Four ways to crochet into a chain

When I started getting back into crochet I had not realized that there was more than one way to crochet into a chain.

I thought it might be interesting to compare all four ways.

To help with visualisation I am using a method I found on someone else’s blog, unfortunately I can’t remember whose it was.

Here is a chain. As you can see each chain consists of three strands. The top strand here coloured red, the bottom strand (as you look at it) coloured blueFront of chainand the strand at the back, coloured black.Back of chainWhen you are starting a crochet piece which will be worked in rows you start by making a chain and then crocheting the first row of stitches into it. There are in fact four ways of doing this.

Method 1

This is the method of crocheting into a chain that I have seen most frequently used in books. You insert your hook under only the top/red strand. This can create more of an obvious loop sometimes but is probably a good way for beginners as it is the easiest way.Method 1

Method 2

An alternative method that I have sometimes seen suggested is to insert the hook under both the top/red strand and the back/black strand. This of course is the same as inserting the hook over the bottom/blue strand. I find this seems to give a firmer start.Method 2

Method 3

This, for a long time, was the way I thought you were supposed to do it because it was the way I found on a tutorial I looked at.

You insert the hook from below (or the front depending on how you see it) under both the blue and red strands. This is most similar to the way that you crochet into stitches on the row below. I like to use this method especially when I slip stitch into the top of the starting chains that are supposed to represent a treble (US – dc) or similar.Method 3

Method 4

This method, which I only discovered recently, has become my favourite in many situations because it means that both the bottom and the top of the crochet piece have the same appearance.

In this method you turn the chain over and insert your hook under the back/black strand. At first this may be harder to see but I have found with practice it is no more difficult than the other ways. And although you are only going under one strand it does give a firm finish.Method 4Here is an uncoloured close up showing how a row of back loops look.Back loopsHere I have crocheted into those back loops. This is showing the starting edge.Starting edgeI hope you found this interesting.

How do you like to crochet into the starting chain?

25 thoughts on “Four ways to crochet into a chain

  1. wow – I never really thought about it and have always used Method 2. But I am definitely going to try Method 4 now. Thank you so much for this excellent tutorial!!! I am teaching Miss E to crochet at the moment, so this is definitely something for me to think about for her – maybe your Method 1 would be best for her to start with. THANK YOU!!!


  2. I use either method 1 or method 4, depending on what I’m making. I have also started using a hook one size larger than the pattern requires to make my starting chain so that my foundation stitches don’t pull or bunch up.


      1. I’ve realised I used Kat Goldin’s instructions in Hook, Stitch and Give, while using the technique to crochet a hat, and checked that I was right to have 2 loops on my hook online at lots of tutorials…sometimes my chatty blog posts help to remind me of what I’ve forgotten! I had a look on my Slouchy Hat post.


  3. I used method 3 for decades. Then when trying a new pattern it showed method 2 & I started using it. Now I’m going to try this new method as I like the finished look of it. Thank you for sharing it.


    1. I can see what you are thinking but no they are not the same because in both cases the stitch goes above what you can see. In method three you get left with a series of loops along the edge. I use this method along the top of the wings for my angel bookmark to give a scalloped effect. In method four you are left with an edge at the beginning that looks the same as the edge at the end. I use that for my Celtic coasters so both edges of the strips look the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like using a foundation chain, but that does not seem to be applicable to the celtic weave when you need to place 5 stitches into a single stitch several times. Here is where the 4th method really does make a positive difference. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never quite got on top of foundation ways of starting but for the Celtic designs you need ideally to have both edges matching which the fourth method achieves. I can see that the foundation method where appropriate saves a lot of counting. Maybe I should have another go.


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