Mastering the Basics: Learn How to Crochet Part 1

How to Crochet the Foundation Chain

Hey there! I've been putting my heart and soul into this post for what feels like ages. I was aiming to share it in May, obviously, things didn't quite go as planned. But hey, it's all good now and I'm so excited to share it with you! If you've been keeping up with my previous posts, you should have your kit ready to roll. If not, no worries - just go back, catch up, and get your kit prepped with your crochet hooks and other accessories!

Below, you'll find some quick start guides for making your basic foundation chain. I've also included a link to my full-length video "Getting Started Crocheting" where you can work alongside me and pick up some extra tips and tricks. You'll find that link at the end of this post.

So, let's dive in and get started!

Slip Knot

The majority of your projects will start with a simple slip knot. Even for your amigurumi projects, you can start with a slip knot instead of a Magic Circle. If you already know how to make a slip knot, feel free to skip ahead. If not, follow the steps below to learn how I make my slip knot. If you'd like to watch the full video with more details, tips, and tricks, check it out here: Slip Knot.

Start with the working tail hanging over the top of your fingers. Leave a 6-8 inch length to weave the ends in at the end of the project to prevent unraveling.

Move the tail end towards the tip of your fingers. Then, use your thumb to pinch the yarn between either your index finger or middle finger and move the bottom two fingers out of the way.

Next, take the working end of the yarn loop it around the backside of your fingers, and pull up over the yarn pinched between your fingers. Mover your thumb out of the way to create an X with the yarn. Hold the X in place with your thumb.

Hold the X in place with your thumb and index finger and slip your middle finger out of the loop. Pull the back working piece of yarn through the loop to create a pretzel shape. Continue pulling that yarn through and up.

Then, grab that loop with your fingers, release the knot held with your thumb and index finger, pinch the tail end, and pull tight. This will secure the slip knot. Pull on the working end to make the loop smaller.

Now we’re ready to start our foundation chain!

Remember, there are many ways to create a slip knot, so use the method that works best for you! Crocheting is a unique journey for everyone, and just because someone does it one way does not mean it's the only way!

Tension Hand

The uniformity of your stitches is controlled mostly by your tension hand; the hand not holding your hook. How you hold the working yarn to control the tension is whatever feels comfortable for you and the yarn you are working with. The tension wrap that works best for a worsted weight yarn, may not work well with a blanket weight or faux fur yarn. This is how I wrap my tension hand for worsted-weight yarn.

Start with your slip knot on your crochet hook.

Scoop up the working yarn with your pinky and wrap it once around your pinky.

You'll have one loop of yarn wrapped around your pinky.

With your crochet hook, pull the yarn up so it lays across the palm side of your ring finger and middle finger. Then, slip it over the knuckle side of your index finger.

Wrap the yarn once around your index finger.

Looking at the top of your index finger, you'll have 2 strands of yarn across the top.

Grab the base of your slip knot with your thumb and middle finger, now you're ready to crochet!

Wrapping your tension hand doesn't have a single correct method. When working with different yarns and projects, you might need to use an alternative method. Don't be discouraged if this technique doesn't work for you. The way I began wrapping my tension hand when I first learned to crochet is not the same as what I do now. S feel free to experiment with different wrap styles and even see how different tension rings feel! Check out the full-length video for extra details, tips, and tricks: Tension Hand.

Foundation Chain

Start with your crochet hook in the loop of the slip knot and your tension hand holding the base of the slip knot.

Turn the index finger of your tension hand toward you and wrap the yarn around your crochet hook (this is called yarn over).

Then, twist the crochet hook down and slide it towards the base of your slip knot. This will lock that yarn into the groove of your crochet hook as you pull through the slip knot.

Next, you're going to pull your crochet hook through your slip knot loop. As you pull through, twist your crochet so the groove faces up and gently pull up.

You've created your first stitch! Now it's time to make another one.

Move your thumb and index finger up to pinch the base of the first stitch (don't worry you can let go, the yarn is not going anywhere!).

Now, turn your tension hand towards you to wrap the yarn around the crochet hook (yarn over) and twist the crochet hook down to lock in the yarn.

Pull through your loop as you twist your crochet hook up.

Gently pull up and you're creating your foundation chain!

As you're adding stitches to your foundation chain, you will move your thumb and middle finger up as your chain increases.

To master this technique, simply repeat the yarn over, twist, and pull through, twist until it flows smoothly. If you make a mistake, don't worry! Just pull on the working tail to undo your stitches and start afresh with the same yarn. If you want to crochet a foundation chain with me, feel free to check out the full-length video: Foundation Chain.

I want to give you some time to practice creating a slip knot, wrapping your tension hand, and smoothing out that foundation chain. You can follow along with me in my Getting Started Crocheting video. I'll cover lots of details, tips, tricks, and talk about some things that aren't included in the quick start guides above. It's going to be fun, so I hope you'll join me!

If you're feeling discouraged, just remember that no one starts as an expert! Crocheting is a unique journey for each individual, and there's no one right way to do anything. Take your time to find what works best for you and keep practicing! If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I'm here to help and happy to do so!

I just want to give a heads-up, the next post will be out soon and will cover counting stitches, turning your work, counting rows, and weaving in your ends. So practice, practice, practice to be ready for the next steps! See you soon!

Stay In The Loop!

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I'd be happy to help you with some frequently asked questions! Check out the answers below:
How long will it take to get my order?

All orders are made-to-order and WILL take up to two weeks to create from the date of purchase. Potentially less, depending upon the time of year.

The two weeks timeframe does not include shipping.

How will I know when my order has shipped?

We will send an email with your tracking number when your item has shipped.

Why don't the colors look the same?

Colors can appear different in person because of the settings on the screen or monitor. Photos are only lightly edited to ensure what you receive is as close to the picture as possible.

Also, wood products will have natural variances due to grain patterns, knots, and crevices.

NO returns, refunds, or exchanges are accepted because of color or wood variances.

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