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Free Foundation Crochet Stitch Tutorial - Yay For Yarn
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How to Use the Foundation Stitches for a Stretchy Crochet Edge

This technique allows you to work the foundation chain and the first row of crochet at the same time!


If you dislike working into a foundation chain, or if you want the foundation edge to be stretchier, this tutorial is for you.


The foundation crochet stitches can make the equivalent of a foundation chain and the first row of crochet at the same time.  This can be especially helpful when you need the foundation edge to be stretchy, or when you want to work into the opposite side of the foundation edge.  Foundation stitches create a foundation edge that looks like the top of a regular row of stitches, so it is easy to work into the other side of the foundation edge later.  A foundation stitch edge also has the same amount of stretch as the rest of the fabric.  It does not limit the stretch of the edge like a normal foundation chain.

Whether the row of foundation stitches replace just the foundation chain or both the foundation chain and the first row of crochet is up to you, depending on the application. (If you just want to replace the foundation chain, I recommend using the foundation single crochet for that.)

(Here’s where I got the crochet hook I used in this tutorial.)

To use a row of foundation stitches to replace a foundation chain:

When you’re working a flat piece, some patterns will call for a few extra chains in the foundation chain to act as a turning chain.  If this is the case, you’ll need to work the same number of foundation stitches as the number of stitches the first row should end with.  (It’s OK if you use increases and decreases to create a stitch pattern, as long as they are balanced.  This is assuming there are no shaping increases or decreases in the first row of the pattern.  If the first row has shaping increases or decreases, you’ll need to work the number of stitches the first row should end with, then add however many stitches were decreased or subtract however many stitches were increased.)


To use a row of foundation stitches to replace the foundation chain and the first row of crochet:

Make sure the first row of your pattern does not involve any increases or decreases. However, if your pattern uses increases or decreases on the first row, or tells you to begin working a stitch pattern directly into the foundation chain, I recommend replacing your foundation chain with a row of foundation single crochet, and then beginning the first row of your pattern. (In other words, use the foundation single crochet row to replace the foundation chain, but not to replace the first row of crochet.)  The foundation single crochet is still rather narrrow, so won’t likely affect the look of the project.



Have you ever used Foundation Stitches in a project?Happy Yarning!


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  • Cecilia Young

    Your method is much easier to follow than the foundation stitch tutorial I had tried! I have one question. I pull on the yarn tail as you suggest but it doesn’t tighten as yours does. Am I making the slip knot wrong? How do you start it so it will pull tight?

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi! Instead of making a regular slip knot, I leave the slip knot a little loose and count it as a chain stitch. (It is structured the same way.) So I leave the slip knot loose, work into it as if it were a chain stitch, and then tighten afterwards. I think some people begin this way to avoid the knot. Hope this helps!

  • Judy Green

    Just restarted crocheting after a decade of needlepoint and cross stitch. My, how things have changed! I’m restarting with a simple sampler afghan and after the single crochet sampler, everything ripples on the edges. I’m signing off now to try these new ways to have straight edges. I’ll be back for all the new secrets.

  • Kay Simpson

    I love this technique! Until now, I have only used it for single and half double foundations. Thank you for making these tutorials! I love the increased stretch.
    Have you ever hung a foundation chain on an Addi to begin your stitching from? What size hook would you use and would you hang both loops or only one on the needles?
    Thanks again!

    • Yay for Yarn

      You’re welcome, Kay! I have not hung a regular foundation chain on the Addi to cast on, as it doesn’t have enough stretch to be pulled that far between needles. However, I would think that would work just fine with the foundation stitches (like foundation sc or dc, etc) as they are much more stretchy and could probably be pulled the distance needed between needles. Hope this helps! Thanks!

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