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Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits & Step by Step Tutorials (FSC, FHDC, FDC)

“Chainless” foundation crochet stitches? If you’ve never heard of it before, you might be tilting your head, slightly perplexed. When you first learned how to crochet, one of the first stitches you mastered was the chain stitch, right? Normally, you create a foundation chain and then work your first row of stitches into that chain. However, there is another way you can start your next crochet project and I’m going to tell you why you might prefer this method.

You’ve probably experienced, much like I have, that it can be a little tricky when you’re crocheting the chain and the first row of a project. Sometimes it’s hard to get a good grip on your work and can cause some frustration, especially when you’re first starting out.

The chainless foundation crochet stitches could very much help you out with this issue. Essentially what you are doing when creating a chainless foundation is crocheting your chain and the first row of stitches at the same time. As with all techniques, it takes some practice to get the hang of it. But once you do, there are some benefits!

Benefits of Chainless Foundation Stitches

There are multiple benefits to using chainless foundation stitches. A few of them are:

  • Less work with larger projects
  • It leaves a crisp, clean edge right from the start
  • With garments, it helps to keep the edge stretchy

Less Work with Larger Projects

Let’s say you are crocheting a blanket or using a lightweight yarn that requires an outrageous amount of chains in your foundation. We have all been, at some point, completely certain that we counted the correct amount of chain stitches. Then, lo and behold, by the time you reach the end of your first row, you either have a stitch too much or too less! Tell me, has this happened to you?

By using foundation stitches, you are creating the chain and the first row of stitches at the same time. That way you won’t have to chain to 180 and then single crochet 180 stitches across your first row. It’s all done together!

Clean, Stretchy Edge

When crocheting a garment from the bottom-up, starting with a foundation chain, the edge of your garment doesn’t look as clean. The chain is always a little tighter than the stitches you work row after row. Plus, it’s just not as pretty!

By starting off with one of the foundation crochet stitches, your edge will look nice and clean! Also, the edge will match the rest of the fabric in stretchiness, making it look more professional.

Nonetheless, using a foundation chain to start isn’t always a problem and that is why foundation crochet stitches are completely personal preference.

Showing the difference between a foundation chain and a foundation stitch | Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits, Tutorials - FSC, FHDC, FDC
Top: Starting foundation chain | Bottom: Chainless foundation double crochet

The Big Question: Is It Faster?

To be completely honest, there is no black and white answer. Some crocheters believe it is faster and easier to start with a chainless foundation, while others believe the opposite. It depends on how quick you are with your regular foundation chain and how much you practice your chainless foundation. That’s right! You’ll just have to give it a try and let me know which one you prefer!


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What You Need to Know

There is one important thing to remember if you decide to replace a foundation chain with a foundation crochet stitch. Go by the number of stitches given for the first row, not by the number of chains for the foundation row.

Also, because we’re creating both the chain and the first row of stitches, things are going to look a bit different. You’re used to working horizontally in rows, (left to right or right to left) but when you’re working on the chainless foundation stitches, you will be working vertically.

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find the video for each of these tutorials if you would like to see it in action!

Pinterest image for the blog post: Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits, Tutorials - FSC, FHDC, FDC

Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches

For each of these photo tutorials, you will find the step by step instructions followed by the step by step photos. Each step in the written instructions coordinates with the steps in the photos!

One thing to remember when creating these chainless foundation stitches is to create loose stitches. If you start to notice that your work is curving significantly, it could be one of two reasons.

  • You are crocheting your stitches too tight skipped creating a chain.
  • You accidentally skipped creating the chain before the stitch

If this happens just pull out your stitches and try again! If you don’t get it completely right the first time, then you’re like most of us! You will get the hang of it with a little practice.

It is important to note that your work will curve slightly when you’re finished with your chainless foundation. So don’t worry about it if it’s just a slight curve!

Scroll all the way down for the video tutorial!

Chainless Foundation Single Crochet Tutorial

Step 1: Tie a loose slip knot on your hook and chain 2.

Step 2: Insert your hook into the 2nd ch from your hook (making sure to go underneath the top and back loop).

Step 3: Yarn over, pull up a loop. You will have two loops on your hook.

Step 4: Yarn over and pull through one loop. This creates your first “chain”.

Step 5: Yarn over, pull through remaining two loops to finish off your single crochet.

