Stitch Tutorials
How to Make Foundation Stitches

How to Make Foundation Stitches

Have you ever tried using foundation stitches before? If not, you’re definitely missing out. They take all the tedious work out of creating that initial foundation chain and give you a much more flexible fabric. Even though they might seem complicated at first, this post will walk you through how to make foundation stitches with no problem!

NOTE: All stitches here are using U.S. terms.

How to Make Foundation Stitches

What is a foundation stitch?

You know when you go to start a project and it says to create a chain? Then you single crochet across the row, starting in the second chain from the hook.

Foundation stitches take those first 2 steps and combine them! You work your basic stitch (like the single crochet) and your foundation chain all at once.

Here’s how:

Let’s start with single crochet.

  1. Ch 2.
  2. Insert your hook into the first chain, yarn over and pull up a loop.
  3. Yarn over and pull through the first loop only (creating a chain).
  4. Yarn over and pull through both loops to complete your single crochet.
  5. Insert your hook into the chain you created, yarn over and pull up a loop.
  6. Yarn over and pull up a loop in the first loop only (creating a chain).
  7. Yarn over and pull through both loops to complete your single crochet.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 until you have the number of stitches you want for your foundation row.

Did you know you can actually do this technique with any basic stitch? You can create a foundation row with half double, double, treble crochet, etc… The process is exactly the same, except that you’ll yarn over before inserting your hook into the chain you created (step 5) and you’ll start with a taller initial chain.

  • ch 2 = single crochet
  • ch 2 = half double crochet
  • ch 3 = double crochet
  • ch 4 = treble crochet

If you want to see these stitches worked up, check out this video tutorial!

Why should I use foundation stitches?

The biggest reason to use this technique is to avoid that tedious first row of a long chain, like when you’re starting a blanket or sweater. But creating a foundation row also results in a more flexible fabric with a cleaner edge. This means it’ll be easier to work a border into later or have a more consistent drape.

You might be wondering, ‘Chanel, you make amigurumi. What the heck does this have to do with that?’ And you’re right, you don’t typically see foundation stitches used in amigurumi, but it’s always good to have this skill in your pocket.

I personally like to know things just to know them, BUT knowing techniques like this can come in handy in unlikely moments. For example, my newest pattern Sia the Strawberry Squid (coming soon) uses foundation stitches!

sneak peak of strawberry squid pattern in blog post
Image by Chanel of cbfiberworks.

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Another instance where this technique would be helpful is when you’re making clothing or details for your amigurumi. A tester of mine mentioned it works amazing for creating ‘bandages’ for her mummy doll!

Wrap Up

Foundation stitches have all sorts of applications. Have you ever used this technique? What are you favorite ways to use it? Share them in the comments!

If you liked this article, be sure to Pin it and share it with your crochet friends! Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter so you never miss an article, new pattern or special event. And if you want to be a part of a community of amigurumi-loving makers, join us in the cbfiberworks Crochet Club!

2 thoughts on “How to Make Foundation Stitches

    • Author gravatar

      No one that I’ve tried to learn from has ever stated it as : “ Insert your hook into the chain you created,”

      It doesn’t get any easier than that to identify where you need to insert your hook… yet I’ve spent so much time squinting at videos, trying to enlarge them so I could see where the hook was going! And even though I’ve been using a foundation chain for the past year, I still always second guessed myself if I was doing it right… I’ll never second guess myself again!! 😂🤣😂🤣

      Thank you.. Thank you.. Thank you.. 💕

      • Author gravatar

        Yay!! I’m SO GLAD you found it helpful! It’s wild how seeing/reading something said in a slightly different way can make such a difference. Thank you for your sweet comment and I’m so glad you liked the tutorial!
        -Chanel | cbfiberworks

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