Here, you will find a more general version of this tutorial I posted ages ago, with a few extra things clarified. I am using double crochet in this tutorial as well because I feel like it’s a good stitch to learn this technique on. However, the instructions are written in such a way that you can (hopefully) easily apply this technique to any crochet stitch, from single crochet, all the way up to bullion stitches (if you are feeling so
A note about terminology – I was introduced to this technique so long ago, that I don’t even remember where I learned about it, but I’m positive it was called “chainless foundation” stitches. I like the term as I feel it differentiates it from the base chain, which is sometimes called a foundation chain. Current trends are calling this technique “foundation” stitches, omitting the “chainless”, mostly because the chains are still in there. It is the same technique. In patterns you will see it referenced as “foundation dc” or “fdc” (or “foundation sc” and “fsc” and so on…)
Let’s get started!
To understand this technique better, you must first look at your stitches in a slightly different way than you might normally.
Divide the stitch into two parts. The first part involves putting loops on your hook. The last part involves working the loops off of your hook.
For example: with double crochet, the first part would be “yo, insert hook, pull up a loop. 3 loops on hook”. The last part would be “yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through 2 loops”.
For foundation stitches, you sneak a little “ch1″ in between those two parts (that’s the easy part).
So, for a foundation double crochet (fdc) you would do:
yo, insert hook, pull up a loop. 3 loops on hook
ch1 (yo, pull through 1 loop, 3 loops on hook)
yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through 2 loops
This is how you break down any stitch you want to work this way.
For example: for single crochet stitches, the first part is “insert hook, pull up a loop. 2 loops on hook”. The last part is “yo, pull through 2 loops”.
So, for a foundation single crochet (fsc) you would do:
insert hook, pull up a loop. 2 loops on hook
ch1 (yo, pull through 1 loop. 2 loops on hook)
yo, pull through 2 loops
The tricky part to this technique is: where do I insert my hook? In the examples above, where it says “insert hook” you insert your hook into the “ch1″ you put in the middle of the instructions for your last stitch. Make sure you go under both arms of the V, just like you normally do when working into a previous stitch. Don’t worry, there are pictures of this below!
You may find it useful to put a stitch marker in the ch1 as you do it so that you can more easily find it when you go to do the next stitch. Once you get the hang of this technique, though, you should probably find you won’t need the stitch markers.
Start with a slip knot on your hook:
ch1 (this is where you will be inserting your hook later)
Make an appropriate turning chain for the stitch you’re doing. In this example, I’m doing double crochet stitches, and I’ve found that ch2 is a good turning chain for me when doing dc, so I ch2 for this picture (for a total of 3 chains)
Now it’s time to do the first foundation stitch. Do any yarn-overs you need and insert your hook in that ch1 you did before (the chain farthest from your hook)
This is the “first part” of the stitch.
Now ch1 (yo, pull through one loop)
This is what the ch1 looks like from the bottom:
Remember, put a stitch marker here if you think you might not be able to find it later!
Now it’s time to finish the stitch as you normally would!
(In my case: yo, pull through 2 loops twice)
Here’s a view of the bottom of the stitch again:
Do you see the 2 arms of the V? It’s kind of a rounded-looking V…
For the next stitch, go ahead and do any yarn-overs you need and insert your hook in that ch1:
Here I am, finished the “first part” of my dc stitch:
ch1 (yo, pull through one loop)
Then finish your stitch as you normally would:
Keep on going like this until you have as many stitches as you need:
And keep an eye on the bottom of your stitches – you should have a nice row of V’s to match the ones on the top of your stitches:
Remember, you can use this technique on any regular crochet stitch, from single crochet to bullion stitches. You can also do increases and decreases, just like in a regular row of crocheting. (Tutorials for how to do increases and decreases will be coming soon!)