How to Work Foundation Single Crochet

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If you’re starting a project with single crochet that uses a long chain, working foundation single crochet instead can make that first row a lot easier.

What is Foundation Single Crochet?

Foundation single crochet is a method of working the chain and the first row of single crochet at the same time.

A swatch started with foundation single crochet at top vs. a standard chain at bottom.

You start with a short chain and build chains and stitches on top of each other (sort of like stacked stitches). You can work in this manner as long as you need to for your desired chain length, and then you’re ready to work your second row when you’re done.

Making a foundation of stitches instead of working a chain and then stitching into it makes it easier to start a long project. It’s easier to count stitches rather than counting chains, and it’s more stable feeling than working into chains, which could be easier for beginners.

How to Start Foundation Single Crochet

To practice we’re just going to work a few stitches so you get the hang of it. Begin with your yarn and hook, make a slip knot and chain 2. Here I’m using some random worsted weight yarn and a size J crochet hook.

Put the crochet hook into the first chain you made.

Yarn over and pull through a loop. There are now two loops on the hook.

Yarn over and pull through just the first loop. If this is your first time making foundation single crochet, mark this loop (which is actually a chain) with a safety pin or removable stitch marker.

Yarn over and pull through both loops. You just made a chain and a single crochet stitch.

To start the second stitch and all following stitches, take your hook into the chain from the previous set (that’s the marked stitch here).

Yarn over and pull through a loop.

Yarn over and pull through another loop (also known as a chain 1). Mark this stitch if desired.

Yarn over and pull through both loops.

Continuing the Foundation Stitches

Keep working in this way until you have as many stitches as you need.

I like to hold the chain with my fingers or kind of point at it as I’m working so I don’t have to keep marking that stitch.

Once you’ve done a few stitches it will be easier for you to know just what to do.

Working into the Foundation Stitches

When you’ve worked all the stitches you need for whatever length of chain you need, stop. Chain 1 at the end, turn the work and stitch across.

Make sure you are working into the tops of the stitches and not into the chain part.

As you can see from this comparison of stitches worked from a regular chain (pink) versus foundation single crochet (gold), the foundation stitch chain is a little looser, but it’s not a huge difference you would notice when wearing a garment or in the project.

I like using this method on blankets, the bottoms of sweaters, or anywhere else where there are a lot of stitches at the beginning of a project. It’s so much easier than working into a chain, and it feels faster too because you’re working the chain and the first row at the same time.

Have you ever done foundation single crochet (or foundation stitches with another stitch)? I’d love to hear any tips you have.

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