OK, well, not literally. A not so new crochet technique has been getting some attention lately, and it’s a little confusing to people for several reasons. It’s what I call the Chainless Foundation. It’s a method of starting a project, or adding stitches within a project without using a foundation ch.

Why would you want to do that?

1) Foundation chains are often tighter than the garment you’re working on. No matter how loosely you make your foundation ch, it’s not going to stretch the same way your crochet stitches do. This is especially problematic if you’re crocheting a side-to side garment where the chain runs vertically.

2) Foundation chains require a lot of counting, sometimes, and if you don’t count right, it can be difficult to remedy without starting over. Also, you have to work out the foundation ch, plus the turning ch, which can be tricky.

3) adding stitches with a regular ch in the middle of a garment can add a tight spot where you don’t want one (see point #1)

4) A foundation ch has a definite look to it–if you’re making a scarf and you want both ends to look the same, you’ll probably want to opt-out of a traditional foundation.

5) Say you need to work into both sides of a foundation–a chainless foundation makes a “back side” that’s much easier to work into.

Convinced? I am, I use a chainless foundation all the time, tho’ not for absolutely anything.

One of the reasons they’re a bit confusing is there’s not much of a naming standard for them… Mary Rhodes calls it the Foundation Stitch, Doris Chan and many others use the term “Base ch/sc” based on the idea that you’re combining the ch with the first row of crochet. (BTW, it doesn’t have to be done with sc, you can use any stitch.

***UPDATE: Interweave has chosen to use fsc “foundation single crochet” and “fdc” foundation double crochet,” these abbreviations are clear and simple, and I’ll adopt them too. Thanks Interweave!***

How do you do it?

If you’ve ever made an extended sc (Amie’s got a great video tutorial on that), or linked stitches, then this should feel pretty familiar.

In general terms, you create an extended stitch, and then use the extra loop you created in that stitch to create the next stitch.

So, start by ch 2, insert hook into 2nd ch from hook, pull up a loop, yo draw up loop, yo, draw through both loops on hk.

To create all subsequent stitches, insert hook into bottom 2 lps of st, pull up a loop, yo, draw up loop, yo draw through both loops on hk.

That’s it! You have a nice, stretchy foundation for whatever project you’re working on.

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Breaking Chains…