Learn how to crochet a chain
Most crochet projects begin with chains. If you’d like to learn to crochet, you’ll need to know how to crochet a chain. I’ll show you how in the video below! Please feel free to leave comments if you have feedback, or specific questions that I can answer!
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Table of Contents
Begin your crochet chain with a slip knot
The first step to beginning your crochet chain is to make a slip knot. First, make a loop in your yarn by crossing the end over itself. The loop should be at least 6 inches from the end of the yarn.
Then wrap the end around the yarn going back to the skein and bring it under the center of the circle so it looks like a circle with a line through it.
Then you use two fingers to grab that line through the center and the other hand to grab both the tail and the yarn going back to the skein and then pull your two hands apart.
This make a loose slip knot.
You’ll put your hook through the loop and pull the tail to tighten the loop around your hook. You want it to be just the tiniest bit loose around your hook so it slides easily on the shaft of the hook.
How to crochet a chain
Now that you have your slip knot ready, you can crochet chains. Let’s talk for just a minute about “yarnovers.” In crochet pattern speak, a yarnover is just wrapping your yarn around your hook in a specific direction.
Hold your hook upright in front of you with the hook end up and the hook side facing you, then tip the top toward you so you are looking down on it. Yarnovers will always be wrapped clockwise around the hook as you look at it in this position.
So, to crochet your first chain you’ll use the index finger of your dominant hand to hold the loop on your hook still while you use your other hand to wrap the yarn around your hook for a yarnover.
Then you will use the hook to pull the new loop you made, the yarnover, through the loop of the slip knot. At this point you have crocheted one chain. In the photo below, the arrow points to the chain you just made. The loop on your hook is not a chain.
To make more chains you’ll repeat the yarnover, then pull it through the loop on your hook. Each time you pull a yarnover through the loop you create one chain.
How do you crochet into a chain?
Once you’ve made the chains needed to begin your project, you’ll need to place stitches into those chains. You’ll always skip the first chain or maybe the first 2 or 3 chains depending on the stitch you are crocheting.
The standard way to work into those chains is to place your hook under both the front and back loops of each chain. In the photo below, the arrow on the right points to the front loop and the arrow on the left points to the back loop.
It’s becoming very popular however to turn the chain over and crochet through the bottom ridge loop. I personally prefer this method in most cases because it makes the bottom edge look nicer. However, if I’m crocheting lace I use the standard method above because it creates a sturdier edge.
In the photo below, the arrows point to two of the bottom ridge loops. To work in this way, you just go under that one loop for each chain.
Crochet chains in written patterns
In written crochet patterns you will see the abbreviation “ch” for chain. You may see a number after the abbreviation like “ch 5.” This means to create 5 chains. It’s important to know that the loop currently on your hook does not count as a chain.
If you are a beginner, you might like to get my free, printable crochet abbreviations list. Knowing these abbreviations is the key to learning to read written crochet patterns.
How to crochet a chain video
See these other great posts for beginners:
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