(Thank you for the great feedback about this series! I've loved reading your comments and really appreciate the input about helps you are looking for. I'm planning on addressing your questions about more advanced stitches and how to read patterns, so please stay tuned!)
The chain stitch (abbreviated "ch" in most patterns) is the foundation all other stitches build on. At the beginning of every project you will need to form a chain of a specific length. The chain will either remain linear or be joined to form a loop for working in the round (something we’ll discuss later). It is simple to do, and the hooking, turning and pulling-through actions you make are the fundamental movements of crochet. So practicing chain stitches is good exercise!
Click to read my photo and video tutorial on making the chain stitch.
Pick a medium weight yarn (cat 4 or worsted weight) and medium sized hook (an “H” “I” or “J”) to play with.
Working with your slip knot around the neck of your hook, hold the working yarn to the back of the hook (read about how to hold the yarn here), pivot your hook so the hook part is aimed at the working yarn...
..."hook" the yarn or “yarn over” by swiveling the hook around the yarn....
...and now using the hook, pull the yarn through the working loop (in this case, it is the one you formed with a slip knot) on your hook.
One chain completed!
Now do it again: yarn over, or hook, the yarn...
...and pull it through the loop on your hook.
The idea is to try and keep the size of your stitches uniform. This comes with practice as you get more comfrotable holding the yarn and controlling its tension. Keep going and pretty soon you will have a long chain like this:
Here is the chain stitch in video:
When you've had your fill of the chain stitch, you can either pull it out and start over, or "fasten off" and use it for something fun. (If you were making the chain to act as the foundation for a project you would not fasten off but instead turn and work stitches into the chain, which we'll cover next.) To Fasten off you simply cut your working yarn a few inches long, hook it, and pull it through the last loop on your hook. Remove your hook and pull the end of the yarn a bit to cinch. You’re essentially forming a knot at the end.
I love the look of the chain stitch. I think it's really beautiful all on its own.
We'll talk about how to work back into the chain stitch with a single crochet stitch next.
How-to tutorials, patterns, giveaways, reviews and interviews to make certain you are smitten.
Click on the "HOH in Crochet" label or button to view all the content in this series.
Here's a quick list of all the "How to Crochet" posts:
How to Crochet 1: The Slip Knot
How to Crochet 2: Holding the Yarn
How to Crochet 3: The Chain Stitch
How to Crochet 4: The Single Crochet
How to Crochet 5: Seaming Your Work
How to Crochet 6: The Double Crochet
How to Crochet 7: Weaving in the Ends
How to Crochet 8: The Half Double Crochet
How to Crochet 9: The Triple Crochet
How to Crochet 10: Working in the Round
How to Crochet 11: Understanding Gauge