A Chainless Beginning: Thoughts on Foundation Single Crochet

It took me a while to figure it out, as in several months from when I first tried it on the Starling Handbag, but I am now a convert and a believer. The foundation crochet stitches are the way to go when starting a crochet piece. It beats a starting chain handsdown. It’s the only way to get stretch in your entire piece (super important in clothing) and helps prevent curling (after blocking).

I finally figured out what the foundation stitch actually is. It’s just the regular crochet stitch… Single Crochet, Half Double, Double, Triple… with one extra step. It’s just like you’re working upside down and adding the chain as you go.

  • For the very beginning you Chain 2 for SC, 2 or 3 for HDC, 3 for DC, 4 for TC
  • You start off like a regular stitch, yarn over if it’s anything other than single crochet and don’t yarn over for single crochet, then insert your hook through two loops (like a regular stitch) *for the first stitch, insert your hook in the first chain furthest from your hook.
  • pull up a loop (like a regular stitch)
  • then yarn over and pull through one loop (this is the ONLY change from a regular stitch)
  • then finish your stitch like you normally would: for SC and HDC Β yarn over and pull through all loops on the hook, for DC, yarn over and pull through two loops on hook, then yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook, for TC, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops, and yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook
  • You are now an expert in foundation crochet stitches.

There’s a great photo tutorial and video by futuregirl on Foundation Single Crochet that you can view on her blog. I think I watched the video 50 times while I was trying to start the Starling Handbag (which happens to be a great simple bag project and the purse I use everyday). In retrospect, starting that bag with a chain and regular single crochet stitches would have been fine.

Abbreviations for the foundation stitches:
FSC: Foundation Single Crochet
FHDC: Foudnation Half Double Crochet
FDC: Foundation Double Crochet
FTC: Foundation Triple Crochet


16 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. futuregirl
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 18:14:41

    Thank you so much for linking to my tutorial and pattern! πŸ™‚

    When I first started making the Starling, I used a starting chain. When working around a chain you’re left with just one strand of yarn down the center-bottom and with FSC you have a meatier join that matches the rest of the bag. I’m pretty hard on bags, so I felt like starting with a chain was a little risky. It is a perfectly valid way to start, though. πŸ™‚ But why not sort of trick everyone into learning FSC?


    • Can't Stop Crocheting
      Mar 08, 2011 @ 06:34:18

      Well… I guess the bag has lasted me a while as a result. I have been using the bag every day as my purse since I made it back in October and although it is kind of dirty now, it’s held up VERY well. Never got around to lining it (never got around to weaving in the ends, but don’t tell anyone.)

      I just remember the FSC being so painful to try to figure out back then and watching your video over and over and over for each stitch. It just wasn’t sticking in my head. My husband was getting annoyed because I was hogging the computer.

      It took a few more months, but I am now an FSC believer and sub it when starting patterns all the time. I guess the Starling was my intro to it, but I wasn’t prepared to handle it in all its glory JUST yet.

      Thank you for posting such a great bag pattern and such detailed info on FSC.


  3. beadknitter
    Apr 16, 2011 @ 20:11:40

    Hi! Just wanted to thank you for linking to my article on blocking Acrylic. I appreciate it. Happy hooking!


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  5. quiltina2
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 23:37:10

    You are my new best friend!!!! I have been trying to do this stitch (fsc) for years and NEVER understood it. Your instructions were GREAT.The point you made that you highlighted in red made all the difference. Thank, Thank Thank!!!!!! Quiltina


  6. cheyenne
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 23:39:00

    I honestly dont uderstand what you would use this on, can you help me understand?


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  13. jlkquilts
    Dec 17, 2014 @ 10:06:17

    Wow! Can it get more simple than that? I’ve been doing foundation crochet for a few years…just following the instructions. Never thought to break it down into simple stitches. I try not to over think anything. πŸ™‚ Thanks for opening my eyes. Now, if you could figure out how to do a beginning double crochet that really looks like a dc (instead of chain 3) I’d be your BFE (biggest fan ever)!


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