How to Calculate Foundation Chain for Chevron Stitches

Chevron stitches are very popular these days and they come in a variety of stitches, from the single crochet chevron to the vintage fan ripple. Many patterns are available for various projects using the chevron stitch, but what if you want to venture out on your own a bit and come up with your own design? You might be wondering how on earth designers know how many chains to make. Every crocheter has made the mistake of making the foundation chain the length they need only to find that after row one, their project is much shorter than they started out with. I hope this tutorial will help you avoid this simple mistake!

It’s simple really, with a little bit of math of course. Before you pull out your hair in frustration, or run for the hills since I said the dreaded “M” word, follow this simple article on how to calculate foundation chain for chevron stitches.

Gauge Matters

The hook and yarn and even your crochet style will come into play when calculating the size of your foundation chain (a concept referred to as gauge). Because of this, I can not provide you with a simple answer. If you are following a pattern, there is no need to calculate this because the designer has done it for you. However, if you venture out on your own, you will need to take a few measurements and make a couple calculations.

Step One: Make a chain consisting of one pattern repeat. For example 11 + 2 (for a chevron consisting of 4 stitches in between each peak), the number 11 is your pattern repeat. Measure this chain and record the length for reference. In this example, my chain measures 3 ” long.

Step Two: Proceed with your first row. Measure your row and record the number. My row now measures 2.5” long.

In this example, my chain “shrank” 1/2″ with the pattern.

Step Three: Take the desired length and divide by the number from Step two. Let’s say I want a baby blanket to measure 45″ wide. So I will divide 45 by 2.5 which equals 18. That means there needs to be 18 pattern repeats to get the length that I want, 45″.

Step Four: Multiply the number of pattern repeats (18 in this case) by the number of chains in each pattern repeat (11 as mentioned in step one) which equals 198 chains. Therefore I need to make 198 chains in my foundation chain for this project.

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