How to read crochet patterns. Crochet for beginners. Where should I put my hook in crochet?

Where to put your hook in crochet.

Have you started reading crochet patterns but you're not sure where to put your hook? Here I'll show you where to put your hook in crochet. 

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Stitch tutorials on Youtube tend to be standalone videos, meaning they are not about a specific pattern. They show you how to do the stitch at the basic level but if you are looking at a pattern, you'll find variations of that same stitch. For example, if I am showing you how to do the V stitch, I might do it using double crochet (UK treble) but in a pattern, I may say that the v stitch is made using half double crochet (UK half treble). This changes from pattern to pattern and the designer should always explain how to make the desired stitch if it varies from one of the basic stitches. This is the same for where you are supposed to put your hook. Not all patterns will want you to put your hook under both loops. Some will specify back loop or front loop. 

I'll show you where to put your hook when you're doing crochet. 

This example is using a half double crochet (UK half treble) piece. This example can be used for any pattern that uses any of these basic stitches: 

 US term  UK term 
Single crochet (Sc) Double crochet (Dc)
Half double crochet (Hdc) Half treble crochet (Htr)
Double crochet (Dc) Treble crochet (Tr)
Triple crochet (Tr) Double treble crochet (Dtr)

Don't know what any of these are? Try my basic stitch guide here. 

Example 1: Hdc stitch not specified. 

In this scenario the pattern will just say something along the lines of "Yarn over, insert hook, yarn over and pull up a loop" and if you're a beginner you might think "insert where?". In this scenario, if the designer has not specified, it means under both loops. 

Insert hook under both loops.

If you look at the top of your stitches, you'll see that they form a "v" shape. It's similar to how a knitted stitch looks in stockinette. Imagine that the v has two legs. You need to put your hook under both of those legs. 

Both loops on hook

See how there are two legs on the hook? This still only counts as 3 loops on the hook but I've made sure that I've gone under both legs of the stitch.

Example 2: The pattern specifies back loop only. 

Back loop only is where you insert your hook into the back leg of the v. This is clearly explained in the pattern and the designer wants you to do this to achieve a particular texture. 

back loop hdc

Example 3: The pattern specifies front loop only. 

In this case you need to insert your hook into the front leg of the v. The designer will have specified because it's crucial to the design. There will be a certain texture that needs to be achieved. 

front loop hdc

The front loop is the leg of the v that is nearest you. This will also be referred to as the chain or the stitch. 

Still not clear on where you need to put your hook? 

If the pattern is confusing you, try to get in touch with the designer. Sometimes it could just need spelling out, or there may be a mistake they don't know about yet. 

 Want to get started with crochet? 

Head to Minerva Crafts to find a range of crochet hooks to help you get started. 

Other resources: 

A Brief History Of Crochet 

A Beginner's guide to crochet

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Such great tips here!


This is perfect, thank you. This was definitely something I struggled with in the early days and still do sometimes.

Louise Tilbrook

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