How To Start A Crochet Chain

If you’re new to crocheting, it may seem like a scary and daunting task. From an outside perspective, crocheting probably looks super complicated, right?

And you’re probably worried about picking it up, but let me tell you this – it’s so much easier than it looks. 

One of the main benefits of crocheting is that it is a mindless process, once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s literally something that you can do in your sleep.

How To Start A Crochet Chain

There’s nothing better than settling down watching a bit of television and getting to crocheting. So rest assured, you’ll have it like second nature in no time. 

But one of the first things you’ll need to learn is how to create your starting crochet chain. So that’s what we’re going to learn about today. Typically there are three methods that can be used to create a starting chain.

Some patterns may require a specific method, but many do not. 

Most of these methods are pretty similar but there will be a small difference on how the bottom edge will look. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these three options and how to go about them. 

The Anatomy Of A Beginning Crochet Chain

Any beginning chain will have three loops; the top loop, the bottom loop, and the back ridge loop.

The top and bottom loops will create a V-shape on the front of the chain while the back ridge loop will be found in the middle of the stitch on the back of the chain. 

This is typically the first stitch that you’ll learn as a beginner because it’s the easiest one. That being said, though, you’ll still need to practice it a little to get the hang of it.

You’ll notice once you’re able to work them consistently and correctly though that the chains will be the same size and will create a lovely even edge. 

3 Ways To  Work Into The Beginning Chain

1. Crocheting Through The Top Loop 

Usually, if you’re new to crocheting, inserting your hook through the top loop is the easiest method simply because it’s the loop that is easiest to see and pick up.

When it comes to working with stitches, this also tends to be the easiest option. 

2. Crocheting Through The Bottom Loop 

When you insert the hoop into the bottom loop, you are essentially picking up the top loop and the back ridge loop. This means that you’ll have a single loop at the end of the fabric. 

3. Crocheting Through The Back Ridge Loop 

The back ridge loop, as I mentioned earlier, will be found on the back of the chain. When you insert the hook into this loop, the top and bottom loops will become the bottom of your fabric.

Using this method, you’ll have a piece where the beginning edge and the top edge look very similar. 

Making The Chain – Step-By-Step Guide

How To Start A Crochet Chain (1)
  • Holding Your Hook & Yarn –  you’ll want to begin by making a slip knot on your hook. Then you can hold the knot with your left hand between your thumb and your middle finger. Make sure the slip knot is facing you. With the yarn, the strand should rest over your index finger, between your middle finger, and over your palm to come back between your ring and little finger. Keep your crochet hook facing upwards to ensure a right enough grip. 
  • Yarn Over The Hook – Next loop your yarn over the hook going anti-clockwise. You can use either your left hand to wrap it over the hook from behind and over or you can use your right hand and move your hook to do the same thing. This is known as yarn over. 
  • Draw Through The Loop – Now, you’ll rotate your hook around a quarter turn anti-clockwise while looping the yarn. You can turn it more if that is needed but the aim is to keep your movements fluid and precise. Then pull down the hook and through the current hook loop. 
  • Making A chain – At this point, you have made one chain stitch. To make another, you’ll need to yarn over and draw up another loop. You’ll then repeat this step as often as necessary.  As you continue, try to move your thumb and index fingers over the newly made chain stitches. This just helps you keep a little more control and tension as you continue creating stitches. 

Crochet Chain Stitch Tips 

  • Count – Now, you won’t count your slip knot as a chain stitch that is required, and similarly you won’t count the loop on your hook. However, once you make your first chain stitch, start counting them as this will help you keep track of what you’ve done so far. 
  • Maintain Even Tension – This really only comes with practice, but keeping even tension will create smooth and even chains. You want enough tension to ensure a smooth chain but not so much that it’s too tight. As I say, this will just require some trial and error that will come with practice. 
  • Modify As Needed – No two people crochet exactly the same way. There are lots of ways to position your hook or hold your yarn for example. It’s all about finding what is most comfortable for you – if you find a certain way too difficult or awkward don’t be scared to try and change it up a little. 

Final Thoughts

I know that when you’re new to crocheting, all this information can seem a little overwhelming but it is much easier in practice than on paper, or a screen, I promise.

And chain stitches are pretty easy to get into. 

As with any new skill, it will really all just be a case of practice. The more you do it, the quicker you’ll pick up the hang of it. You’ll also start to figure out what works best for you and what positions are the most comfortable. 

So keep practicing and you’ll be a pro in no time. 

Nancy Adriane
Latest posts by Nancy Adriane (see all)