Step 6: You’ve created your first foundation single crochet stitch!

Step 7: Insert your hook into the “chain” you just created (step 4).

Step 8: Yarn over, pull up loop. You will have two loops on your hook.

Step 9: Yarn over pull through one loop, yarn over pull through two loops.

Second foundation single crochet stitch created!

Now all you have to do is repeat steps 7 through 9 until you’ve reached your desired length!

A step by step picture tutorial for the foundation single crochet stitch | Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits, Tutorials - FSC, FHDC, FDC
A step by step picture tutorial for the foundation single crochet stitch | Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits, Tutorials - FSC, FHDC, FDC

Chainless Foundation Half Double Crochet Tutorial

Step 1: Tie a loose slip knot on your hook and chain 3.

Step 2: Yarn over and insert your hook into the 3rd ch from your hook (making sure to go underneath the top and back loop).

Step 3: Yarn over, pull up a loop. You will have three loops on your hook.

Step 4: Yarn over and pull through one loop. This creates your first “chain”.

Step 5: Yarn over, pull through remaining three loops to finish off your half double crochet.

You’ve created your first foundation half double crochet stitch!

Step 6: Yarn over and insert your hook into the “chain” you just created (step 4).

Step 7: Yarn over, pull up loop. You will have three loops on your hook.

Step 8: Yarn over pull through one loop

Step 9: Yarn over pull through three loops.

Second foundation half double crochet stitch created!

Now all you have to do is repeat steps 6 through 9 until you’ve reached your desired length!

A step by step picture tutorial for the foundation half double crochet stitch | Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits, Tutorials - FSC, FHDC, FDC
A step by step picture tutorial for the foundation half double crochet stitch | Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits, Tutorials - FSC, FHDC, FDC

Chainless Foundation Double Crochet Tutorial

Step 1: Tie a loose slip knot on your hook and chain 4

Step 2: Yarn over and insert your hook into the 4th ch from your hook (making sure to go underneath the top and back loop).

Step 3: Yarn over, pull up a loop. You will have three loops on your hook.

Step 4: Yarn over and pull through one loop. This creates your first “chain”.

Step 5: Yarn over, pull through 2 loops.

Step 6: Yarn over, pull through remaining 2 loops to finish off your double crochet.

You’ve created your first foundation double crochet stitch!

Step 7: Yarn over and insert your hook into the “chain” you just created (step 4).

Step 8: Yarn over, pull up loop. You will have three loops on your hook.

Step 9: Yarn over pull through one loop.

Step 10: Yarn over, pull through two loops.

Step 11: Yarn over, pull through two loops.

Second foundation double crochet stitch created!

Now all you have to do is repeat steps 7 through 11 until you’ve reached your desired length!

A step by step picture tutorial for the foundation double crochet stitch | Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits, Tutorials - FSC, FHDC, FDC
A step by step picture tutorial for the foundation double crochet stitch | Chainless Foundation Crochet Stitches: Benefits, Tutorials - FSC, FHDC, FDC

Whew! That was a lot to take in.

If photo tutorials aren’t for you, give the video tutorial below a try. In this tutorial I go over each of the three foundation crochet stitches I outlined above. Let me know what you think!

Now you know what chainless foundation crochet stitches are and how to make each of the basic stitches!

Just to recap, when you’re creating a chainless foundation, you are crocheting your chain and the first row of stitches at the same time.

Some people think a chainless foundation is a quicker, easier way to work while others think the exact opposite. Whether or not you believe it’s faster, there are still a few benefits that you might want to consider.

When working on a larger project, it eliminates the hassle of counting a dreadful amount of chains and then working back into those chains. It is also a lot cleaner and stretchier than the foundation chain.

Additional Resources

If you want to learn more about Chainless Foundation Stitches or if you just want to learn more about crochet in general, you can find amazing courses over on Bluprint! This is my favorite place to learn all there is to know with the best of the best instructors. Mastering Foundation Crochet Stitches with Marty Miller is how I became confident in my own chainless foundation technique!

I am an affiliate of Bluprint, but I have purchased an annual subscription with my own money because I absolutely love their service. I would never and will never recommend a product I don’t truly love. You will fall head over heels with this company! Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

Are the chainless foundation stitches for you?

That is something you’re going to have to ask yourself! Then come back and let me know how you feel about each of them. Which one is quicker for you? Do you care about the look of the edge?

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