Chainless foundation rows: one of crochet’s best kept secrets

Like standing stitches, crochet chainless foundation rows are not that widely used. But once you learn how to do them, you wonder how you managed before! 

In this short video tutorial, I show you how to make a chainless foundation row using UKdc or USsc stitches. You can also make chainless foundation rows with UKtr/USdc and UKhtr/UShdc stitches and these will feature in future tutorials on my channel. Why not subscribe to get all the latest updates?

In the second part of the video tutorial, I explain the four main advantages of chainless foundation rows:

  1. In contrast to a chain start plus dc stitches worked into each chain, a chainless start is just as stretchy as the rest of your crochet fabric. So perfect for starting off a neckline on a crochet sweater!
  2. Your chainless foundation row is the same width as your subsequent rows of crochet stitches. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you need to make a chain shorter than the length you need as the stitches added afterwards tend to bulge out. When making a cushion cover its far easier to work a chainless foundation row to just the right size, rather than estimating the chain length required.
  3. You don’t have to use a larger hook for your starting row. Quite often that’s recommended for chained starts, to avoid the banana effect. This is the curving of the bottom of your crochet into a crescent or banana shape because of a chain that is too tight.
  4. With a chainless foundation row, its easier to work a very long start for a blanket. If you need 300 stitches in your first row, you can easily miscount chains but not realise until you have worked all the way back with dc stitches into each chain. By then, if your stitch count is wrong, you have to pull back and start again. With a chainless foundation, you make the chain and the first stitch together, so your count can be exact and easily checked, before working row 2.

The yarn in my sample at the end of the tutorial

This was dyed by me using a plant stew! I love natural dyeing using plants from my garden and more will be appearing in my Etsy shop over the next few months.

Naturally dyed mini sets in my Etsy shop BLOG

Chainless foundation rows: front loop or both loops?

In the tutorial, I make my foundation stitch into the front loop of each chain built up during the previous stitch. I like the way it looks! But if you prefer, you can work into both loops of that integral chain, or into the back loop. With this type of start to a project, you are in control!

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