How To Start A Crochet Chain


Crochet Chain stitches are needed for every crochet pattern, so this is something that as a beginner crocheter you need to learn how to do.

Normally the very first step in a crochet pattern is to create a slip knot (how to make a slip knot (step by step)).

Then you will create a chain of stitches from which to start working.

This is an essential part of learning how to crochet.

Related Post: Crochet Basics

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creating a crochet chain with a hook and yarn

What Does Chain Mean In Crochet?

Most crochet projects and pattern instructions begin with a slip knot and then a chain of stitches which forms the foundation of your work.

This means that you will start to build your project, using these first basic stitches.

Other than this first foundation chain, crochet projects often have chain stitches used in the rest of the pattern as well.

The chain stitches are connected to the other stitches to build the shape of whatever you are making.

A great first project to practice making a foundation chain is a dishcloth or simple baby blanket.

crochet chain in cotton yarn

This is needed before you start to single crochet…

Keeping your gauge (tension) correct can take some practice for beginners, but it is easy enough to learn and get started.

Once you have the slip knot and chain knowledge, you can move on to learn – how to single crochet (sc) and dc – double crochet (how to double crochet (dc) for beginners), tr (triple crochet) treble crochet stitch (how to treble crochet (tr)), and hdc – half double crochet stitch.

Please note – I am right-handed, so the images and video tutorial will show a right-handed view of things!

If you are left-handed, you can flip the way things are done.

(In the photo below you can see a row of single crochet stitches that have been built up on top of the stitches of the previous row to create a crochet fabric)

single crochet example and crochet hook

How Do You Crochet A Chain For Beginners?

Learn how to make a crochet chain, this is a basic foundation for any project and it’s very easy to make.

It looks very similar to a braid and involves building stitches from a single piece of yarn, as with all crochet.

Once you have your chain you can use it to craft many other crochet projects.

When you look at different crochet patterns like granny squares most start with a crochet chain or magic circle.

The abbreviation for the chain is written like this – ch or CH.

The type of yarn you need to use to practice can range from cotton yarn, worsted weight, to super bulky weight.

Any acrylic yarn, wool, or leftover yarn you have in your yarn stash or crochet supplies will be ok to use.

How to create a crochet chain with step by step instructions

Video Tutorial

Below, you will see a step-by-step photo tutorial and a video tutorial.

You can also view the video tutorial on my YouTube channel here.

For this tutorial, I am using a 10 mm/US 15 hook and super bulky yarn.

This is a mixtape yarn/super bulky – you can check your yarn’s label to check the yarn weight.

How To Crochet A Chain

  1. Step 1 – is to learn how to create a slip knot.

    Twist the yarn right over the left, then take the continuous thread to the back of the loop and insert hook under the yarn.
    Draw the yarn through the loop, forming a loop on the hook. 
    Finally, pull the end of the thread to form a slipknot at the base of the loop on the hook. (View tutorial here – how to make a slip knot (step by step))holding the yarn with the hook

  2. Step 2 – Make the slipknot

    With the slip knot on the crochet hook, hold the knot with your left hand and the knot should be looking towards you.
    The tail of the yarn that is connected to the ball should be over your index finger.
    Use your other fingers and thumb to hold the knot and pull a little to keep the correct tension, as you start to work.holding the yarn over the hook

  3. Step 3 – Creating the first chain

    When you hold the crochet hook, hold it comfortably and place it facing upwards.
    When you start to create the chain stitches, the hook should rotate, going in and out of the stitches.
    You can see this in more detail in the video tutorial in this post.wrapping the yarn around the crochet hook

  4. Step 4 – Pull the yarn through the loop

    While your crochet hook is inside of the slip knot, loop the working yarn over the hook from back to front.
    Hold the knot with your left hand to help the yarn to pass through the stitch you have created.
    You should turn your crochet hook, as you loop the yarn to hook it through the stitch.pulling the yarn through the stitch

  5. Step 5 – Create the first chain stitch

    To create the next chain – After you have hooked the yarn, pull it through the slip knot (first loop) and you will have created one stitch.
    This means that you can move on to creating more chain stitches, in the same way.
    You can hold the working yarn in your middle fingers.
    creating a crochet chain by making stitches

  6. Step 6 – Creating more chain stitches

    To continue to make chain stitches, hook another loop and pull it through the previous stitch.
    Repeat this as many times as needed (it will say in your pattern to ch 6 for example).
    As you work, use your thumb and index finger on your left hand to keep the chain taught and pulling downwards, which will allow you to easily put the hook in and out of the stitches.
    As you keep going, you will start to easily move the crochet hook as you hook the yarn and pull it through to create new stitches.creating a crochet chain with cotton yarn

Top Tips For Crocheting A Chain

  • Count – make sure you count the number of stitches you are creating in the chain if the pattern says 6 or 166, count them up as you go. Begin counting with the very first stitch you create and use stitch markers to help if you need them.
  • Learn about a turning chain – these are common in most patterns so knowing what they are and why you will use them is a must!
  • Tension – Practice until you have the right tension, not too tight and not too loose, the stitches should be smooth and easy to work into in the next step when you start to work into them again.
  • Find your rhythm – Be comfortable in the way that you hold your hook and work the yarn, the way that I crochet may not be the way that is comfortable for you, as many people do it differently. So experiment with the way you hold the hook and work with the yarn.
  • Work with different hooks – Try out using different hooks to see what is comfortable for you, many people use wooden hooks, casein, or easy grip. It is important you find a hook you like to work with and that makes the task easier for you. You can also change the hook size if you feel like that size is not working well with your yarn choice. I often do this if I have cotton for example and it might work up a bit tight, so I change my hook from a 5mm (US 8/H) to a 5.5mm (US 9/I).
  • Work with different weights of yarn – from medium weight to more bulky yarns.

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