Learn the Foundation Single Crochet... And Ditch the Chain!

The foundation single crochet stitch (FSC) is a game changer. Gone are the days of creating long chains and then going back and working into the chain before you start the first row. With FSC, you cut straight to the chase, working the chain and your first row of single crochets in one step. Amazing.

There are loads of reasons why you'd want to use FSC every chance you get:

  • No more missed stitches: Missing a stitch is next to impossible with foundation single crochet, but it can happen when you work in a long chain.
  • Easy-to-see stitches: It's tough to see the stitches in a long base chain when you work in novelty yarns. Not so with foundation stitches.
  • Even tension: Starting chains sometimes have a different tension than the rest of the project. Not a prob with FSC.
  • Stretchy edge: Foundation stitches have a little bit of give to them, so they're a great choice for clothes that need some stretch.

Pro Tip

You can use the FSC stitch in any pattern, even one that doesn't call for it. Just do away with the chain and begin with the first row, creating the same number of foundation stitches as the row calls for. So, for instance, if the first row calls for 100 single crochet stitches, skip the chain and make 100 FSCs instead.

Foundation Single Crochet Tutorial

An FSC is a bit like a Tunisian edge stitch, if you know how to do Tunisian crochet . You'll be working vertically instead of horizontally for the first part of the project. The chain will be on the left side of the vertical strip (if you're right-handed) and the first row of single crochet will appear on the right side. Got it? Let's do this!

What You Need

  • Crochet hook (pick something that works with your yarn weight)
  • Scrap yarn (we're just practicing here, but if you're diving into a project, use your project yarn)
  • Removable stitch marker

Instructions

Say goodbye to too-tight edges as you round out your understanding of the basic foundation stitches, adding single, half double and triple crochet foundation stitches to your repertoire. You'll love being able to create fabric that is the same width on top as on the bottom. See how easy it is to substitute foundation stitches into your favorite pattern!
Variety of crocheted foundation stitches on gray background
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Follow Step By Step

Want to take it one step at a time? Here's a detailed breakdown to get you going:

1. Begin with a slip knot on your crochet hook, then chain two .

2. Insert your hook into the first chain stitch.

3. Yarn over and pull up one loop. You should have two loops on the hook when you complete this step.

4. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the first loop on your hook. The yarn you just pulled through is actually a chain stitch. Go ahead and add a removable stitch marker to this chain stitch so you don't forget. 

5. Yarn over and pull through both of the loops on your hook to make a single crochet. You should have one loop on the hook when you complete this step.

You've just finished your first foundation crochet stitch. Pretty easy, right? The second stitch is a little trickier, so stay with us. 

6. Remember how you made a chain in Step 4? That's the chain you'll now be working into next. Insert your crochet hook into the space between the chain and the single crochet.

7. Yarn over and pull up one loop. You should have two loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the first loop on your hook.

You've just made your next chain stitch. Now's a good time to move the stitch marker and place it around this chain stitch (as in the photo above).

8. To finish the second foundation crochet stitch, yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook.

9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 until you have the number of stitches you need for your project.

When you've completed the first row, give yourself a high five and turn your work. You're ready to move onto the second row, whatever that may be.

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