One of the fundamental parts of crocheting is knowing how to make a chain stitch. It is in fact a foundational stitch that creates almost all crochet projects. Hence, it is a stitch that all crocheters should master. This tutorial will teach you how to do a left-handed chain stitch.
Chain stitches are quite common throughout a pattern design, and at the same time vital to starting your crochet project.
In fact, combing crochet chain stitches with other stitches is a great way of forming new stitch patterns. In addition, you can also use them to create space between motifs and shape fabrics.
Moreover, chain stitches can stand alone, especially when you use them as decorative strings, for instance for tying packages or hanging ornaments.
You will come across the chain stitch in crochet patterns abbreviated as “ch”.
Furthermore, when used to start a project, the crochet chain stitch is usually referred to as a foundation chain, base chain, or starting chain.
Getting Started with the Left-Handed Crochet Chain Stitch
In starting a new project, and before you begin crocheting your chain, you will have to make a slip knot.
For an excellent guide on how to make a slip knot, you can check out this tutorial here: Left-Handed Crochet Slip Knot: How to Tie a Slip Knot in Crochet.
Holding the Crochet Hook
You should also be familiar with the different ways to hold a crochet hook before starting with your project. In fact, there are two common grips for holding a crochet hook you should try out: the pencil grip and the knife grip.
Of course, you can always explore and find a different kind of grip that’s right for you.
The essential thing is to hold the crochet hook tight enough to maintain control over it. At the same time, make sure you are not holding it too tight so as not to restrict your movement.
And not to mention, holding the hook too tightly might give you a hand cramp or cause your hand to hurt.
Making a Left-Handed Crochet Foundation Chain
Make a slip knot.
Hold the base of the slip knot with the thumb and the index finger on your non-dominant hand (that is, your right hand).
Make a yarnover (yo) by bringing the yarn over the hook from back to front, then hook it. Use your non-dominant hand to wrap the yarn around the hook from behind and over the hook.
Draw the yarn through the slip knot using your hook.
For an easy way to do this, rotate your hook about a quarter turn left or counterclockwise.
Hook the yarn. Then pull your crochet hook down and through the loop on the hook, which is the slip knot.
To complete the stitch, return the hook to its original position facing upwards.
At this point, you have chained one, i.e. made a chain stitch.
Continue making the foundation chain by holding the base of the slip knot as in Step #1.
Bring the yarn over the hook, back to front.
Hook the yarn as in Step #2. Then, draw it through the loop.
You now have another chain stitch.
Repeat from 1-4 until you reach your desired length for the starting chain.
Foundation Chain Tips
Tip #1: How to Work the Chain Correctly
Always move your non-dominant hand’s thumb and index finger up the chain as you crochet. This will help you control your foundation chain.
Also, keep your fingers close to the crochet hook. You can do this by moving them up after each new stitch or two.
Moreover, ensure that you pull each new stitch up onto the working area of the hook to prevent your foundation chain from becoming too tight.
Tip #2: Dealing with Different Sizes Chain Stitches
At first, you might notice that your chain stitches look a bit wonky due to the difference in sizes. Some might be looser, some are tighter.
While you are still learning, try to keep them loose. Later on, as your crocheting skills improve, your foundation chain will become firmer, but make sure that it is not too tight. In addition, your chain stitches should become more even in size.
Continue to practice making chains. It is the best way to improve your crocheting skills. Try to be more at ease with how you hold and tension the crochet yarn, i.e. how the yarn flows.
Tip #3: Counting the Stitches in Your Foundation Chain
You don’t usually count the slip knot as part of the number of stitches in a foundation chain. The loop on the hook does not count either.
Instead, always start your count with the first chain you made up until the chain stitch just before the crochet hook.
A turning chain is the chain used to start a new row in a crochet project. In fact, the type of stitches used in that row will determine the height needed for the turning chain.
Taller stitches need more chain stitches, while shorter stitches need fewer stitches in your turning chain.