Many crochet patterns start with the instruction to work a foundation chain followed by working either a single crochet, half double crochet or double crochet into each chain. Personally, I don’t care much for this way of starting a project: I lose count of the initial number of chains, the chain stitches are fiddly to insert your hook into and getting the tension right is just hard. I usually end up with an edge that is either too tight or too loose.
That is why when I learned about foundation rows, I never looked back. When making a foundation row, both the foundation chain and first row of your project are in effect made simultaneously. This makes it easy to keep track of the number of stitches worked and the tension just right.
A foundation row can be worked with a variety of stitches including (but not limited to) single crochet, half double crochet, and double crochet. The below tutorial focuses on making a Foundation Single Crochet or FSC. Please note that American crochet terminology is used.
In a pattern, you may find the following instruction:
Foundation single crochet: make a slip knot and place onto hook, ch 2, insert hook into both lps of the second ch from hook, yo and draw through, ch 1, yo and draw through both lps on hook, *insert hook in ch part of previous st, yo and draw through, ch 1, yo and draw through both lps on hook; rep from *.
Working foundation single crochet step by step
1. Make a slip knot and chain 2.
2. Insert the hook from right to left under the top strands of the second chain from the hook.
3. Yarn over and draw through those top strands indicated above.
4. Chain one stitch, make sure to make this one not too tight because here you create the “chain” part of your foundation row.
5. Yarn over and draw through both loops on your hook. This completes the first stitch in your foundation single crochet.
6. Insert the hook in the chain part of the previous stitch, this can be a tad hard to make out. In the below picture I’ve indicated that part with the arrow. On your hook are now 2 strands and 1 loop.
7. Yarn over and draw through both strands indicated above.
8. Chain one stitch, make sure again to make this one not too tight.
9. Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook.
Repeat steps 6-9 as needed.
Hope you find the foundation single crochet as useful as I do!