Beginners Series Number 3: Knots, Chains and Slip Stitches

Now that you’ve got what you need and you know how to hold the hook and yarn, it’s time to start creating things!

The first thing you need to know is how to ‘attach’ the yarn to the hook.

Tying the Knot

To begin crocheting, you need to make an adjustable knot which will be your starting point. There are two main types – a magic circle (which I use for round things, and we won’t worry about right now) and a slip knot. The slip knot is really quite easy:

  1. Hold the yarn in your left hand, with the end pointing towards your right hand
  2. Take the end with your right hand, loop it around to make a circle with the yarn end towards the top
  3. Fold the end of the yarn down under the circle – so it looks like a circle with a line through the middle
  4. Put your crochet hook over the circle, under the line, over the circle
  5. Hold on to the end of the yarn and pull your hook upwards
  6. Adjust your knot to how you want it – you won’t want it too tight on your hook

Crochet of a Subversive Reader: Making a Crochet Knot

Another page showing you how to make a slip knot

And another way to make a slip knot

Now you’ve got the knot, you can start crocheting! The first thing you will learn is how to make a chain. Chains are used as foundation rows, as turning stitches and as a way to make gaps or extensions to your work.

Chain the Chains

The most important part of chains (and other crochet stitches) is the Yarn Over. When you Yarn Over (often abbreviated to ‘yo’) you are just wrapping the yarn around the hook. A Yarn over makes the first part of the chain:

  1. Hold the yarn and hook
  2. With the ‘face’ of the hook (the hooked bit) facing down, put the hook in front of the yarn being held between your thumb and middle finger. Wrap the yarn around your hook, turning the ‘face’ upwards as you wrap. (The yarn over)
  3. Pull the hook with your right hand, making sure the yarn holds under the hook. Pull the yarn back through your knot
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to keep making a chain!

Crochet of a Subversive Reader: Making a Crochet Chain

A great explanation of making chains

Video and written instructions

I get so many people tell me that they can make chains, but they don’t know how to do anything else. Well, with just one simple stitch, you can make all sorts of things with your chains. Introducing the Slip Stitch (ss)

Giving the Slip

The slip stitch allows you to turn straight chains into closed, circular chains. They’re also used on circular patterns, to move from one part of a object to another and even to produce objects with very low stitches.

  1. Make a chain of any length
  2. Push the crochet hook through the chain (where you want to close the chain) so you have two chains on your hook
  3. Yarn over and pull the yarn through both chains

More slip stitch instructions

And more here

Now you know how to tie the knot, chain and slip stitch! Time to start making things! Head over to this post to see how you can use chains and slip stitches to produce finished products


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