With the chin of the hook facing you, and the right index finger holding the loop on the hook, the left hand brings the yarn over the top of the hook, from the back, and down across the throat of the hook. The left thumb and second finger pull down on the slip knot to open up a small space at the bottom of the loop on the hook, while the left index finger moves the working yarn.
The right hand turns the hook downward to a “6 o’clock” position, catching the wrapped yarn with the hook, and pulls it through the loop already on the hook. The finger holding the loop on the hook lets go at this point, and will take its place to control the new loop, now on the hook. DO NOT pull or tighten the stitch once completed. The chain now being formed serves as a base for the next row of stitches, and must be made loosely. To work the following row, the hook will be inserted between the threads of each chain stitch, so be sure to work loosely enough to allow insertion. Practice making chains until it becomes a fluid motion and the resulting loops become even in their size and shape.
Pattern instructions will nearly always start with “Chain ____,” with a number filling in the blank. To count chains, lay the work flat, so that the side with a flat braided or sideways Vs appearance is facing up. Each V is one stitch. All other crochet stitches will also have the sideways V at the top of every stitch, and this is what is counted to determine the number of completed stitches. Never count the loop currently on the hook—there was a loop on the hook before a stitch was made, and as it’s replaced continually by a new loop, it is still not actually part of any stitch. Start counting with the V immediately below the hook, and stop at the last V in line before the tight knot at the end.
Tip: It doesn’t matter whether yarn is pulled from the outside or the inside of a ball. In either case, even tension is easier to achieve by pulling out a yard or two at a time instead of requiring the action of the hook to pull yarn from the skein for each stitch. Many crocheters prefer to pull from the inside as they work, though, since it’s a simpler motion and doesn’t cause the yarn ball to roll around as much.
Adapted from <A href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1589236394/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1589236394&linkCode=as2&tag=craftfocom-20">"Crochet 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily through Step-by-Step Instruction"</a> by Deborah Burger and published by Creative Publishing international. Images by Eleanor Dotson Carlisle. Deb will be an expert for CraftFoxes from Monday November 5th through Friday November 9th. If you have any questions for her about learning how to crochet, be sure to include them in the comments below.