Lesson Four: All Projects Need A Foundation – Making A Chain

Once you’ve got your slip knot all tied up you need to insert your crochet hook and begin making your foundation row. This is also known as the foundation chain. If you think about it, buildings need foundations before you build up. All crochet projects need a foundation row that a crafter can build from too.


To begin the chain (typically written as ch):

  • Hold your slip knot so that the tail is facing you and the working yarn is away from you. You are looking at the slip knot from its profile or the side. As you begin to chain, you might find that your hand naturally angles so that the point of the hook is either pointing at roughly 11 o’clock or 1 o’clock depending on what hand you are using to hold the hook. This is fine.
  • Insert your hook into the front of the loop. If you are left-handed you will insert the point so that it is going toward the 3 o’clock position. If you are right-handed, you will insert the hook into the loop so that it is pointing at the 9 o’clock position.
  • Keep in mind that the area between you and your hook will be called the front and the area on the opposite side of your hook will be referred to as the back.
  • Once your hook is inserted, loop the working yarn over the hook from the back to the front. This is known as a yarn over often written as yo.
  • Use your thumb and middle fingers of your hook hand to hold the tail of the yarn. These fingers will be used to keep tension throughout your chain. And, as your chain gets longer you will be gripping the chain itself between thumb and middle finger.
  • Draw the yarn up and through the existing loop on your hook. You should end up with only one loop on your hook. Before the hook actually goes through the existing loop on your hook, note that the throat of the hook should be facing you. Just before sliding it through the existing loop, the draw up and through, you will want to rotate your hook about a quarter turn or 90 degrees. This means the throat of the hook will face down as it slides through the existing loop. Upon completion of your hook sliding up and through the current stitch, your hook will rotate back to its original position with the throat facing you.
  • I find that I release the yarn between my thumb and middle finger as I yarn over and insert my hook into a stitch. I hold on again when I am completing the draw up and through.
  • Keep chaining until you’ve made approximately 25 even stitches.
  • Take your hook out of your chain and pull on the working yarn to unravel and start again.
  • If your yarn has separated too much, take scissors and cut off the frayed end for a fresher section of yarn to work from.


Practice makes perfect. I found chains to be a bit difficult to make even and pretty. The more you practice the better you’ll get. And cut yourself some slack. If you are making a scarf or any other project and you’ve made 30 chain stitches and 2 are slightly bigger, the world won’t end. What’s the worse that might happen? You start over?



Lesson One: The History Of Crochet

Lesson Two: The Anatomy Of A Hook

Lesson Three: Not So Naughty Slip Knots

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