Update - had a bit of a domestic crisis yesterday afternoon and no time today, so sadly not actually attempted casting on or whatever its called in crochet. Still very enthusiastic though, and have been caught stroking my wool fondly!
Belinda - no, not in Devon, but I spent the happiest days of my life around Dartmouth and aim to retire to the coast (when I win the lottery)
Not a problem BR... Basically, each stitch has a turning chain- so dc (double crochet) would have 1 stitch. I've taught crochet and often find that people forget to miss the first stitch on the next row, as the turning chain cimpensates for that stitch.
......if this sounds head explodingly complicated- apologies from me- it's not! A very good book to learn from (a friend learned from it who is 25) is a vintage book called Crochet Things by Rae Compton (Crompton?)- you should be able to get it on Amazon dirt cheap. It's a really simple book (a kid's book!) but really charming