll find as you work through patterns that different designers have different styles and my have different abbreviations for these stitches. You should always look for the key on any given pattern to make sure that the terms are ones that you are used it. If you ever have any confusion, message the designer and make sure you’re getting the right one.

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