The chain stitch is one of the most frequently used stitches in crochet. It is a very simple stitch and quite small but absolutely essential.
It is usually abbreviated to ch in crochet patterns.
These instructions are designed for absolute beginner crocheters and show a step by step approach to doing the chain stitch. If you are still struggling to do chains by the end of this tutorial then please get in touch and I will see if there is a way I can help further.
The instructions are written for a right handed person, if you are left handed all you need to do is reverse the images, and replace right for left in the text and everything else is just the same.
Let’s get started.
Create a slip knot and place it onto the hook. If you can’t do a slip knot then a normal knot will do, but not too tight as you need to be able to get your hook through it!
Hold the hook in your right hand.
Hold onto the base of your knot with the index finger and thumb of your left hand.
Hold the rest of the yarn in your left hand, trapped between your middle to little fingers. Try and keep tension in the yarn through these fingers on your left hand, but not too tightly, if should be able to feed freely between them.
HINT: You may want to keep adjusting the yarn in your left hand as your practice until you find a way of holding it which is comfortable for you.
Bring the yarn over the hook, from back to front and catch it under the hook. Then draw the hook, with the yarn under it, back through the loop of the knot on your hook.
The original knot will slip off your hook and be replaced with a new loop.
You now have one chain stitch.
Wrap the yarn over the hook again, always from back to front, and draw it through the loop on the hook again to make a second chain stitch.
Repeat this over and over to make more chain stitches. That’s all there is to it.
NOTE: The yarn always needs to be wrapped around the hook from back to front, never front to back.
Long lengths of chain stitches are often used as a base from which other stitches are then created. As your length of chains grows, keep moving your thumb and index finger up the stitches towards the hook as this will help you to control your work.
A row of chain stitches should be firm but not too tight and all of an even size. (preferably)
HINT: If your hook slips out of your work, don’t panic, just re-insert the hook into the centre of the last stitch, taking care not to twist the loop.
Counting stitches often has to be done quite carefully when starting a project to make sure you have the correct number to start with. Below shows a length of chain stitches from the front and from the back so you can see what they should look like. In order to count your stitches it is easier to work from the front and count the number of ‘Vs’ you can see. Never count the knot as a stitch and never count the loop on your hook.
The front of the chains ( 6 stitches)
The back of the chains
Now all you need to do is practice!