One of the most common thing you'll hear as a new crafter or knitter who is interested in learning crochet is "oh, but crochet is so easy!" While this statement may hold some truth - it is not difficult to learn - I found it to be misleading and frustrating, as there were always a few aspects of working crochet as a knitter that made me stumble. And, as someone who prefers to do it right, I also found the free-form approach to a lot of crochet instructions to be frustrating.
A big stumbling block I always ran into was working back and forth in rows and figuring out where to work the first stitch in a new row. When teaching knitting lace from charts, we talk about "seeing" your stitches, and being able to "read" your work. Applying this concept to crochet and learning how to see each stitch, identify it, and then how to use this to my advantage when working in rows elevated my crochet skills immensely!
SINGLE CROCHET IN ROWS
A single crochet swatch worked in rows. For this swatch, I am working back and forth with 20 stitches. A row has just been completed.
The piece has been turned in preparation to work a new row. As with working back and forth in rows while knitting, when crocheting, you will always work from right to left.
STEP 1 / The first step to working a new row is to chain the required number of stitches in order to raise the work to match the height of a new row. In this case, single crochet is being worked. so you will need to chain 1 stitch. When counting stitches, you will not count this chain 1.
STEP 2 / Insert your crochet hook into the space between the last and 2nd to last stitch of the previous row. This will be your first stitch that you will count when counting the number of stitches across the row. Work 1 sc into the space, and work across the rest of the row in single crochet.
In the above left image, 4 sc have been worked.
In the above image, 19 of the 20 sts of the row have been worked. When working the 20th stitch, this stitch should be worked in between the last stitch you see on the left (the 1st sc you worked on the last row) and ch 1.
Once that 20th stitch has been worked, your row is complete! Turn the piece in order to work another row. And don't forget to ch1 to start the row (but, again, don't count the ch1 as a stitch).
I hope this tutorial helps anyone who is a new crocheter, or wants to be able to read their stitches better and have more accurate and even rows. And as always, you can find this tutorial and all of the others I have created on our Tips + Tricks page.
Happy Crocheting! - KGO