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Great Beginnings: Starting Your Crochet Project Right, Pt. 2

Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay joins us for several articles on starting your project right. Join us this week for a 3-part series on crochet, and join us next week for a 2-part series on knitting. Click here to see her previous blog post on foundation chains. 

Foundation Stitches

The use of foundation stitches for beginning crochet pieces has been gaining a lot of popularity lately. A major reason for this is because foundation stitches solve many of the problems associated with foundation chains.

Each foundation stitch consists of one chain and one standard crochet stitch. In this manner the foundation chain and the first row/round of stitches are worked at the same time. The chain is made by drawing up a loop in the base of the previous foundation stitch. This chain is then treated as a standard foundation chain. There is a corresponding foundation stitch for every standard crochet stitch, e.g. single crochet (sc), dc (double crochet), etc. Here are step by step instructions for working foundation versions of sc and dc. Notice that the Fsc and Fdc steps are very similar and that the final steps of each foundation stitch are the same as the final steps for standard sc and dc stitches.

Foundation single crochet (Fsc)

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Step 1 – begin: Ch 2.
Step 2 – make first foundation chain: Insert hook in 2nd ch from hook, yarn over and draw up a loop. This loop serves as the chain of the foundation stitch.
Step 3 – make the single crochet: Yarn over and draw through 1 loop on hook (2 loops on hook), yarn over and draw through both loops on hook to complete the single crochet.
Step 4 – make next foundation chain: Insert hook in chain of previous foundation stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop. Note The foundation chain is at the base of foundation stitch, insert the hook under two strands at the base.
Repeat Step 3.
Repeat last 2 steps until desired number of Fsc have been made.

Foundation double crochet (Fdc)

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Step 1 – begin: Ch 4.
Step 2 – make first foundation chain: Yarn over, insert hook in 4th ch from hook, yarn over and draw up a loop (3 loops on hook).
Step 3 – make the double crochet: Yarn over and draw through 1 loop on hook, [yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook] twice to complete the double crochet.
Step 4 – make next foundation chain: Yarn over, insert hook in chain of previous foundation stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop.
Repeat Step 3.
Repeat last 2 steps until desired number of Fdc have been made.

I imagine you now have a good idea how to work Fhdc (foundation half double crochet) and Ftr (foundation treble crochet). To begin working in rounds, join the last stitch to the first with a slip stitch and use the beginning tail to sew the small gap at the base of these stitches together. You can alternate the type of foundation stitches. For example, if your piece will be worked in a pattern of alternating sc and dc stitches, the foundation can be worked be alternating Fsc and Fdc. More complex crochet stitches can also be worked as foundation stitches.

Foundation cluster (FCl)
Step 1 – begin: Ch 4.
Step 2 – make first foundation chain: Yarn over, insert hook in 4th ch from hook, yarn over and draw up a loop (3 loops on hook).
Step 3 – make cluster: Yarn over and draw through 1 loop on hook, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook (2 loops remain on hook), (yarn over, insert hook in foundation chain just made, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice, yarn over and draw through all 4 loops on hook to complete the cluster.

Come back tomorrow to learn more about adjustable ring foundations (also called the crochet "magic ring"), great for in-the-round projects.

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