If you are brand new to crocheting, I would highly recommend taking a course. When you start something new, it is hard to know what questions to start with if you are trying to learn on your own.
For beginner crocheters, I recommend learning in person, so if there are any local craft stores that offer classes do that. The large chain craft stores are mostly not offering in person anymore. Online courses are a second great option, and I recommend Beginning Crochet Online Workshop with Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby available on Interweave.
For a true beginner, with no experience with the tools or materials, I highly recommend taking an in-person class if it is available versus going for an online version. You will get personalized recommendations based on what the instructor sees you doing, which can be a HUGE help for a beginner! It is harder to learn anything without real-time, personalized feedback!
Many people learn in person from someone in their family who crochets, and they would be able to attest to the fact that it is much easier to learn with the feedback of in-person learning.
Most of the large, chain craft stores do not seem to be offering in-person crochet classes anymore. Joann Fabric used to, but now all I can find is bunch of smaller online courses that do not seem to offer a “start to finish” learning option.
I would recommend checking local craft stores to see if they have a beginner’s crochet class if you are interested in in-person options. If you google “crochet classes near me,” you might have some luck, but it will depend on your area.
Learning via an online course is always an option. You do not benefit from specific feedback on your techniques, so it can be a bit more challenging than in-person. It does still give you a nice organization to your learning that is super helpful rather than trying to just figure out where to start.
Online courses also tend to go a little bit farther than one in-person class, so it may be a good investment to do AFTER a short in-person class as well, because it will reinforce the very basics, and expand on them some to take you where you want to go in crochet!
You will also, generally have access to the videos for a long period of time, sometimes even lifetime access, which is nice because you can always go back and refer to something you may be struggling with.
The online course I recommend for beginners is Beginning Crochet Online Workshop with Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby available on Interweave.
This course reviews all of the basics and then goes further into some of the more advanced stitches. It will also provide a more in-depth experience about the terminology and patterns than the shorter in-person class can.
Of course, as with anything, you can YouTube it. This is not something I recommend for a beginner. It is too hard to know where to start and there are a lot of videos out there that are unclear or even incorrect for the basic techniques. This will result in frustration and could potentially deter you from continuing in this amazing, and usually relaxing, craft!
Once you have the basics down, you can FOR SURE use YouTube to learn some more advanced stitches that your pattern may call for! But I highly recommend having the basics down first.