How Do I Start a Foundation Chain for Ripple or Chevron Stitches?

The foundation chain for ripple or chevron stitches is figured out a little different than other crochet stitches.

We’ll show you how figure out your foundation chain for ripple or chevron stitches in this step-by-step guide.

Prerequisite Reading: How many chains do I need to start my project?

If you haven’t done so already, take a look at the prerequisite reading before diving into this guide. It’ll help you understand key concepts in more detail than we’ll cover in this article. For example, project width and stitch multiple.

Now here you are, ready to start a project with a ripple or chevron stitch you fell in love with but you’re not sure how many chains to start off with.

In this guide you’ll learn how to take that ripple or chevron stitch and start a project of any size.

There are three important factors to figuring this out:

  1. The stitch multiple
  2. The width of the thing you want to make
  3. How much the ripple stitch “shrinks” your chain

The first two should look familiar. They’re spelled out in detail in an article we have called: “How many chains do I need to start my project” (our prerequisite reading). Refer back to that guide for help understanding the stitch multiple and figuring out how wide you want your project to be.

The third one, however, is new and that’s what we’ll cover next.

A word of caution: your foundation chain will shrink

I hope I’m not the only person who made a foundation chain that was just the right length only to find it was several inches too short after finishing the first row.

This was a harsh lesson in ripple and chevron stitches and it’s exactly what we want you to avoid.

Chevrons and ripple stitches turn your foundation chain into a wave of sorts. This wave has a vertical component that ultimately shortens the length.

In order to figure out the foundation chain for a ripple or chevron stitch, this needs to be factored into the measurement.

8 Steps to Determine How Many Chains You Need for a Ripple or Chevron Stitch

Step 1: Identify the pattern repeat.

Step 2: With the yarn and hook you plan to use, make the number chains in one pattern repeat.

For example 11 + 2, you would chain 13.

Step 3: Crochet the first row.

Step 4: Measure the length after completing the first row. Be as exact as possible.

Step 5: Divide the desired project width by the measurement from step 4.

Step 6: Multiply the answer from step 5 by the number before the plus sign in the stitch multiple.

Step 7: Chain the number from step 6.

Step 8: Add the number of chains after the plus sign in your stitch multiple.

Let’s look at an example…

Project Width

11 + 2

Step 5 Measurement

Step 5: 45 / 2.5 = 18

Step 6: 18 x 11 = 198

Step 7: Chain 198

Step 8: Add 2 chains for a total of 200

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