Let’s say your pattern says to Chain 10 and then Single Crochet in 2nd chain from hook. What does that mean?
Let’s take it a section at a time.
And then, it says to “Single Crochet in 2nd chain from hook”.
Here’s how you count so you’re working the correct stitch.
The starting chain is to get your work up to the height of the stitch you’re going to work. In general, here are the starting chains:
- SC – 1 chain
- HDC – 2 chains
- DC – 3 chains
- TC – 4 chains
You’ll likely come across this phrase. Here’s what it means.
If your pattern tells you to chain 3 stitches (counts as a stitch), then you chain the 3 stitches, SKIP the first stitch in the previous row (since your chain will count as the stitch), and then work the rest of the row starting in that second stitch.
This is typically done for stitches taller than a SC. For a SC, you’ll usually chain 1 and then insert the hook in that first stitch.
So, in general when starting a row in:
- SC – Ch1 and SC in the FIRST stitch.
- All others – ChX and work the new stitch in the SECOND stitch.
That first chain is called a “turning chain” and you might see it abbreviated as “tch”.
Also, some patterns will have you work the turning chain at the end of the previous row and then turn. Either approach works.
It’s easy to miss the last stitch, especially when you’re first starting out.
Avoid this by one of these methods:
- Count the stitches in each row.
- Place a stitch marker in the first stitch. Use the same marker and move it up each row. BTW, a “stitch marker” can even be a short length of yarn or even a bobby pin.
A place where people often miss is the true last stitch because it’s the starting chain from the previous row (so it doesn’t look the same).
You can even practice on a small swatch (maybe just 10 stitches). You’ll be surprised to see what you’re missing. And, do yourself a favor and try it in both Single Crochet (the chain doesn’t count) and Double Crochet (the chain usually counts).
This is just a sampling of what’s in our Crochet 101 PDF!