Step by Step: How to make a Chain in Crochet

posted in: How to Crochet | 1

It is vital for any crocheter to know how to make a chain in crochet. A chain is the foundation of your work. You will start with your chain (unless you use a different method, which is completely possible and acceptable) whether you want to make a square or a circle – either way you need your chain. Here is the recipe:

Tension when Creating your Chain in Crochet

Slip knot
This is your slip knot – the start of your crochet project. This is one of the most common ways of holding your hook and yarn. Holding it like this helps controlling the tension better, and not just when you make your chain in crochet.

First, you make your slip knot (click here for the video tutorial on this). Then, you need to make sure to keep your tension the same throughout your work. Sounds easy enough, right? It can be tricky and I often find my chains differ greatly in size. This can definitely be problematic when you want to make two of the same projects and your tension differed. You will end up with one project being tighter than the other.

How to Wrap the Yarn around the Hook (Yarn Over)

One of the first things I learnt when I started crocheting was how to actually grab the yarn. You wrap the yarn around the crochet hook. This doesn’t mean that you move your fingers around. You only move your hook.

Hold your crochet hook and yarn comfortably. Then hold the yarn behind the hook. You will always work with the yarn behind the hook.

Work from back
Hold the yarn behind the hook. This is only the start as to how you wrap the yarn around the hook.

The next part is what they call yarn over (yo). Move your crochet hook by moving your wrist down, under and then behind the yarn. Once, the hook has the yarn in it’s claw, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Yarn over
To yarn over (yo), as it is called, you move your wrist holding the hook. You position it below the yarn and then behind it. This will grab the yarn as shown in the picture.

Pull Through

We all need to pull through issues in our lives, luckily pull through in crochet terms are a lot less strenuous and definitely more fun. After you yarn over (yo), you will pull the yarn closer to the loop, whether it is your slip knot or your chain.

Yarn Over (yo)
After you yarn over (yo), pull the yarn closer to the last loop.

Pull your yarn through this loop, remember your tension. Keep your tension loose, but not too loose. You need to be able to move easily in and out of the chain you created, but you don’t want a big gaping hole there, either. Once you have done this, you have successfully created your first chain stitch!

Pull Through
Pull the yarn through the loop. This is called pull through. Congratulations, you have now made your first chain!

To continue making your chains, you simply need to continue like this. You will push your hook through your previous stitch/loop (from the front) and that will act as your new “slip knot”. Once your hook is on the other side, you will yarn over and pull through.

Successful Chain
You will push the hook through the last stitch/loop and grab the yarn (yarn over) once you are on the other side and pull through this same loop.

Making a Chain Stitch Long

No one, unless it is a pattern or a teacher, can tell you how long to make your chain for your project. You need to decide how long you need it and how many chain stitches you need to work with. Crocheters work out beforehand how many chain stitches they need to make for the pattern to work out. This requires basic math skills. Something I lack sometimes…

It is important to count your stitches. You can use other yarn to keep track of the amount if needed – it is very easy to lose count, so it is best to tie something around your chain/loop every once in a while. You might need to work in 12’s or even numbers. It all depends what your pattern requires.

Remember to add extra chains depending on the stitches you will use in your first row (many do not refer to the chain as the first row, but rather as the base). Once you are done with your chain, you have successfully created the base of your project, the first step in making your very own artwork!

Hope this helped and don’t hesitate to ask any questions!

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