A chain stitch is one of the most essential parts of crocheting. As soon as you have made a slip knot, the next step you usually face when working on a project is to create a series of chain stitches. It is the chain stitches that provide the foundation on which the rest of the crochet project is built upon. Among several stitches that beginners should be able to learn, this is one of the most essential.
It is not uncommon for crochet projects to include chain stitches scattered throughout other parts of the design, in addition to the foundation chain. Chain stitches combine with other stitches to form stitch patterns, create spaces between motifs, and shape the crochet by combining them with other stitches. In addition to their use as chain laces for baby booties, decorative string to tie packages, and ornament hangers, chains can be made into any number of useful items on their own.
If you are new to chain stitches, it can take some practice to keep your tension correct, but it is an easy stitch to learn.
Step 1: How To Hold The Yarn And The Hook
The first thing you need to do is make a slip knot on your hook. The slip knot should be held on the crochet hook between the thumb and middle fingers of your left hand as you grasp the knot between the thumb and middle fingers. The slip knot should face you. The working yarn, that is, the strand coming from the ball, should be passed over your index finger, between your index and middle finger, across your palm, and then back again between your ring and little finger, before ending up again between your ring and little finger. Although this may seem awkward at first, it will help you to tension the yarn as you make stitches and need more yarn from the ball as you make more stitches.
It is recommended that you hold your crochet hook in your right hand using a pencil grip, knife grip, or whatever grip you feel is most comfortable to you at the time.
Keeping the crochet hook facing upward is the best way to begin crocheting. As you make chain stitches, you will be able to rotate the hook, so make sure your grip is tight enough to maintain control, but loose enough so that you can move easily as you make each chain stitch.
Step 2: Yarn Over the Hook
In order to work with the working yarn, you will need to loop it over the hook from back to front. Depending on what you prefer to do, you can either use your left hand to wrap the yarn over the crochet hook from behind and then over the top, or you can use your right hand to manipulate the hook to achieve the same result. As the name suggests, this maneuver is known as the “yarn round hook” or the “yarn over.”
The end result is that you want your working yarn to be over (on top of) the crochet hook, going from the back of the hook to the front.
Step 3: Draw Through a Loop
In order to prepare to hook the yarn, you should rotate your crochet hook by about one quarter turn counterclockwise as you loop the yarn. It’s okay to turn it more if you need to, but you want to make sure each move is as precise and fluid as you can.
Through the loop already on the hook, pull the hook down and through it.
If you return the hook to its original position, facing upwards, shortly after drawing the yarn through, you will probably find that you will be able to complete the stitch more easily.
Step 4: Making a Chain
As soon as you have completed bringing the yarn through the loop, you will have just “chained one”, which is the making of one chain stitch.
In order to make another chain stitch, you will need to wrap the yarn over the hook and pull up a loop. As many times as necessary, repeat this process. The thumb and index fingers should be moved up the newly formed chain stitches as you crochet, keeping just a stitch or two away from the loop on the hook as you do so. If you do this, you will be able to have more control and a better tension as you are stitching: not too tight, and not too loose.
It will become apparent to you as you work that you will develop a rhythm in rotating the crochet hook as you yarn over and then rotating it back again as you draw a loop through the crochet hook. The more rhythm there is to the process, the easier it will be and the faster it will go.
5: Chain Stitch Tips
When it comes to a pattern’s foundation chain, slip knots are typically not counted as part of the number of chain stitches required to complete it. This is also true for the loop on your hook. It is important to begin counting with the first chain stitch you make, and to end with the chain before the hook at the end of the count.
Maintain even tension:
You should practice. A new skill can only be learned through repetition in the hands. You will eventually be able to make chain stitches that are smooth, even, and not too tight thanks to practice.
Modify as needed:
It is true that every crocheter does things differently, and there are many possible ways of holding the yarn and positioning the hook. It is shown in these instructions how to go about doing this in one way. Feel free to modify your working style so that it suits your needs if this way is not comfortable for you.
Don’t be afraid to change hooks:
When crocheting with cotton or another non-stretchy yarn, it may be necessary to make the foundation chain using a crochet hook that is one size larger than the hook that you plan to use for crocheting the rest of the project, depending on whether you are crocheting cotton or not. When you find that the chain which forms the foundation is too tight, when compared with the first few rows of stitches that follow it, you might want to start over by using a larger hook for the chain.
When it comes to resilient fibers such as wool, this is not always necessary. You might want to make a small swatch first to see if it will work for your project.
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