How to Crochet the Basic Afghan Stitch
If a crochet pattern calls for the Afghan stitch, it’s usually referring to the basic Afghan stitch. Basic Afghan stitches are shaped like little squares with two horizontal strands of yarn and a vertical bar on top of them.
The Afghan stitch calls for a unique hook. With the Afghan stitch, you pick up a whole row of stitches on the hook before you work off the loops on a second pass. To accommodate all these stitches, you need a hook with a cap or a stopper on the end to hold the stitches. Afghan hooks are longer, too, coming in a variety of lengths and sizes.
1Chain 16 stitches for your foundation chain.
Because Afghan stitches require you to pull loops up through existing stitches, you need to start with a foundation row.
2Insert your hook in the second chain (ch) from the hook.
Begin counting stitches from the stitch directly below the loop on your hook.
3Yarn over (yo) the hook and draw your yarn through the chain stitch.
You should have two loops on your hook.
4Insert your hook in the next chain and repeat the preceding step in each chain across the foundation chain.
Your hook is now loaded up with loops. This is known as drawing up the loops. You should have 16 loops — one for each chain stitch in your foundation chain. The first half of your foundation row of Afghan stitch is complete.
5Yarn over (yo) the hook and draw your yarn through 1 loop on the hook.
Work with only one loop in this step.
6Yarn over the hook and draw your yarn through the next 2 loops on the hook.
Repeat this step across the row until 1 loop remains on the hook. You have successfully worked the Afghan stitch across your foundation row. One loop remains on your hook and counts as the first stitch of the next row.
7Insert your hook behind the next vertical bar in the row below.
Don’t work into the vertical bar directly below the loop on your hook.
8Yarn over (yo) the hook and draw the yarn through the stitch.
Repeat the preceding step and this step in each vertical bar across the row until you reach the next-to-last stitch.
9Insert your hook under the last 2 vertical bars at the end of the row.
You use these bars to finish the row.
10Yarn over the hook and draw your yarn through both vertical bars.
You should have 16 loops on your hook. The first half of this row is complete.
11Yarn over (yo) the hook and draw your yarn through 1 loop on the hook.
Be sure to work with only one loop.
12Yarn over the hook and draw your yarn through the next 2 loops on the hook.
Repeat this step across the row until 1 loop remains on the hook. You’ve finished the second row.
13Continue working rows of basic Afghan stitch until you feel comfortable with this technique.
A good length for a practice swatch is 4 inches.