If you’ve learnt the basics of how to chain stitch and count your stitches, but find it a little tricky, then why not try Melissa Gomez’ new crochet starting chain technique. She uses a variation of the long-tail knitting cast on – “I did a front to back yarn over, then a regular yarn over, and voila! I couldn’t believe how ‘breaking the rules’ in crochet could produce such a great new technique,” Melissa explains.
We think we’ll forgive her for that front to back yarn over because this new technique has blown our crafty minds! This clever technique creates a nice and stretchy foundation chain for you to work your rows into – some people find that their tension is tighter with chains than stitches, which can mean your work expands as you progress – not an issue with this stretchy chain! It also creates a foundation chain that mimics normal double crochet (US single crochet) stitches, so if you’re someone who has problems with your chains twisting or gets confused about where exactly to insert your hook in your starting chain, then this technique will make things a whole lot easier!
Check out Melissa’s quick overview of the technique’s steps below:
You Will Need
- Crochet hook
To start your crochet chain, you’ll need to estimate how long your chain will be – Melissa recommends allowing 1 inch per stitch plus an extra 6 inches (it’s better to overestimate than underestimate, you can always trim this down when you weave in your ends later), then make a slip knot on your crochet hook.
To do this alternative chain technique, you’re actually going to work with the LONG TAIL end of your yarn, as well as the usual ball end. Unlike a normal chain, you’re going to wrap your long tail end around the hook going from the front to the back (think anti-clockwise if you were looking directly at the tip of the hook).
Now, grab your ball end of yarn, and do a normal yarn round hook (going clockwise from back to the front), you should now have 3 loops on your hook.
Then pull that last loop you made (the one attached to the ball end of yarn) through the other two loops on your hook.
Then simply repeat steps 2-4 for however many chains you need! You can use this technique for your turning chain for the next row too, then just work you next row as normal.
Once you’ve got your head around this fantastic new technique, your alternative chain also double us as a perfect Crochet I-Cord, and should look like this before weaving in those pesky ends:
You might be wondering how you actually start your crochet project once you’ve mastered this new starting chain method – well, Melissa’s covered that too! This alternative foundation chain mimics a normal row of double crochet (US single crochet) stitches, so you just insert your hook under both loops (under the ‘V’) as you would on a standard crochet row!
If you’re looking for more helpful crochet tutorials, then you can find loads of useful advice in our crochet for beginners guide!