The day has finally come! You have your hook, you have your yarn, and now we get to put them together. This is a very special time in the life of a crocheter. Take a moment of silence or celebratory whoop if you need to.
The next steps are all visual tutorials. So I'll let the videos do most of the talking. I've done a right handed version and a flipped version for left handed folks. Watch the one that applies to you. (If you know how to do these steps and are left handed, watch the video and let me know if anything looks wrong. As far as I can tell, the flipped videos look like they'll work for lefties. )
There are really no "correct" ways to hold the yarn. The only "wrong" way is to hold it too tight. Take a deep breath and let the yarn glide through your fingers. If it falls it's not a big deal, just don't keep a vice-like grip on it and you'll be ok.
Something I should have mentioned in the video is that while slipping the loops down to the shank each time should keep your chain from getting too tight, some people have a tendency to hold on to everything too tight in the beginning. If you find that your chain looks a lot tighter than mine try using a hook size larger than the one you started with. That will make your stitches bigger even if you're still holding on tighter. You definitely want your chain to have some room to make the next stitches. With this said, you don't want them too loose either, you want to be able to see the "v" of each stitch.
Congratulations!!! You've made your first crochet stitch! I'm so very proud of you :) If you're not getting it just yet, it's ok, just practice a little more. You may not learn best from videos. If this is the case, I've linked to some photo tutorials under the resources at the end.
Pictoral guide for making the slip knot with your hook. from Crochet Spot.
Pictoral guide of holding the yarn from Crochet Spot
Pictoral guide of the chain stitch from Crochet Spot.
To those of you who left get well comments, thank you so much for your concern! I think we'll just be one day off, but I'll try to make it up this weekend :) I'm still sickly and I'll probably have a bad cough for a few days, but I already feel better than I did yesterday.