How to chain stitch and count your stitches

Chain stitch is the very start of almost every crochet project and counting your stitches can be the key to following patterns.

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Knowing the anatomy of a crochet chain is the first stage in following any pattern.

When you make a chain you’ll see that it looks like a plait. Have your chain this way round to count the stitches. The back of a chain has a row of bumps. Some patterns will call for you to insert your hook into specific loops of a chain or into the bumps on the back.

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Step 1

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Hold the hook in your right hand, and both the yarn end and the working yarn in your left hand. Move the hook under and over the yarn to wrap it around anticlockwise.

Step 2

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Pull the hook towards the slipknot, catching the yarn in the hook, and pulling it through the slipknot loop. This forms your first chain (ch) stitch. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to form a chain length.

Step 3

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This is what your row of chains will look like. Hold the chain with your left hand near the hook, to keep the tension. Keep going until you have the number of chains stated in your pattern.

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How to count your chains and stitches

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Each chain or loop counts as one stitch. Never count your first slipknot or the loop on the hook (called the working loop). So that you can be accurate, make sure the chain is not twisted and that the front is facing you.

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