Sunday, 23 June 2013

Chain Stitches

You have your materials and your crochet hook ready.  The first thing to do is to make a slip stitch to get your started.  The slip stitch is the first stitch you do before progressing to making the chain stitch.  The crochet hook never has many stitches on it and the slip stitch forms the beginning part of crochet.

Hold your crochet hook with your right hand and the yarn with your left hand.  If you are left handed, you will need to hold your crochet hook with your left hand and work backwards.  There will be more tutorials about left-handed crochet later in this blog.

 The Slip Stitch

The cut end of the yarn is used to pull the loop tight.  Slip this loop over your crotchet hook and then pull the end up to your hook, but not too tight.  The loop on your crochet hook forms the first stitch.  Slip stitch in abbreviation is ‘ss’.  Some people may prefer to simply start the chain with a small, tied loop, big enough to fit snugly onto your crochet hook.

The Foundation Chain

All crochet starts with the foundation chain.  This is a long chain of stitches, which are used as the first row of stitches for crochet.  In reading crochet patterns, the chain is abbreviated to ‘ch’.

To start your chain stitches, wrap the yarn around your crochet hook, from back, over your hook to the front, as shown on the video below.  Next, put your crochet hook into the loop, and then yarn over hook and pull this loop through the loop that is already on your hook.  This creates your first chain stitch.  Yarn over hook again (yoh) and then put your crochet hook into the next chain and pull the yarn through.  Yarn over hook and draw the next yarn through the loop. Yarn over hook, then pull through the yarn to form the next chain, and so on. Keep doing this until you have the required number of chains.

Counting Chain Stitches

Once you have completed a row of chain stitches, you will see that there is a row of neat ‘v’ shapes.  Each v shape represents each chain stitch, so chain stitches are easy to count.

Wikimedia Commons

Chain stitches can represent the first proper crochet stitch at the beginning of a row of crochet, and this is known as the turning chain. For example, double crochet has a turning chain of 1 chain; the treble stitch has a turning chain of 3 chains and so on.

Other Uses For Chain Stitches

You can make a simple friendship bracelet by making a row of chain stitches and working some colourful beads threaded into the chain stitch and some tassels left at the end of the chain stitch.  Experiment with different yarns and colours for different effects.