If you are new to crochet, learning how to start a crochet chain stitch is a great place to start.
A chain stitch is one of the most basic and essential techniques in crochet because it is in just about every crochet pattern you come across, and it is something you must know.
Once you've got the hang of the chain stitch, you'll be ready to move on to simple crochet items and progress to more advanced projects and techniques.
If you're looking to expand your crochet skills even further, be sure to check out our how to crochet for beginners guide.
Table of contents
- What is a Crochet Chain Stitch?
- What is The Crochet Abbreviation For Chain
- Materials Needed
- Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Crochet Chain Stitch
- Top Tips For Crocheting A Chain Stitch
- What Do the Back Of Chain Stitches Look Like
- Counting Your Chain Stitches
- How Do I Prevent Tight Crochet Foundation Chains?
- What Are Turning Chains?
- Common Questions About Chains in Crochet
- More Crochet Stitch Tutorials
- Stay Connected
- Printable Instructions
What is a Crochet Chain Stitch?
A crochet chain stitch is a series of interlocking loops that form the foundation for many crochet projects.
Chain stitches are also used with other basic crochet stitches to create many different patterns.
The crochet chain stitch is made by pulling a loop of yarn through another loop, creating a new loop that is held on the hook.
What is The Crochet Abbreviation For Chain
The crochet abbreviation for chain is ch, see our crochet abbreviations page for more.
You will need the following crochet supplies to make a crochet chain stitch:
- Crochet hook size G or H is recommended for beginners
- Yarn (worsted weight is a good choice for learning)
- For this tutorial, I used #4 medium (worsted / 10 ply) yarn and a 6 mm hook
Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Crochet Chain Stitch
Step 1- Make a slip knot by creating a loop with the yarn and pulling the end through the loop. Place the slip knot onto the crochet hook.
Step 2 - Hold the crochet hook in your right hand (or left hand if you are left-handed).
Hold the yarn in your left hand, with the tail end of the yarn held between your middle and ring fingers and the working end of the yarn draped over your index finger.
Step 3 - Slide the crochet hook under the yarn and over the hook, and catch it under the hook.
Step 4 - Pull the hook with the yarn back through the loop on the hook.
Step 5 - You have now made one chain stitch! Repeat steps 3-4 to make additional chain stitches.
Top Tips For Crocheting A Chain Stitch
- Practice makes perfect! Don't worry if your chain stitch doesn't look perfect at first. Keep practicing, and you'll improve with time.
- Try to keep a consistent tension on the yarn as you work. If your stitches are too loose or too tight, your project may not turn out the way you want.
- Don't pull the yarn too tightly when making each chain stitch. This can make it difficult to insert the hook into the loops for the next stitch.
- Use a hook that feels comfortable in your hand. You may need to try different sizes and materials to find the hook brand that works best for you.
What Do the Back Of Chain Stitches Look Like
When looking at a foundation chain, you will notice that the front of the chain will look like a series of Vs with the back of the chain looking bumpy.
Generally, the first row is worked into the front of the foundation chain and the center of the chained Vs, by pushing the tip of the hook through the center of the V to the back of the work.
However, some patterns will ask you to work the first row into the back bump of the chain. Working in the back bump gives a nice neat finish and will look similar to the top of the last row of your work.
Counting Your Chain Stitches
When counting the number of chains made, do not count the slip knot or the loop on your hook - only count the stitches between these.
How Do I Prevent Tight Crochet Foundation Chains?
A tight foundation chain can make the starting edge curve or make the first rows look tighter than the rest of your work.
If you notice this happening in your work, you are making your starting chain too tight, to avoid this:
- You could loosen your tension as you create the chains to create larger looser loops using the recommended hook
- Or use a larger hook than suggested to create the foundation chain, then change back to the recommended hook for the rest of the pattern.
What Are Turning Chains?
A crochet turning chain (t-ch) is used at the start of rows to make the start of the rows match the height of the stitches worked into rows and this will help keep the sides looking nice and even.
- For single crochet make a turning chain with one chain stitch
- For half double crochet make a turning chain with two chain stitches
- For double crochet make a turning chain with three chain stitches
- For a triple crochet make a turning chain with four chain stitches
You can make a turning chain before or after rotating the work, but the main thing is to be consistent and turn it the same throughout the project.
So, if you turn the work before making the turning chain, keep doing this until the end of the project.
Depending on the pattern, the turning chain(s) may or may not be counted as a stitch.
Common Questions About Chains in Crochet
You can find the recommended hook size for the yarn you want to use listed on its label.
Some yarn labels will have both the knitting needle and crochet hook sizes.
But if it only gives a knitting needle size, use the knitting needle size as a guide for the crochet hook size.
Or you could refer to a crochet hook size chart to find the right size for your project.
Yes, you can use different yarn weights, but keep in mind that this will affect the size and appearance of your chain stitch.
There are many different crochet stitches, including single crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet. Each stitch creates a unique texture and look.
Overall, the chain stitch is a great place to start for anyone new to crochet. With practice and patience, you can master this basic skill and move on to more complex and exciting projects. Happy crocheting!
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How To Start A Crochet Chain Stitch
What You Will Need
- #4 medium yarn / worsted / 10 ply
- 6 mm hook
- The above yarn and hook size is what I used for this tutorial but you can use other weighted yarns with an appropriate sized hook.
- 1. Make a slip knot by creating a loop with the yarn and pulling the end through the loop. Place the slip knot onto the crochet hook.
- 2. Hold the crochet hook in your right hand (or left hand if you are left-handed). Hold the yarn in your left hand, with the tail end of the yarn held between your middle and ring fingers and the working end of the yarn draped over your index finger.
- 3. Slide the crochet hook under the yarn and over the hook, and catch it under the hook.
- 4. Pull the hook with the yarn back through the loop on the hook.
- 5. You have now made one chain stitch! Repeat steps 3-4 to make additional chain stitches.