When I was learning to knit, my mother was adamant that all the stitches must always remain on the needle. To lose a stitch, apparently, was a fate worse than death and resulted in my stitches being so tight that I could hardly work them at all. Hey, at least they never fell off the needles.
Crochet is a different kettle of fish to knitting. It is done in long chains and requires only one little tool to work the stitches, none of them are ever just hanging around on the needle; quite the opposite in fact, is true.
To crochet, you need one crochet hook. These are relatively short instruments that have a hook at one end. The hooks range in size depending on what you want to make, but they all do the same thing, they get the yarn through the knotted loops and create crocheting.
Crochet hooks can be made out of a variety of materials, including plastic, wood and aluminum. Feel is a big part of crocheting, so having a comfortable tool in your hand makes all the difference. Some people swear by the plastic kind, others always reach for aluminum. The hooks are sized according to their thickness; there is a metric system, a US system and UK systems, all who use the sizes but then assign different numbers to each size. Charts are available to figure out what US size is equivalent to a UK size and vice versa.
Crochet hooks can be held in a variety of positions; it is all in how it feels to the individual. As long as you can work the needle and the yarn, that position is working for you. Two popular holds for the crochet hook are the pencil grip and the knife grip.
The pencil grip is holding the hook like you would hold a pencil. Your thumb and finger holding the shaft of the needle like you were going to write with it. In the knife grip, you hold the shaft of the needle similarly to how you would use a knife, using more of your hand in an overhand fashion to hold it. Both work equally as well in crocheting; it is just how you are comfortable. Some people alleviate hand tiredness by switching positions with the needle often.
Crocheting, much like knitting requires a little bit of practice to acquire the technique needed to finish that first project. It may not always go well, but once that knack clicks in, using a crochet hook will become like second nature.