This stitch is pretty much the commonest across all crochet patterns I have encountered. It is a smallish, simple workaday stitch, yet despite its simplicity is beautiful and can be used on its own to create lovely fabric, or in conjunction with other stitches to create gorgeous crocheted texture.
In UK crochet terms this stitch is called double crochet and in the US single crochet. I’ll refer to it from now on as double crochet but for my US readers they are exactly the same stitch…
The trickiest element of this part of my basic crochet stitch instructions is beginning the first row of your work after having made a foundation chain. As I mentioned in my foundation chain instructions I think of crochet as a wall, with rows of various kinds and sizes of bricks. I think of double crochet as being a single ‘unit’ high in that crochet wall. When you begin a double crochet row after making a foundation chain it is best to begin it in the second link from the hook. The chain left unworked is a ‘turning chain’- a small bridge between the foundation and the first row that prevents the work from being too tight at the beginning of the row. TWO turning chains are needed at the beginning of a treble crochet row because that stitch is two units tall.
Something I found confusing when beginning the first row of crochet after making a foundation chain is the fact that each ‘link’ in the foundation chain consist of three strands of yarn:
There are two strands at the front of the link, forming the ‘plait-like’ look
Behind the ‘plait’ is a strand of yarn running down the middle of the chain link. When you insert your hook into the chain to make your first double crochet stitch place it below the strand at the back and the upper strand of the plait (see third photo in the sequence below). This will make your first row of stitches slightly tighter and neater.
To make a double crochet row after creating a foundation chain:
1. Insert your hook in the second loop from your hook. The needle shows the place into which you need to push the end of the hook.
As you insert the hook ensure that it passes below the strand f yarn at the back of that link in the foundation chain – see the third image below
2. Move your hook behind the yarn between the end of the foundation chain (from here onwards I’ll call this yarn round hook) and your 3rd/4th finger and catch the yarn with your hook
3. Pull the yarn through the chain. You will now have two loops on your hook
4. Yarn round hook, pull the yarn through both loops on your hook
5. That’s it, your first double crochet stitch complete. The lower part of the stitch will look like a tiny yarn ‘V’ with a yarn lid on it as shown here: