Use the Chainless Starting Stitches to Give Your Crochet a Perfectly Straight Edge!

Are the edges of your crochet wavy?  Are there gaps from turning chains along the sides?  Fix that problem NOW with a Chainless Starting Stitch!

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Are the edges of your crochet wavy?  Are there gaps from turning chains along the sides?  Fix that problem NOW with a Chainless Starting Stitch!

When working back and forth in rows, have you ever had one of these annoying little predicaments?

  1. If you do not count the turning chain as a stitch, the edges of your piece are wavy.  The turning chains “bubble” out at the beginning of every other row. OR…
  2. If you do count the turning chain as a stitch, the edges of your piece have little gaps at the beginning of every other row.  This happens because a turning chain is not the same shape or thickness as a regular stitch.

While these things aren’t as noticeable with shorter stitches, they can be quite obvious when using taller stitches and longer turning chains.

 

Well, both of these issues can be avoided.

 

You see, these little ugly things happen because of the turning chains themselves.  The purpose of the turning chain is to get your hook up to the correct height to begin the row you’re about to work.  The problem is that a turning chain is not the same shape as a regular stitch.  Because the rest of the stitches are straighter and thicker than a turning chain, that turning chain will not blend in with the rest of the work.  It will often bend outward and appear thinner than the other stitches.

 

So to correct those problems, we eliminate the turning chains altogether.

 

But how do you get your hook up to the correct height to begin the row?  Well, this is where the Chainless Starting Stitches come in.  A Chainless Starting Stitch is a special stitch that replaces the turning chain, gets your hook up the the correct height, and looks just like a regular stitch.  It’s truly chain-less!

So how do these Chainless Starting Stitches work?  Luckily, they aren’t much harder to work than a regular stitch.  Watch the video below for a full, step-by-step tutorial, where I’ll show you how to work the Chainless Starting Double Crochet, the Chainless Starting Half-Double Crochet, and the Chainless Starting Single Crochet.

 

So, let’s say you want to use a Chainless Starting Stitch in a pattern, instead of the turning chain the pattern calls for.  You’ll likely be in one of two scenarios:

  1.  The pattern does not count the turning chain as a stitch.  Pattern tells you to work the first stitch of the row in the same stitch the chain is coming from.  In this case, you’ll need to eliminate the turning chain completely.  Then, replace the first stitch of the row with the Chainless Starting Stitch.
  2. The pattern does count the turning chain as a stitch.  Pattern tells you to work the first stitch of the row in the next stitch after the one the chain is coming from.  In this case, you’ll just replace the turning chain with the Chainless Starting Stitch.

 

 

Have you tried the Chainless Starting Stitches yet?


Pin the image below to save this article for later!Are the edges of your crochet wavy?  Are there gaps from turning chains along the sides?  Fix that problem NOW with a Chainless Starting Stitch!

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32 Comments

  • Kimberly

    So so glad I came across this! I’m a self taught crocheted and it had never made sense to me why there was ever chains but did it anyways because that’s how it was done! So glad someone figured it out.

  • Stacey Meyer

    I just used your trick for the first time and I cannot believe the difference it made! This is amazing and has changed my crocheting forever. Thank you so much for posting this. I am so thrilled with how much better my work looks now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      • Yay for Yarn

        Hi Linda! The chainless starting stitch replaces the turning chain, so whether it affects the number of stitches depends on whether your pattern counts the turning chain as a stitch or not. There is a section near the bottom of the blog post above that explains how to know which stitches to count. But no, the chainless starting stitch technique does not change the stitch count. You just have to take note of how the turning chain is counted in the pattern you are following. I hope this helps!

  • Liza Riley

    GENIUS!
    Thank you so much for this super-simple technique that makes so much sense. Sorted out all my queries on starting and ending rows, and now it all looks so neat, and makes all the difference!
    Thanks again.
    Liza

  • Jeanne

    Thank you so very much for this brilliant idea and the very clear and easy to understand video. This will make for such a more beautiful and tailored project. Can’t wait to try it.

  • Sannie

    Well, well, well!! You surely made my day! I love neat work and I wished I knew how to do straight edges.
    Thanks a million for your lovely tutorial….God bless!!

    • Ruth

      This is so useful thank you so much for sharing, I’ve just tried this technique now on a baby cardigan and it looks great, so much better than the gappy turning chain! Love it!

      • Nancy Mc Fadden

        Wow, this is awesome. I’ve always counting the turning chain as a stitch to have the right number of stitches, this is going to make my work clean and unnoticeable. I’m making 2 Afghan gifts this technique will be so helpful

  • tamarque

    Very interesting but how much extra time does it take to use this technique? Seems like a lot of extra fiddling.

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi! It may take a little practice to learn to make the chainless starting stitches quickly and smoothly. However, once you are comfortable with the stitches, it doesn’t really take any extra time to work the chainless stitches instead of a turning chain (like maybe one extra second). Hope this helps!

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi Diane! You can get the free printable written tutorial by clicking on the photo of the printable. That will take you to the page where you can enter your email address to sign up for the email list. You’ll then receive a confirmation email with a button that says “yes, subscribe me to this list”. Click that button to confirm your subscription. You’ll receive the email with instructions to download your free printable shortly after. Hope this helps! Thanks!

    • Anna

      I came across your pin on my Pinterest feed the other day. I pinned it so I wouldn’t lose it. I’m so glad I did!! You are a genius! I have struggled with my Crochet edges forever but now they look beautiful. You are amazing, my friend! Keep up the great work!!

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