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Foundation single crochet tutorial

This is a photo tutorial for foundation single crochet. I learned this from Interweave Crochet magazine, Spring 2007 issue. To quote the article by Marty Miller, "Foundation stitches replace the traditional foundation chain plus the first row of stitches". The traditional method creates a tight row. This method creates stretchier row that is more sized like regular rows. It's also useful when you don't know how many stitches you need to "cast on" for your project. If you're familiar with the extended single crochet stitch, you'll find that that this fsc version is similar.

These stitches are also referred to as base ch/sc and chainless foundation. Here are links to other tutorials: 

1) Ch 2. Insert hook into 2nd ch from hook (between loops marked with red dots), and under both loops of the chain (the loop on the left marked below and the loop behind, not visible in this photo).

2) Yarn over, draw up a new loop through the first 2 loops on the hook.

3) There are now 2 loops on the hook. Yarn over and draw new loop through 1st loop on hook.

4) There are still 2 loops on the hook. Yarn over and draw new loop through both loops on the hook.

5) You have made one foundation single crochet (fsc). To start next, fsc, insert hook into st under both loops of the "ch" st of the previous st (first loop is marked red, second loop is behind and not visible in photo).

6) Yarn over and draw up a new loop through the first 2 loops on the hook.

7) There are 2 loops on the hook. Yarn over and draw new loop through 1st loop on hook.

8) Yarn over and draw new loop through both loops on the hook.

9) You now have made a second fsc.

10) Here's what several fscs look like.

*Added 2/28/2010*
Once you've learned the fsc, here are other stitches to try.

Foundation Half Double Crochet:

  1. In Step One, chain 2, yarn over first, then insert hook into the 2nd chain from the hook (the first chain that was made).
  2. The next steps are same as for fsc, but you'll have 3 loops on the hook instead of 2 in Step Three.
  3. In Step Four, yarn over and pull through all 3 loops.
  4. In Step Five, yarn over first, then insert hook into the chain st of the previous stitch. Again, the next steps are the same as for fsc.
  5. In Step Eight, yarn over and pull though all 3 loops.

Foundation Double Crochet:

  1. In Step One, chain 3 instead of 2. Yarn over first, then insert hook into the third chain from the hook (the first chain that was made).
  2. The next steps are same as for fsc, but you'll have 3 loops on the hook instead of 2 in Step Three.
  3. Repeat Step Four twice.
  4. In Step Five, yarn over first, then insert hook into the chain st of the previous stitch.
  5. Again, the next steps are same as for fsc, and repeat Step Eight twice.

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( 77 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 5th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC)
See? I shall learn to crochet more than straight blocks!!! hehe.

Would you mind if I friended your journal? I usually post as souleswanderer, but my non-fic journal is soules_cookies
Nov. 5th, 2007 08:48 am (UTC)
I'm flattered that you want to friend my journal, so go right ahead. Also, I am happy to try to answer any crochet questions you have. I have some future photo tutorials in mind to support the Doctor Who patterns: making Rose's hair and how to wire doll limbs (so you can pose them).
Nov. 7th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
Foundation Single Crochet
Hi .. For a long time I have tried to figure out how to do this, and being frustrated every time I tried to learn it, and THEN I found your site!! Thank you for this awesome tutorial which is very clear and easy to follow. Last night I finally "got it" and once a person figures out the theory behind the pattern, it all falls into place. I LOVE it, and again I appreciate your sharing this!!!
Take care,
Nov. 8th, 2007 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: Foundation Single Crochet
Will, I'm glad you found it helpful! At first I couldn't find any tutorials. Since I use fsc in my toy patterns, it was necessary to make up a tutorial for 'em. It is a great technique for using on crocheted garments too.
Nov. 15th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
Foundation single crochet tutorial
I like this. It avoids having to do all the chains. Will have to switch from "the old way."
Nov. 18th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
now i know i'm doing this right! i have been stressing out thinking that i wasn't doing the Foundation right, scared that the crochet secret police will come and rip my hooks from my hand. thank you so much for putting my over imagination at ease. =)i love starting my scarves with the foundation and then stitching around it. the scarves come out even and beautiful every time.
my question, is that if this is what a single chain st looks like, what does a double look like? and how would you go about it?
Nov. 18th, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay!!
Thanks for your feedback! Once I learned, I hardly ever go back to the traditional way.

Foundation Double Crochet:
In step one, chain 3 instead of 2. Yarn over first, then insert hook into the third chain from the hook (the first chain that was made).
The next steps are same as for sc, but you'll have 3 sts on the hook instead of 2. Repeat step four twice.
In step five, yarn over first, then insert hook into the chain st of the previous stitch. Again, the next steps are same as for sc, and repeat step eight twice.
Dec. 26th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
I've learned something new!
Thank you so much! I have really struggled learning this from the illustrations in Interweaves Crochet mag. Your photo tutorial has made all the difference for me! I feel like a whole new world opened up. I am using the fsc for the first time on the fingerless glove pattern from Crochetme.com (http://crochetme.com/patterns/basic-fingerless-mittens)

