How to Crochet Chain Stitch

How to crochet chain stitch, step by little step! It's temendously useful: create a base for your next row, or make a decoration for your home, a handle for a small evening bag, or even a piece of jewelry!

Use any kind of yarn you like, with a suitable hook.

How to Begin with a Slip Knot

1. Make a loop. The yarn tail is on the left:

yarn in a loop

2. Keeping the tail of the yarn to the left, pass the yarn under the loop...

yarn wound round back of loop

3. Then catch that bit of yarn underneath with your hook:

hook catches yarn behind loop

4. Pull the yarn up gently so that you have a loop on your hook:

yarn pulled through loop

5. Carefully tighten the knot, leaving a little "give" - you don't want it too tight:

finished knot

Tip: Some projects will want a much longer yarn tail. You might want to sew on a button using the tail end - or sew up a seam for a purse. You certainly need to leave yourself enough yarn to sew in the end neatly.

Now Let's Crochet Chain Stitch!

1. Yarn round hook - don't pull too tight!

yarn wound round hook again

2. Ease your hook and yarn down through the first loop.

pulling yarn through loop

3. There! Your first chain! And the loop on your hook is ready for you to repeat steps 1 and 2 until...

finished chain stitch

4. have a length of chain :)

Try and keep your stitches the same size, nice and even. You don't want them too tight, nor too loose.

Practise crocheting chain stitch until you have a good feel for what you're doing.

a chain of even stitches

Tying Off

You could keep chaining forever ;) But no, we'll finish the chain like this:

1. Stop chaining. Phew!

a row of chain

2. Cut the yarn:

yarn is cut with a few inches of tail

3. Make another chain, pulling the yarn through...

hook pulls yarn through last chain

4. ...and keep pulling...

yarn further through chain

5. ...until all of the tail is through the loop:

tail is now completely through loop

6. Hold the tail and pull gently to tighten that last knot and end your chain:

chain pulled to end the chain

Use Double Strands for Sturdier Pieces

Why not crochet chain stitch using two strands of yarn? Cut two lengths of the same yarn to give this a try, not too long for this exercise, 14 inches or 35cm should be enough.

You'll need a larger hook for this - I used one size larger than in the single strand chain above. Whatever feels comfortable.

Put the two strands together, and make your slip knot again:

two strands in a slip knot

You can tell you're going to get a thicker chain, can't you?

Don't worry about the strands winding round each other a tiny bit for now.

Make some chains and you'll end up with something like this:

a thick two strand chain

This kind of chain is very useful. I used one just like this as a cord which wrapped around a Kindle cozy I made. The cozy was a bag with a flap, and the lady I made it for didn't want any buttons or zips. So I wove the cord around and tied it in a bow:

a cord made with two strands

Experiment with Different Yarns and Colors

A worsted weight yarn similar to the yarn above will chain up quite differently to a lighter yarn such as a thread weight.

Look what I made last summer using some beads and a simple chain stitch with a thread yarn:

pink chain bracelet with beads

Mmm, I can't wait to make some more of those and show you how I did them!

Meanwhile, why not get working on this very easy chain stitch bracelet pattern?

Or keep practising your chains, with different kinds of yarns and hook sizes:

three examples of chains

And once you've got the hang of that, we can start a new row and work into those chains with all kinds of stitches!