You’ve made it to the end of the row in your crochet pattern, now what? The standard way to start a new row of stitches is to begin with the number of chains that equals the height of the stitch.
For single crochet projects that’s one chain. The taller stitches require more chain stitches.
However, there are times when beginning a new row works better with a different method. In this blog post I cover 3 different ways you can start the second row of single crochet.
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You can start the beginning of each row
- With a chain 1 & single crochet in the same stitch.
- With only a chain 1 which counts as the first stitch.
- With a single crochet in the first stitch without a chain 1.
The basic crochet stitches and techniques you need to know for this tutorial are how to make a starting chain and work the first row of single crochet, plus the additional chain 1 for turning / starting.
Staring a new single crochet row with a chain 1 and single crochet in the first stitch.
At the end of each row you either chain 1 and turn or turn and chain 1. Now you’re ready to start the next row. Work a single crochet in that very first stitch. Here the chain 1 is a turning chain and does not count as a stitch.
Staring a new row of single crochets with a chain 1 that counts as the first stitch.
This means you would not work a single crochet into the very first stitch, but into the second stitch. Why would a pattern, or designer, choose to start a row this way?
A couple of reasons. Likely the most common reason is for stitch count. Keeping a stitch pattern going row after row requires a certain stitch multiple to be maintained.
Stitch patterns that have two stitches in one place need an even stitch multiple. But the pattern also has to account for starting and ending the row. Rarely will a stitch pattern ask you to end with 2 stitches in the last stitch.
This problem can be solved by using the chain 1 as the first stitch which allows for a single stitch beginning and ending. You can see this in the crochet grit stitch.
Another reason a pattern might stitch with a chain 1 as a stitch is get those straight edges. Many stitch patterns leave the edge of our work bumpy. Sometimes a chain 1 to start fixes it.
Staring a new row with a single crochet without a chain 1.
For this method you will need to pull up the loop longer than normal. You’ll just pull it up so it’s a similar height to a single crochet stitch. Then work a single crochet in the first stitch.
I find this most helpful when starting crochet in the round. Often the joining seam is too obvious. Not using the chain when working in the round is pretty standard for single crochet. You don’t even have to pull up the longer loop, you just keep working around. It’s important to use a stitch marker on the first stitch when working continuous in the round though.
Scroll down for the tutorial for each of these methods!
- Any weight yarn. I'm using a #6 superbulky yarn here.
- Crochet hook to match your yarn weight. I'm using a 8 mm crochet hook.
To Get Started
- Start with a slip knot on your hook.
- Make the beginning chain one more than the number of stitches you want. Here I chain 11, so I will have 10 single crochets.
- Skip the first chain and insert hook in second chain from hook and work first single crochet.
- Single crochet in each chain across, turn your work.
Start with Chain 1 + Single Crochet
- Chain 1, in first stitch place a single crochet.
- Continue to single crochet in each stitch across, turn.
- Repeat steps 1 -2.
Start with only Chain 1
- Chain 1, place stitch marker in chain 1, skip the first stitch,
- Single crochet in the 2nd stitch and in each stitch across, turn.
- Repeat step 1 - 2. Remember when you get to the chain to work a single crochet in it.
Start with only Single Crochet
- Pull up the loop on your hook a little loose.
- Insert hook directly in first stitch
- Yarn over and pull up a loop, you'll have 2 loops on your hook,
- Yarn over and pull through both loops to finish the single crochet.
- Continue to single crochet in each stitch across.