Trying New Techniques: Diving into Foundation Crochet Stitches
In general, I tend to be someone who grudgingly accepts change, in life as well as crafting. It's sort of like trying a new food for the first time. I may be unsure, but when I try it and like it I always think "Why haven't I tried this sooner? This is downright amazing!"
Well, it was much the same way the first time I tried foundation single crochet, or "fsc" if you're already down with the lingo. I was unsure of whether the wrangling of doing something new was worth it, and all I really wanted to do was just cheat it and do my fallback regular, plain vanilla chain. Once I got past the initial awkward nature of doing something my fingers weren't used to and into the swing of it, I found myself in true love.
If you're still wary, here's my debate-club argument for digging into foundation stitches and not turning back…
*Note: I refer to fsc, but there are foundation double and treble stitches, too!
1. Foundation stitches save time. Who WOULDN'T want to combine two rows into one for their ENTIRE crocheting life for a few moments of finagling a new technique? And foundation stitches can be used any time a pattern begins with a chain and a row of single crochet (or double, or treble!), which is the vast majority of patterns out there. Think of all that extra crochet time you'd buy yourself!
2. Foundation stitches are easier to wrangle than chaining. I can't tell you how much frustration I've had from fiddling with the first row of a pattern, all because of those pesky chains. I'm willing to bet you have, too.
3. Have you ever miscounted the number of chains to start a project and then run out at the end and had to decide whether to rip back or clumsily work an extra stitch or two into that last chain? With foundation stitches, if you miscount, it's no big deal! You can just add on more foundation stitches at the end.
4. Foundation stitches leave a tighter, cleaner look to an edge. Since you are essentially working a chain and a first row, the tension will be far similar to your pattern gauge than a plain old chain stitch edge and therefore, make all your edges prettier to look at, easier to pick up stitches from, and vastly quicker to seam up, if necessary.
Okay, are you won over yet? Let's get started!
First, you start with your same ol' basic slip knot. Chain 2.
Next, insert your hook under the top loop and bottom ridge loop of the second chain from the hook. Yarn over, and pull up a loop. Now you've got two loops on your hook.
Yarn over, and draw through one loop on your hook. This is the "chain" part of the foundation stitch. If it helps, hold that chain stitch between your thumb and forefinger with the hand that tensions your yarn, so you can easily find it, cause you're gonna work back into it in a couple steps.
Yarn over, and draw through both loops on the hook. This is the "single crochet" part of the foundation stitch. Essentially, you just stacked a single crochet on top of a chain stitch.
Ready to work into that chain stitch? Okay, insert your hook under the top loop and bottom ridge loop of the chain stitch. Be careful to really get your hook under just those two loops. I find it helps to loosen up my tension when I make the "chain" part of the foundation stitch so it's a little looser, and easier to work into. Yarn over, and pull up a loop, making another "chain". Yarn over, and draw through two loops, making that next "single crochet".
Continue that last step for as many foundation stitches as your pattern calls for, and voila! Now you have a nice, neat foundation row to work off of. Viva la foundation stitches! And for more on foundation stitches, be sure to check out Toni's blog on them, too.