No more tight bases for me! Thank you for sharing this, it is truly appreciated. Those illustrations just didn't compute in my brain!
Dec. 26th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC)
Re: I've learned something new!
Thanks for your feedback, Emily! I think it because photos have shadows, I have a better sense of perceiving spatial depth than with flat illustrations. Once I learned it, I now use it a lot! It's also supposed to be very good for making sock cuffs and sleeve cuffs edges nice & stretchy. Base chain foundation is less elastic a method.
Dec. 26th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
i recently purchased a copy of doris chan's "amazing crochet lace;" i LOVE the patterns, but they require a chainless foundation! the tutorial in the book isn't bad, but the photos were NOT helpful. then a few days ago, i happened on your tutorial for this, and TAH-DAH!! i can do this foundation in my sleep! well, probably, anyway, lol!! thank you SO MUCH! most helpful was the dots marking the loops to insert the hook into; that particular feature is so often missing on photo tutorials which can make things a little blurry for some of us when learning a new technique :) thank you SO MUCH!! if it's alright, i'm adding you to my friends for future reference, lol :))
~christi :)
virginia beach, VA
Dec. 27th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
Re: HURRAY! :)
Hi Christi! If not for Doris Chan, I would have never heard of chainless foundations. So, thank you Ms. Chan!!! :) Thanks for your feedback and I hope you have fun whipping up some fabulous lace!
Jan. 16th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Well, I have yet to actually try this out, but I'm just so happy to have found what looks like a easy to follow tutorial. I stumbled on http://www.futuregirl.com/craft_blog/ and she mentioned using the Foundation single crochet. While on Crochetville just now looking for help when I doubted myself on what might be the simplest pattern ever, http://amigurumipatterns.blogspot.com/2007/06/pablito-penguin.html
I saw someone else mention the Marty Miller article from Interweave Crochet, but there was no free tutorial on how to do it, and then I saw that the same person had posted links for how-tos. There were two others besides yours, but I just happened to click on yours first, funny since it was the one on the bottom. I just started using LJ (still figuring it out) ad only belong to two communities and lo and behold one of them you are also a member of!(Weloveamigurumi.)
Well, I added you as a friend, hope that's ok, and sorry it just took me all that to explain something that probably could have been said in two sentences. ( And I wonder why a super simple pattern was complicated to me??) Cheers!
Jan. 17th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
Re: Eureka!
Hi there! Thank you so much for the ref to futuregirl.com. She has very helpful tutorials, esp. for seamless crochet. Weloveamigurumi is chock full of super-creative, funny, helpful, and supportive people. I encourage you to jump in and comment, even if you've never made anything or posted before.

I'm fine with folks friending me...it gives me a clue who is bothering to read my blog! (I only friend back people that I know in person or am familiar with-- so please do not feel bad! I would just have to know you better!)

If you have any probs with the tute, feel free to send me a message through my user profile page. :)
Feb. 1st, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
fsc tutorial
The most difficult part of any crochet project has been working the first row on that pesky foundation row. No matter the yarn or thread size, it's always torture...but not anymore! Thank you for this great tutorial. It was a cinch to follow. It makes things so much easier and will save lots of time.
Feb. 4th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
Thank you for this tutorial! The fsc finally makes sense!
Feb. 4th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC)
You're welcome! I'm glad that you find it helpful.
Feb. 27th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
Great photos, more useful than anything else I've found on this topic.

I've just started a pattern that calls for using the foundation single crochet. I had heard of it before, but this is my first attempt at using it. The instructions were fairly good, but still I worried if I was getting it right. In doing a search I came across other descriptions - sometimes a different way of wording something can make it click so that was good. But until I stumbled on this blog, I was not satisfied with the photos or drawings. These are great. I'll be able to compare step by step to ensure I'm doing it right. Thanks again.
Feb. 27th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
Thank you very much for kind comment! I know that a few people have trouble following it, but I wasn't sure what to fix. Best wishes on your project. :)
Mar. 3rd, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for such a nice tutorial. I got it figured out in about 10 minutes and only two tries (pretty good for me, a beginning crocheter)
Mar. 5th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
You're welcome! I'm glad it was easy enough to understand. I hope you have fun experimenting with it on your crochet projects now. :)
May. 20th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Base chain/single crochet
These are the best directions that I have found on-line for this stitch. Thank you for doing it step-by-step and with photographs.
Jun. 21st, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I was starting a project today and I had no idea how to do this stitch until I followed your instructions - they were perfect!
Jun. 24th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Hi Beathen! Thanks for your note. What project are you doing?

:) on the Unicorn and the Wasp avatar, too.
(no subject) - beathen - Jun. 24th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snuffykin - Jun. 30th, 2008 05:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 26th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)
Someone on a board I frequent was looking for a tutorial for the FSC. I found your tutorial and immediately sent her the link. Thanks for sharing it.

I commonly use FSC for the cuff of socks. The edge isnt so loopy and the technique adds stretchiness. Many sock patterns now use the FSC.

Oct. 8th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
I got it! I got it!! I finally got it!! Thanks!
Oct. 9th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
Ha, ha! What are you doing that that you using fsc?? :D
(no subject) - awoods5 - Oct. 9th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC) - Expand
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