Learning to crochet chain stitch is one of the essential fundamentals all beginners will learn in crochet. It is often the first stitch most people learn after learning how to tie a slip knot. If you haven’t learned that yet, start there. If you know the slip knot, continue on to learn the chain stitch.
You’ll quickly see that chain stitches or also referred to as foundation chains are the foundation to crochet. Patterns will often call for a foundation chain and build off that.
What is a Crochet Chain Stitch?
A chain stitch in crochet is one of the most basic stitches. Often you will hear, “chain 10 or chain 50”, as an example. That just means to do ten chains. Chain stitches are often referred to as “ch” in patterns i.e. 10 ch is chain 10.
Chain stitches in crochet build the base for patterns and give you something to work off of and tie stitches into.
Why are Chain Stitches Important in Crochet?
Chain stitches are important in crochet to start out patterns. It is a quick way to set up for adding stitches and an alternative to adding stitches to a magic ring.
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Front of Chain Stitch Vs the Back
You can tell the front of the chain stich from the back by looking for the bump. The front will be a bunch of “V”s in a chain. The back will have a bump when you flip over the chain stitch. Make sure you are always working through the front and not getting tangled by pulling through the back. Counting the “V”s on the front will give you the number of chain stitches you have made. On the back, you can count the bumps. You’ll get the same number either way! When counting, you do not count the initial slip knot.
Key Takeaway: Remember, the “Bump is in the back” of the chain stitch. Always go through the front so your foundation chain doesn’t get tangled. Don’t count that initial slip knot when you count your stitches.
How to Crochet a Chain Stitch
Chain stitching is simple!
Step 1) Insert your hook through the loop and pull the yarn through the loop. (This is your first chain stitch.)
Step 2) Repeat to desired number of chain stitches.
Try practicing for 3 days. Day one, learn the stitch and count out 50 chain stitches. Day two, work on your tension, make your stitches more uniform and work on 75 stitches. For the last day, bring it all together and practice 100 chain stitches. You should feel proficient at this level, even as a beginner.
Pro tip: Practice your tension to get faster at crocheting chain stitches and to make stitches similar in size.
Patterns that Use Chain Stitch
There are a lot of patterns that use the chain stitch but one most beginners will tackle as a first crochet project is a granny square. Using just a slip knot, chain stitch and often one other stitch, you can make a granny square. Did we mention they make great coasters and gifts? Not only will you get in your stitches and practice but in a few hours, you’ll have something nice to show.
What to Learn Next
So you are on the way to mastering the chain stitch? Congrats! It’s just the first step into crochet. We would recommend practicing this foundation chain until you are comfortable. Next, check out an additional beginner crochet stitch like the single crochet or jump over to a granny square if you already know that stitch.