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Get Rid of the Gaps | The Best Ch 3 Alternative

There are many ways to start a row of double crochet, but this is my fav! This standing stitch takes the place of the chain 3 (ch 3) that we crocheters typically start with, and it does a better job. It fills the space, is sturdy and leaves no gaps!

Double crochet swatch in pink.
Here I use a ch 3 alternative.

A typical way to start a row of dc is with a chain 3, but it’s not very structured and leaves a hole.

Double crochet swatch showing gaps from ch 3 on wood table with hook, succulent and glass heart.
Here I use a typical ch 3 to start and you can see the visible gaps.

One of the best things about this ch 3 alternative, is how easy it is to crochet into. One of the trickiest bits about crochet is working into chains!

Although, working into the back bump on a foundation chain is way easier. No matter how you do it, it just easier to work into another stitch.

You might also like of these standing stitches, as much of these are just personal preference.

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Blue hook on pink swatch of double crochets with ch 3 alt.

Scroll down for the written instructions for how to make a ch 3 alternative!

Row 3 of double crochets in pink yarn with turquoise hook.

The Best Stitch to Replace a Chain 3 for Double Crochet Rows

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1

There are many ways to start a row of double crochet, but this is my fav! This standing stitch takes the place of the chain 3 (ch 3) that we crocheters typically start with, and it does a better job. It fills the space, is sturdy and leave no gaps!

Materials

  • Any weight yarn. I'm using Color Made Easy, a #5 bulky weight yarn.

Tools

  • A hook to match your yarn. I'm using my 6.5mm US Size K turquoise Odyssey hook from Furls.

Instructions

  1. First you'll need at least one row of double crochets. I'm using a swatch here that is a few rows in.
  2. To begin, ch 17, dc in the 3rd ch from your hook and in each ch across, turn.
  3. Now, you're ready to begin this chain 3 alternative.
  4. Point your hook down and insert it into the very first stitch, it helps to pull up a taller loop than normal on your hook to do this.
  5. Yarn over,
  6. Pull up a loop, you'll have 2 loops on your hook,
  7. Yarn over again,
  8. Pull through both loops on your hook. This should look like a single crochet right now.
  9. Insert your hook through the vertical loop on the left.
  10. Yarn over another time,
  11. Pull through just 1 loop, you'll have 2 loops on your hook,
  12. Yarn over one last time,
  13. Pull through both loops on your hook. This is one ch 3 alt, or an alternative to a chain 3, sometimes called a standing stitch.
  14. Now you can double crochet across the row like normal, turn and practice it again.

Did you make this project?

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How to Crochet the Ch 3 Alternative Video

You can watch the step by step video of how to start a row of double crochet with this ch 3 alternative here or on my YouTube channel.

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