Chain Stitch - Crochet Photo Tutorial

  • 01 of 05

    What Is a Chain Stitch?

    Completed Crochet Chain Stitches
    Crochet Chain Stitches Worked in Cotton Yarn. Photo © Amy Solovay

    Chain stitches are an integral part of crocheting. There are several essential stitches that a beginner must become familiar with; the chain stitch is the first of these.

    You can expect to begin most crochet projects with chain stitches. Chain stitches typically form the foundation that the rest of the project is built upon.

    You will also find chain stitches sprinkled throughout most crochet patterns. Crochet designs are usually constructed using chain stitches in combination with other stitches.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    First, Form a Slip Knot.

    Slip Knot for Crocheting a Chain Stitch
    Form a Slip Knot. Photo © 2009 Amy Solovay, Licensed to, Inc.


    These instructions are intended for right-handed crocheters.

    Step 1: First, form a slip knot.

    How to Hold the Yarn:

    Grasp the slip knot in your left hand; the slip knot should be facing you.

    Position your thumb so that it is securing the tail of the yarn that is directly below the slip knot.

    The yarn that is still connected to the ball will flow over your index finger, and you will use your middle finger, fourth finger, and pinkie to manipulate the yarn as you crochet.

    How to Hold the Crochet Hook:

    Grasp your crochet hook in your right hand, between your thumb, index finger, and middle finger.

    The hook should be inserted into the slip knot from front to back.

    To start, the crochet hook will be facing upwards, but you will rotate it by approximately one-quarter turn counterclockwise with each chain stitch that you crochet. It’s OK to turn it more than that if you need to, but the goal is to make each motion as precise and fluid as possible.

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  • 03 of 05

    Crocheting the First Chain Stitch

    Crocheting the First Chain Stitch
    Crocheting the First Chain Stitch. Photo © 2009 Amy Solovay, Licensed to, Inc.

    Step 2:

    While your crochet hook is still inside the slip knot, slide the hook in between your yarn and the index finger on your left hand.

    Rotate your crochet hook by about one quarter turn counterclockwise, and use your middle finger, fourth finger, and pinkie to help you manipulate the yarn so that you can easily grab it with the crochet hook.

    After you’ve hooked the yarn, draw it through the slip knot.

    As you draw the yarn through, you will likely find it easier to complete the stitch if you return the hook to its original position facing upwards.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    One Chain Stitch Has Been Formed.

    Crochet Chain Stitch
    One Chain Stitch Has Been Formed. Photo © 2009 Amy Solovay, Licensed to, Inc.

    You’ve now completed one chain stitch.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Crochet More Chain Stitches

    How to Crochet a Chain Stitch
    Repeat Those Steps to Crochet More Chain Stitches. Photo © 2009 Amy Solovay, Licensed to, Inc.

    Step 3: To make another chain stitch, hook another loop and draw it through. Repeat as many times as necessary. As you crochet, use your thumb and index finger to guide your newly formed chain stitches downward.


    Modify as Necessary. Everybody crochets a bit differently; there are many possible ways to hold the yarn and position the hook when crocheting a chain stitch. These instructions demonstrate one way of doing it. If this way is not comfortable for you, feel free to modify your own way of working to suit your preferences.

    Maintain Even Tension. Practice until your chain stitches are smooth, even, and not too tight.

    Don’t Be Afraid to Change Hooks. If you are crocheting with cotton or other inelastic yarn, it may be necessary to make your foundation chain using a crochet hook that is one size larger than the hook you plan to use for crocheting the rest of the project. This is not always a necessity with resilient fibers such as wool, but it might be helpful, depending on the pattern you are using.

    If you find that your foundation chain is too tight in proportion to the first several rows of stitches that follow it, you’ll want to consider starting over using a larger hook for the chain.