When you are new to crochet you might wonder how to start a second row. There are a number of ways to get the job done. You can read a pattern to learn the proper method, try it out on a sample yarn and see what you think, or just go with your gut. But one way to start a second row is by learning how to make a foundation chain. This will help you to work a smoother second row.
The most important aspect of making a foundation chain is to turn your work around. This will keep your swatch from skewing up and down and puckering along the edge. Turning your work around is also the best way to position your crochet work for the next row.
The most basic of the steps in making a foundation chain is to pull the working yarn through the first chain stitch and to flip your work over to the other side. This will show you the V-shape of the stitches. If you are lucky, you might even be able to see the two loops on the right side of the stitch. Once you have this figured out, the rest is easy.
A turning chain is a short string of chain stitches. They are used to keep your project from skewing, and are the logical successor to the first chain. It may be a simple three chain stitch, or you may choose to use a longer or shorter chain. Whatever your choice, it is the first of the three chains that you will work in the next row.
The trick to a good turning chain is to make it look good and avoid the dreaded hole at the beginning of your row. Try using a smaller chain for a clean looking beginning. However, you still need to raise your yarn to the correct height for your first stitch.
Using a chain as your first stitch is the modern equivalent of a chain-stitch-slash-double-crochet-stitch combination. Although it isn’t as tight as a single crochet, a double crochet is not a bad choice either. Often, a chain of three is all you need, but you can get by with just two. So if you are just starting out with crochet and want to start a new project, make sure you have a solid turning chain.
While the chain is the octave of the fancy hat, the double crochet is the octave of a chain stitch. Double crochet is an excellent stitch to use for a scarf, blanket, or any other project that requires a sturdy structure. For this reason, you should always use a chain of three when moving up a row.
Similarly, the single crochet stitch is a nice touch for an added layer of fabric in a scarf or a cozy blanket. However, you must be careful about pulling your work too tight. Depending on the gauge and type of yarn you are using, the result might be uneven edges.