One of the first crochet stitches every beginner learns is the single crochet stitch. It works up relatively slowly compared to other stitches, creating a dense, solid fabric that's perfect for making scarves, place mats or -- if you're feeling ambitious -- a blanket. Rest assured that by the time you've completed an entire blanket in single crochet, you will have mastered the stitch completely.
Choosing Hook and Yarn
You'll need a total of about 3,450 yards of worsted weight yarn, or 2,500 yards of bulky yarn, to crochet a full-size blanket. The wrapper on the yarn skein tells you the yarn's thickness or weight, as well as which size crochet hook you should use.
Gauge, also known as stitch tension, isn't particularly important for a project like a blanket, so you don't need to worry about making a test swatch -- unless you want to practice the single crochet process before you start the blanket proper. Or, you may wish to make sure that you like how the yarn works up with the hook you've chosen.
The Basic Stitches
Before you start the blanket, practice the chain and crochet stitches until you're confident you can do them with even, consistent tension.
**Chain stitch:** Tie a slipknot and slip its loop over the crochet hook. Yarn over, creating another loop on the hook, and draw that loop of yarn back through the loop of the slip knot. Every time you yarn over and draw the loop back through the loop on the hook, it creates a new chain stitch.
**Single crochet:** To work a single crochet stitch, slide the point of the crochet hook under both strands of the "V" at the top of a stitch from the previous row. Yarn over, and draw that loop back through the existing stitch, leaving you with two loops already on the hook. Yarn over again and draw the yarn back through both loops on the hook, leaving you with just one loop again.
Basic Blanket Pattern
Stitch your blanket using the following order:
- Chain 201 stitches.
- Work a single crochet in the second chain from the hook, and in every following chain.
- Chain one and turn your work. Work one single crochet into each stitch from the previous row, working all the way across.
- Repeat the previous step until the blanket is the desired length.
- Clip the yarn, leaving a 10-inch tail. Draw the yarn tail through the loop of the last stitch and pull gently until the stitch cinches closed.
- Use your crochet hook or, if you prefer, a yarn needle to thread the tail end back through your work. Do the same for the tail end of yarn left at the beginning of the blanket.
If you like, you can add fringe to the ends of your blanket as an embellishment. Cut about 30 6-inch pieces of yarn, which makes 10 pieces of fringe. Gather the strands into bundles of three. Double each bundle over, poke the loop at the doubled end through a stitch in the end of the blanket; then draw the ends of the yarn back through the loop. Continue cutting fringe and attaching it to the blanket until you're satisfied with the density of the fringe.
Tips and Suggestions
If you find that you accidentally worked too many stitches or too few stitches into a previous row, you have three options. Either continue on as if nothing happened, rip out all the stitches until you get to the mistake and begin anew from there, or adjust on the fly to get back to the original stitch count.
If you accidentally skipped a stitch, bring the stitch count back up by working two single crochet stitches into any stitch in the middle of the current row. If you accidentally made one too many stitches, decrease the stitch count by poking your hook through one stitch, drawing up a loop, then doing the same in the next stitch. Now yarn over and draw the yarn back through all three loops on the hook, completing the decrease known as single crochet two together or sc2tog.