How to Start the Yarn on a Crochet Hook
How to Cross-Stitch on Crocheted Afghan Stitch
How to Work Front-Post Double-Crochet Stitches

How to Crochet the Chain Stitch

The chain stitch (abbreviated ch) is the basis for all crochet. Almost every crochet pattern begins with a chain stitch. If you’re working in rows, your first row is a series of chain stitches, which is not surprisingly called a foundation chain.

When you’re ready to start a new row, guess what, you use the chain stitch. Sometimes, you work just a few chain stitches and join them together to create a ring, which you use when working in rounds.

Make your first chain stitch:

1

Make a slip knot and slide it onto the shaft of your hook.

You make a yarn loop that looks sort of like a pretzel.

2

With your yarn hand forefinger, yarn over (yo) the hook from back to front.

Be sure to hold the tail of the slip knot between the thumb and middle finger of your yarn hand.

3

Slide the yarn from the yarn over into the throat of the hook.

With your hook hand, rotate the hook toward you so that the throat faces the slip knot.

4

With gentle pressure upward on the hook, pull the hook, carrying the wrapped strand of yarn, through the loop on your hook.

One chain stitch (ch) is now complete, and one loop remains on your hook. Each chain stitch should be the same size as the one before it, which means you must maintain even tension on the yarn for all your stitches. If your stitches are very tight, try relaxing your hands. If your stitches are too loose, shorten up the distance between your yarn hand and hook hand, and lift the forefinger of your yarn hand.

Repeat these steps to create a foundation chain of however many chain stitches your project calls for.

While your crochet work gets longer and your hands get farther apart, you may have trouble controlling your work. Just let go of the bottom of your chain and, with the thumb and middle finger of your yarn hand, grab onto the crocheting closer to the hook. While your work gets longer, keep readjusting so that you’re always holding your completed work relatively close to the hook.

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