Home Crochet Creating the Foundation Chain

Creating the Foundation Chain

If you’re here, I’m assuming you are ready to dive right in and get started crocheting and you know what? You’re already killing it just by showing up. Learning a new skill or craft takes time and practice, but if you show up and you do the work, you can do anything. Today’s the first lesson so we’ll be covering how you start off a crochet piece by creating the foundation by using the chain stitch. This is the first row of your crochet and it’s where your piece builds up from. And it’s really simple to do, so let’s get started!


What You’ll Need:

  • a crochet hook in any size – I’m using a very big hook here so you can see what I’m doing.
  • yarn – any yarn will do just fine. I like to use a thicker, smooth yarn so that it’s easy to see where to put the hook. You can just go to you craft store and pick up any worsted or bulky weight yarn. You can learn more about reading yarn labels here.

If you’re looking for a set of crochet hooks, these are my favorite. I use these every day and they’re amazing. You can also check out my other tools and materials right over here. For now, though, all you need is a hook and some yarn.

Creating the Slip Knot

Before we can work the chain stitch, the first thing we need to do is get the yarn on the hook. We’ll do this by creating the first knot: a slip knot.

Start by crossing one end of the yarn over itself in a ribbon shape. Then reach through a loop, grab the yarn and pull it through. This is the slip knot. If you pull the working yarn (the end coming from the ball), the loop gets smaller, while pulling on the loop makes it bigger.

Chain Stitch Tutorial

Insert your hook into the loop and make the loop fit snugly (not tightly) around it. Hold the hook in one hand and the working yarn over the index finger of the other. Use your index finger to wrap the yarn over (YO) the top of the hook.

Rotate the hook slightly so the the yarn is secure under the curve, and pull the hook+yarn through your slip knot. This is your chain 1.

Continue wrapping the yarn over the hook and pulling it through the loop already on your hook until you have a chain that’s as long as you need it. The more you practice, the more even your chain will be.

The chain looks a lot like a braid, and each chain space is a sideways V. Usually, you’ll be working your next rows into the center of the V, but sometimes you’ll be asked to work into the bump at the back. I explain this more in the video at the top of this post.

And that is your foundation chain stitch! Your pattern will tell you how many chains to make and you can count them you counting how many Vs you have. Don’t worry if the chain is uneven and bumpy at this point; it takes some practice to get it even. As you work, you’ll learn the most comfortable and easiest way for you to hold the hook and the yarn. It may be different than how I hold it and that’s fine!

Work a chain of 20 or 30, rip it open (take the hook out and just tug the working yarn to undo the stitches) and start over. Keep practicing and you’ll get the hang of it.


The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet


If you watched the video (you should!), you heard me mention that this is part of my ebook all about teaching you how to crochet. The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet is a 63 page ebook FULL of information to teach you everything you need to know about starting crochet. I cover everything for materials, tips, and getting started with the basic stitches to how to create all those things you see in the cover. You can make every single one of those items following the lessons in this book.

Here’s what you get:

  • 12 beginner lessons, just like this one, to teach you different stitches and how to finish your work, change colors, make increases, decreases and circles.
  • 12 fun and beautiful patterns that are designed with a beginner in mind. You’ll learn to make everything from simple bows and headbands to beanies, wristwarmers, 3D blocks and even baby booties.
  • 24 video tutorials to guide you through each lesson and pattern so you can follow along and make with me.
  • Resource pages full of extra information like how to choose yarn, size hats, abbreviations used, and a list of my favorite tools that you’re going to LOVE.

You can pick up your free copy here. 

Yes, it’s packed with information and it’s free!

I can’t wait to see how you get on with crochet. It’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve learned to do and there’s so much more to share. I’d love to see your chain stitch progress and to see how you’re doing, so please, comment below and share your pictures! Or, join the free Facebook group of knitters and crocheters of all skill levels and get help, advice, and tips from the lovely bunch there.

I’ll see you soon!