Beginner Crochet Series – Parts of a Chain Stitch

Foundation Row
This is the reason I want you to learn how to do good chain stitches.

When I first started crocheting, the first row of crochet after the chain stitches was the most frustrating part of any project. Either I was missing a chain here and there or putting two stitches into the same chain. My stitch counts were never right and it was enough to put me off a pattern.  Sometimes I even wanted to totally give up crochet.

After many years of practice, my chain stitches are now even.  I no longer dread that foundation row.  I actually enjoy it.  Who would have thought?

Though we still aren’t actually crocheting yet, I feel that learning the anatomy of the chain stitch is an important lesson.

Chain Stitch:  The Key to a Good Foundation

The chain stitch is the most important part of crochet. It is incredibly important to do this stitch well, even if it is one of the most difficult to master. Today we will learn the different parts of the chain stitch so you will know how it should look when we finally learn how to do it.  This post should give you a frame of reference as you continue to learn so feel free to go back to it as often as you need.

The Parts of a Chain Stitch

This is how a chain stitch looks from the top.  Each of the V’s is the top of a chain stitch.  Also, the loop that is on the hook does not count as a chain stitch and neither does the slip knot at the end.

Chain Stitch Anatomy
This illustrated the “V” created by the two front loops of a chain stitch. You can also see the back hump peeking over the edge.

This is how you identify chain stitches so you can count them:

Identifying the Number of Chains
You count the number of chains from the hook to the slip stitch. The loop on the hook is NOT considered a chain.

Now, if you turn the chain towards you you will see one of the top loops that creates the “V” and the back hump.  Many people put the foundation stitches under these two loops.  I choose to put my foundation stitches into the back hump of the chain stitch.  ( I will explain my reasoning for this in a later post.)

Side View of Chain Stitches
If you turn your chain towards you you will see the back hump and one of the “V” stitches of the chain.

Turn the chain towards you once more so we can look at the bottom of a chain stitch so you can see the back hump.

Chain Stitch Anatomy
The back hump is in the middle between the top loops of the chain stitch.

I know we still haven’t gotten to actually crocheting yet, but I did warn you I want to take this slowly.  I want to fill in the gaps that are left out when someone learns to crochet.  These are the things I wish someone would have taught me.  The anatomy of a chain stitch might seem trivial right now, but these posts are here for you to reference in the future.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

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