Once you make a few crochet projects, you might feel frustrated starting every project with a series of chains. Solution! Learn foundation stitches and eliminate the need to start every project with a long string of chains! Here are a few reasons why we think you’ll love foundation stitches and instructions on making the most commonly-used.
What is a foundation stitch?
A foundation stitch is a way of working the starting chain and the first row of stitches at the same time. It can be a bit confusing at first, but will become your favorite tool once you get the hang of it.
Reasons to love foundation stitches
They are stretchier than starting chains. You’ve probably noticed with cowls or sweaters that your projects is nice and stretchy until you get to the edge with your starting chain and it is so tight and constrictive! Foundation stitches have a lot more stretch than starting chains making them ideal for anything you plan on wearing.
They are easier to count than chains. . I know you've probably rolled your eyes at any pattern that starts of with "Ch 212". With a number that high, you’ll inevitably lose count and need to go back and count how many you have. Chains are notoriously difficult to count because they are so small. Foundation stitches are larger and make it easier to count the number of stitches you have.
It’s easier to work into the other end of the stitch. Some crochet projects have you work back into a starting edge. You see this a lot if you have a project where you want to create some kind of edging. The bottom edge created by foundation stitches is far easier to work into than a starting chain.
Reasons to skip foundation stitches
Foundation stitches are best when the first row of a project is a solid row of all the same kind of stitch. If you have any chain spaces (often seen in lace or filet crochet), skip using foundation stitches and begin with a starting chain instead.
How to work foundation stitches
Foundation stitches are relatively easy to figure out once you get the hang of them. Here are some of the most common foundation stitches you might see. Try them out so you’ll be ready to use foundation stitches for your next project!