Learn the basics of crochet chain stitches with this simple and thorough guide. Everything you need to know to chain and begin to crochet.
Common Questions about the Crochet Chain
That’s what we are going to cover in this tutorial – the crochet chain! It’s easy and soon you will be chaining like a pro. Pretty much every crochet project uses this basic stitch – whether as the beginning chain (also called the foundation chain), as an additional chain or chains as a turning chain to the next row or round, or as a chain space between stitches.
A crochet chain is simply pulling the yarn through the loop already on the crochet hook. It’s super simple and is typically the first thing taught to children learning to crochet.
The foundation chain is the length of chains you start a project with. For example, if a blanket pattern asks you to ch 105, those chains are your foundation chain.
Before we begin… let’s get Social!
I would love for you to come follow me on
Instagram (get sneak peeks of what’s coming up!)
My Facebook Page (come join the fun!)
Follow me on Pinterest (I pin tons of free patterns to my boards!)
Join my Facebook group (lots of awesome crochet talk there)
Also, you can find me on Ravelry or join more than 24K subscribers on YouTube.
So you’re new to crochet and want to learn? Just like it takes practice to learn how to play the piano, it takes practice to learn a skill like crochet, too! Start here with how to make a basic chain and practice, practice, practice!
How to Make a Crochet Chain
Step One: Begin with a slip knot on your crochet hook
The slip knot is the foundation for any chain, although there is technically a way to start chaining without a slip knot, which is known as a knotless starting chain.
Step Two: Yarn over
The yarn over is really important. You yarn over to create any kind of stitch, from the super short slip stitch to the amazingly tall double treble crochet stitch.
Make sure you are using the working yarn (the yarn coming from the skein, cake or ball) and not the yarn tail. I’ve done that a lot haha! You run out of yarn fast that way.
Step Three: Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook.
One chain made!
Repeat steps two and three to create as many chains as needed for your pattern.
How to Make a Chain Video Tutorial
This is one of my earliest YouTube videos!!
Keeping an even tension with crochet chains
Tension is something that plagues a lot of crocheters, and it’s something that mostly comes down to practice, but there are a few things you can do to help ensure even tension when working a crochet chain.
First, keep an eye on those chains!! They should all be the same size, so if you see that some are tiny and some are huge, you should restart.
Practice different ways of holding your yarn if you find that tension is a problem. I like to loop mine around my pinky and then to my index finger, where I hold it out. See if holding the yarn a different way gives you better tension.
Remember to keep moving your fingers up closer to the hook as your chain gets longer. Sometimes you have chains into the hundreds, and tension becomes really important then.
How to Count Crochet Chains
When counting your chain, never count the slip knot or the chain that is on the hook.
You are counting all of the stitches in between them. The chain stitches now look like “V” shapes. It’s usually pretty easy to count chains by looking at the v shape, the problem shows up when you have a large number to try and count.
When you go to work into your chain, you can work into the v shape in the front of the stitch or the bump in the back of the chain.
Common Problems with the Crochet Chain Stitch
My chains are too tight.
If this is the case, you need to relax your hands. You are simply holding the yarn too tight and need to relax the yarn.
My chains are too loose.
Tighten up your grip on the hook and the yarn. If this doesn’t help, bring your hands in closer together.
I’m having trouble counting a long chain.
The best way I’ve found to help me keep count of a long chain is to place a stitch marker every so often. Whatever number helps you is the best – whether it be 10, 50, or 100 (depending upon how long your chain is!).
- Yarn of choice
- Crochet hook appropriate for chosen yarn (if unsure, check the yarn label for recommended hook size)B
- Begin with a slip knot on your crochet hook.
- Yarn over
- Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook
Repeat steps 2-3 for as many chains as you need for your project. It's easy!
Well, today we’ve seen how to work a chain stitch in crochet and learned some helpful tips about tension and how to resolve common problems.
I hope you learned something new today – be sure to check out my other crochet tutorials!