What is Foundation Single Crochet (FSC)?

Comparing FSC Crochet and Chains Plus Single Crochet
Mollie Johanson

Jump ahead in your crochet with foundation single crochet stitches—a chainless way to start your project. Most crochet patterns begin with chain stitches, followed by a row of basic stitches. But what if you could combine those two steps into one? That's what FSC does. 

This crochet technique might seem complicated and it may even feel slower when you first try it, but once you practice a bit, it makes your foundation chain so much easier. And while this tutorial only walks you through how to to make the single crochet version, you can do this with other basic stitches too.

A foundation single crochet or FSC starts with a chain and then adds the single crochet, so you make two elements in a single stitch. The result is a first row of single crochet that looks even better than starting the traditional way.

Here are a few reasons to try FSC: 

  • The first row of standard single crochet often twists and curls like you see pictured because it's a tight stitch. Foundation single crochet removes that problem.
  • You don't have to work all those stitches, only to find out that you miscounted on your starting chain. With FSC you can add or remove a stitch or two easily.
  • If you want to use the traditional method, you can still add on an extra foundation single crochet when needed.
  • It feels a little magical to save a step and build your work in a new way. Who doesn't like that?

Some patterns tell you to use FSC, but you can use this even for those that don't. Just be sure to check your gauge and use this technique in your swatch. Oh, and while this shows the right-handed way of making your stitches, you can flip these directions if you're left-handed.

Ready to give it a go? Grab some yarn and a crochet hook in a size that matches your yarn!

  1. Start the Row

    Make a slip knot and chain 2. 

    This is all you need to start your foundation chain of single crochet stitches. If you were making foundation double crochet stitches, or another version, you would need to make more chain stitches at the beginning.

    Make Two Chain Stitches
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Make the Chain Part of the Stitch

    Insert the hook in the first chain you made. 

    Be sure to insert it so that it catches both the left of the first chain and the center of the stitch, which leads to the next chain. You should see two strands of yarn on the left and one on the right. This is how you'll insert the hook each time.

    Note: You can place the hook so you only have a single strand of yarn on the left side, but it creates a different look for the foundation. Try both ways to see which you prefer.

    Yarn over and draw up a loop. This counts as making the chain part of the foundation single crochet stitch.

    Insert the Hook in the First Chain and Yarn Over
    Mollie Johanson
  3. Start the Single Crochet Part of the Stitch

    You should have two loops on your hook.

    Yarn over and draw up a loop. This is similar to the first step in making a single crochet. 

    You should still have two loops on your hook.

    Draw the Yarn Through One Loop on the Hook
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Finish the Single Crochet Part of the Stitch

    Yarn over and draw the hook through both loops on your hook. This completes the single crochet. 

    With Two Loops on the Hook, Yarn Over
    Mollie Johanson
  5. Get Ready for the Next Stitch

    Take a look at your first foundation single crochet. 

    The stitch you just drew the loop (on the right side if you're right-handed) through is the top of the first stitch and what you would look at when counting stitches. 

    On the other edge, which will be the bottom, the longer stitch is the chain part of the stitch. This is where you'll insert the hook for the next stitch.

    One Completed FSC on the Hook
    Mollie Johanson
  6. Make the Next FSC

    Insert the crochet hook into the chain part of the previous stitch. 

    Again, be sure to go through the chain so you end up with two strands on the left side of the hook. It's a little easier to see both strands as you add more stitches. 

    Repeat the same steps from the first stitch. A simple summary of the stitch process goes like this:

    Insert hook, yarn over, draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through both loops. 

    Insert the Hook in the Chain Part of the Previous Stitch
    Mollie Johanson
  7. Work Vertically on Your Foundation Row

    Although most crochet works horizontally from right to left (or left to right if you crochet left-handed), here you'll work vertically. That's because the foundation single crochet process is more like making your starting chain.

    Once you make all the FSC stitches you need to finish the row, you can then turn your work and begin as usual working horizontally. 

    Working a Row of FSC Stitches Vertically
    Mollie Johanson
  8. Continue Crocheting Your Project

    Now that you have your first foundation row of stitches, you can continue on in your pattern. What you just made counts as the first row of single crochet, so bear that in mind if your pattern doesn't direct you to use FSC stitches. 

    As you work, you'll probably notice that this method also makes it easier to find where to work as you go. It's a crochet win-win!

    A Row of Foundation Single Crochet on a Hook
    Mollie Johanson