Almost always when I need to specify which chain loop to crochet into, it's the bottom "bump" loop (that's "A" in the above illustration). This is the loop that you need to use when making the "fat-free picots" referred to in this newsletter, the love knot stitch, and beginning a new row in some star stitch patterns.
|Starpath Scarf (New pattern available next |
week! Link goes to its Ravelry project page)
Using option #4 gives it nice edges.
Chain Stitch Anatomy 101
Each chain has three loops:
- Front Top Loop: the one closest to you as you're about to crochet into it.
- Back Top Loop: the one farther from you, but still the top part of the chain.
- Bottom "Bump" Loop: Turn the chain over to see the third strand on the bottom. It looks different, like a small bump between the two top loops.
You can crochet a stitch into any one or two of these loops. This means you could conceivably crochet into a chain stitch six conventional ways (i.e., insert hook under X loop or loops of the chain, yarn over and pull yarn through). The four options I've listed below capture the most meaningful choices of the six.
Four Main Ways to Crochet Into Foundation Chains
Option #1. One top loop:
Some beginners are taught to crochet into only one top loop, usually the "back" one. This is logical and useful, because it's easier to fish around for only one of the three loops of every chain, especially the one that sort of sticks up a bit more than the other top loop. Another benefit is that the foundation chain (fch) firms up less. Try to pick the same top loop of every chain of the fch, or else the next chain may look weird and your finished edge might look irregular.
I tend to use this option if I'm crocheting slip stitch ribbing that I'll be seaming with slip stitches later; and sometimes when I crochet rows on both sides of the foundation chain.
|Option #1 is used for the Luckyslip Mitts.|
Option #2. The top two loops:
This is the way I was originally taught - under both of the top loops of the chain. It results in a finished edge of little "bump" loops because the bottom bump loop of each chain is the only loop that's not included in the next row of stitches. This option tightens up a foundation chain the most.
The top two loops of a chain stitch actually resemble a chain link, so this option is also a logical and useful way to teach a beginner. Not only that, other crochet stitches have two familiar top loops like chain stitches. Finding the front top loop or back top loop of a crochet stitch is a common occurrence for a crocheter, and the names for these loops are familiar.
Option #3. Two other loops (one top loop + the "bottom bump" or "third" loop):
I've met some crocheters who prefer this option because it is a bit firmer and neater looking than #1, and a bit easier than #2.
|Flounce Charms: Option #4 required |
for their Fat-Free Picots
Option #4. The "bottom bump loop" only:
This one gives me my favorite finished edge. It's a popular option for those in the know. Neither top loop is used, so they show completely along the finished edge. This creates the same lovely chain-loop look as the other finished edge; in other words, the bottom edge of the first row looks the same as the top edge of the last row. Makes an edging optional, and makes seaming a pleasure.
Option #4 firms up the fch more than crocheting into a top loop, so depending on the project, I make my chains a bit looser. I don't find it to be more difficult to do; the challenge is in the pattern writing! I feel that not enough crocheters notice this third bottom "bump" strand of chain stitches. Even if they do, the term for that loop is not as standardized and well known.
That's why I wrote this blog post.