The chain stitch is the absolute most basic technique in the crocheter’s arsenal. The chain stitch is the foundation of most patterns not crocheted in the round, and it also serves to add extra spaces, turn rows, create necklines, and more. Creating a consistent chain stitch is essential to keeping rows straight and having the correct gauge for a project.
Side note – when crocheting, gauge is the tightness/size of a project, the number of stitches and rows per a specific measurement with a particular yarn weight/size and hook size. Gauge is important to making sure that patterns work up the way that the creator intended, as well as making sure that the finished project will lay/fall correctly.
The chain is easy and quick, involving the standard, simple “yarn-over, pull-through” method of every crochet stitch.
I’ve also created a video tutorial of this process, which you can find here!
To start, you’ll need any yarn (I’d recommend starting with a medium weight acrylic like Red Heart Super Saver Yarn – as it’s cheap for if you mess up, and it’s a nice texture that is easy to see the stitch differentiation), and any appropriately sized hook (it will be recommended on the label of the yarn). A medium weight (size 4) yarn will usually work well with a 5 to 6 mm hook in my personal opinion. You can get yarn at Joann Fabric and Craft Stores or Michaels, or Hobby Lobby, or really wherever you prefer.
Step 1: Create a standard slip knot. This is the best way to get the yarn on the hook when you’re a beginner. The slip knot is created by looping the yarn around itself and pulling up the yarn through the loop to create a loop that is tightened when you pull it. Then you’ll insert the hook into the loop of the slip knot and pull it tight, leaving enough space to slide the loop up and down the hook and over the top of the hook.
Step 2: With the hook (with your slip knot loop on the hook) in your dominant hand, hold tension on the yarn with your non-dominant hand. Using your left hand, “yarn-over” which means loop the yarn over the hook.
Step 3: With the tension still in the yarn, turn the hook slightly (to hold the looped over yarn on the hook), and pull it through the loop of the slip knot.
That’s it! You’ve completed your first chain stitch and are now officially a crocheter!
Step 4: Repeat this “yarn-over, pull-through” method until your chain has reached the desired length.
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