Last week we talked about the parts of a chain stitch and why it’s the foundation of crochet. Today I want to do a bit of an editorial on why I choose to do the first row in the back hump of my chain stitches. The only time I stray from this is if I am working in the round, such as a Granny square, a triangular shawl, or a cowl.
There are three places to insert your hook as you do the first row after the chain stitches: The top loop of the V; the top loop of the V and the back hump together; and in the back hump only. Many people are taught the first two, but the third option is my favorite.
Having good chain stitches is vital to the beginning of a project. Once we start crocheting, you should practice chaining as often as possible. Not only will an even chain stitch look lovely, it will also give you a good foundation for your project.
The first several rows are usually very awkward and fiddly. A good chain will make your stitches easier to count which helps prevent excessive frogging* in the beginning. It also makes finding the back hump easy. But why do I recommend starting in the back hump? There are a few reasons:
First, once you find the first hump and put your first several foundation stitches in, the remaining humps of your chain will turn towards you. Also, you only have to look for one loop of a chain stitch rather than the top loop of the V and the back hump together as most people are taught. And even if the back hump is not immediately evident, a little tug to both ends of the chain should help you find it.
I also find crocheting into the back hump much easier. If I do it one of the two other ways, I tend to skip a stitch because the bottom loop of the V gets lost since the project at this point is so fiddly, especially if my chain is not consistent and even.
Second, if you put the foundation row in the back hump of the chain stitch, you will have a lovely braided edge. The V’s are easy to identify if you need to go back to count your stitches. Since the bottom of the chain also resembles the top of your work, adding a border will not be difficult because they look the same.
If you have done some crocheting, what loops of the chain do you normally put your hook in? And if you haven’t used the back hump yet, give it a try and let me know what you think. But what If you haven’t started crocheting yet? Then bookmark this page and come back after a bit of practice so you can let me know how you are doing.
*frogging – pulling the working end of the yarn so that you unravel your project. The word comes from the sound the yarn makes “ribbit ribbit” 🙂
Have an excellent day!