Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Crochet 3: The Chain Stitch (Tutorial)

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Grey Heather  Fabric: Premier Prints ZigZag Coral

(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!

But, lest you think it's pure practice, you can do something with the chain stitch alone. Such as, wrap it around your pony tail, or tie it as a bow on a package. Pretty. Handmade. Natural fibers. What could be better?

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


Leigh Anne said...

This is great! I love the step-by-step instruction. Even though I already know the basics, a review is always wonderful :) Thanks for all the time & effort you are putting into this. I recently have developed a serious "crush" on crochet so this is feeding my addiction....haha!

Deb said...

I love this...I have never learned to crochet and this is perfect...one step at a time. Look forward to learning more! Thanks for sharing, have a wonderful day!

Jamie said...

Keep going, this is great!!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

When I first started, I kept doing chains over and over again, just to get used to the stitch. It was a great help to keep practicing that.

Melinda said...

Keep going becuase I love to learn this stuff, even if I do already crotchet! Everyone is talking knitting lately, but I am a lover of crotchet! I can't wait to see what else you have in store for us!!! I think my worst problem is counting!!!!

Melinda said...

I'm very excited about this series! I've been crocheting on and off for 11 years but just recently started a project using a 1.4mm hook and No. 10 mercerized cotton. It may be the death of my eyes but if I ever finish it, it will be the prettiest christening dress! Thanks for all of the hard work you're putting into this!

Chris said...

Hi Anneliese, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Meredith said...

I love this just like everyone else. I crochet but am obsessed so I love to read about it.

Resmi... said...

Hi Annelise,

Great to see you coming up with the basics. I am sure it would help a lot of aspiring crochters out there. Even I had intended to do something similar and did a post also sometime back. But then had to stop it. You can see the post at http://flowersncolors.blogspot.com/search/label/Crochet%20Techniques

Keep up the good work!


Marci said...

I just discovered your blog (about 3.5 years after you posted this!) and finally figured out the chain stitch! My mom tried teaching me how to crochet YEARS ago but it didn't click with me and I recently wanted to take it up again but hadn't found the right tutorials yet. THANK YOU! I can't wait to practice and get at least halfway decent!

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