The single crochet (US) / double crochet (UK) is the simplest of all the crochet stitches. All other stitches are based on this one small stitch!
As we know, the crochet world is divided into US terminology and UK terminology. In this case, this stitch is called the single crochet (sc) in US-based patterns, but it’s called the double crochet (dc) in UK-based patterns. BUT it gets tricky when US-based patterns also have a totally different stitch called the double crochet (dc) (which is a treble crochet (tr) in the UK)!! So how do you know which stitch the pattern designer is talking about? Well, many patterns will specify whether they use US terms or UK terms – or you can check where the designer is from and this will usually give away which terms they’re probably using. But the best way to know is to learn how to recognise the shape of each crochet stitch – which I’ll outline, specific to the single crochet (US) / double crochet (UK), below…
**I like to use US terminology, so from here on in I’ll be referring to this stitch as the ‘single crochet’**
The single crochet is a much smaller, tighter stitch than the others; so it creates a stiffer material. This is great for amigurumi (plushy toys), bags, purses / pouches, dish cloths, headbands, blanket edging… Anything you you want to keep it’s shape.
The height of the single crochet stitch is considered to be equal to 1 chain. This means that if you’re crocheting into a chain, you usually need to skip 1 chain and crochet into the second chain from you hook; OR if you’re crocheting from the beginning of a row of stitches, you usually need to add 1 chain and crochet into the very first V that you can see along the top of your crochet.
Remember: 1 V = 1 stitch
To create the single crochet stitch, just follow these simple steps:
1. Insert your hook into the stitch (i.e. under both loops of the V)
2. ‘Yarn over’ by wrapping the yarn under and around the hook, and hook the yarn
3. Pull the yarn back through the stitch (i.e. under both loops of the V) – you will now have two (2) loops on your hook
4. ‘Yarn over’ again by wrapping the yarn under and around the hook
5. Pull the yarn through both loops on the hook
You’ve just created your single crochet stitch! Yay!
As mentioned earlier, when you look at the top of your work you’ll notice a line of V’s. Each of these V’s is a stitch. Simple as that!
However, counting the rows can be a bit trickier…
In this case, we’re specifically talking about working ‘in rows’ – which means that you’re turning your work at the end of each row (because you eventually run out of stitches to work into). When you look at your crochet piece, it might look like there are only half the number of rows that you’ve actually created. This is because of the obvious ‘valley’ lines that are created between each odd and even row (i.e. between row 1 and 2, between row 3 and 4, between row 5 and 6, etc) when you look at the correct side of your work (i.e. in most cases, the slip knot and free yarn at the beginning of your work will be at the bottom left for right handed crocheters, or at the bottom right for left handed crocheters).
So if you know you’ve crocheted eleven (11) rows of single crochet, it might look like there are only five (5) rows and one (1) other weird short line of stitches (at the bottom)…
In actual fact, you need to be looking for small v’s (this is the front of a single crochet and indicates one row of stitches) and small ^’s / upside down v’s with a – / line above them (this is the back of a single crochet and indicates the next row of stitches). These then alternate, so once you get the hang of recognising individual stitches in a row you can quite quickly tell how many rows you have.
Or an easy way for beginners to quickly count rows is by adding row markers at the end of each row. I saw this idea in a YouTube video by TLC Inspirations and thought it was brilliant! All you need to do is tie a contrasting piece of yarn to the very last stitch made in the row. Then, when you’ve finished your piece or that section of rows, just count the number of row markers!
This will be much more time consuming at first as you’ll be stopping at the end of each row to add the row marker; but, until you’re confident counting rows by recognising the front and back of stitches, this will be much easier for you in the short term.
Have you tried the single crochet (US) / double crochet (UK) yet? How did you go? Do you have any tips to share around crocheting this stitch or counting them? Happy crocheting!