No More Foundation Chains! on B.Hooked TV

In this episode of B.Hooked TV, we’ll have a look at foundation crochet stitches and how they could help you avoid the foundation chain altogether.

episode details


Yarn used in this episode | Debbie Bliss Cashmerino

Hook used in this episode | Tulip Etimo

hosted by Brittany

About B.Hooked TV

Some topics are best explained one-on-one. Since Brittany can’t be right there with you, B.Hooked TV is the next best thing. You’ll find some of the most helpful tips for improving your crochet and knitting skills in a relaxed and conversational way. It’s a little change of pace from the usual tutorial.

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Episode Transcript

Brittany 0:10
Hey there, and thank you for joining me and Episode 4 of B.Hooked TV. I’m thrilled that you’re here today. So thank you so much for joining me. And in today’s show, we’ll have a look at something called foundation stitches, and how they can make your life a whole lot easier, especially if you hate that foundation chain. Now, before we dive into today’s show, and those demonstrations of how to do foundation stitches, go ahead and subscribe to the show. If you haven’t done so already. I make a new video every single Monday. And the topics here are things that you suggest for me.

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Brittany 0:42
So if you’ve ever found yourself really frustrated about trying to work your hook into those foundation chains, I think you’re going to love this technique. I’ll be honest, I don’t use this technique all the time. I do tend to like to work in foundation chains. I especially think it’s pretty good for beginners to learn that basic foundation. But foundation stitches are a real time saver and well, they can save your patience and your sanity a little bit too.

Brittany 1:10
So the idea of a foundation stitch is to remove that chain all together, and you just start with nothing. So remove the foundation chain from your thought process right now, because we really don’t have one. And we will create a couple of chains. But the idea is that we’ll work each stitch individually, and we’re sort of building that foundation. And one question you might have is, does this look exactly the way it does when you work into a chain? So Will my first row look a little different than when I normally work in a foundation chain? And the answer is mostly no. You won’t really see a difference. However, a trained eye or if you’re really just looking closely, you will see a slight difference between a foundation stitch and a foundation chain.

Brittany 1:58
So now you’re probably wondering when or where would I want to use a foundation stitch. And I like to think of it in a couple different ways. Well, you can really use a foundation stitch whenever and wherever you feel like it. It pretty much works out for any type of project. But one thing that comes to mind when I’m thinking about using a foundation stitch, how I want the bottom of my piece to be. So think about garments, for instance, if you’re crocheting from bottom up or a top down like a Raglan style, in either of those instances, you want to have a nice clean and stretchy edge, right? Well, the one thing that we all hate about a foundation chain and that method of starting is that it lacks a lot of stretch. So when I’m thinking about designing garments, or hats or anything like that where I know I need to have a good stretch, I’ll use a foundation stitch.

Brittany 2:55
Alright, so I think that covers most of the basics as we move into the demonstration of the foundation stitches. We’ll cover three here, the foundation single crochet, the foundation half double crochet and the foundation double crochet. More than likely you’ll use one of these three stitches to start your projects.

Brittany 3:15
Now just like any other project, we will create a slipknot to start off our foundation single crochet. Place that loop on your hook and as you’re fastening that up, don’t make it super tight, let there be a little bit of space in there and then we’ll chain two. We do have to create a couple of chains, but I promise it’s not like working a foundation chain. So looking at your chain from the side, you can see the side loop here as well as the back bump of the stitch. Now find that on the first chain the one that’s right next to your slip knot and work your hook underneath the side loop and the back bar. This is why it helps to crochet those first two really loose. Now yarn over and pull through both of those and allow your hook to relax and pull that yarn up a little bit. Tension will either be your best friend or your worst nightmare in terms of foundation stitches and you want it to be pretty loose over on this side. So you can match what’s going on over here. And from here, we need to yarn over and just pull through one of those. Again, I’m making sure that my tension is loose and that this stitch here is loose. It’ll make sense as we get a little bit further in our foundation row. So now we’re ready to complete the single crochet. So we’ll yarn over and pull through two just like we always do. Now look at your work from here. Remember that last little chain that we made just a moment ago where we yarn over and we pulled through one? Well here’s the side loop for that. So, to make your next foundation single crochet stitch, you’ll find that loop, stick your hook under there, but you also want the back bump of the chain and when you catch both of those loops we’ll yarn over, pull up a loop, pull it up nice and tall, yarn over pull through one. That’s the chain. That’s where we’re working our next foundation stitch. And if you’re having trouble seeing those, you can always place a stitch marker here to help guide the way. Now finish your stitch, yarn over pull through two, and you’ve made two foundation single crochets.

Brittany 5:43
So after you’ve worked a few foundation, single crochets your work will look something like this. You’ll have your familiar little braid there up at the top. It does look different down here, right, from a traditional single crochet. And then if you flip it on the bottom, then we have sort of a similar braid on the bottom as well. Now let’s have a look at how to do the foundation half double crochet. Like before, we’ll start with a slipknot. Place that loop on your hook and again, don’t fasten that up all the way, leave a little bit of space in there. And this time, we’ll make three chains. Make these three chains pretty loose, and from here we’ll wrap the yarn and go back into our first chain. So looking at it from the side, we have our side loop, we have our back bump. I want to catch both of those. Yarn over and pull through and then pull that up nice and far. Then yarn over and pull through one making a chain there, that’s pretty loose. And then we can complete the stitch.

Brittany 7:28
Now once you’ve worked a few foundation half double crochets, this is what your work should look like. We see the braid up at the top. We also see a braid down at the bottom, and it’s nice and stretchy. Now a little curve is completely normal with foundation stitches. But if you see more curve than this, you’ll want to pay close attention to the first couple motions of the stitch. Basically, right here, when you yarn over and pull up a loop, you want to make sure you’re pulling up nice and far. Then when you yarn over and pull through one, again, you want to make that kind of loose. If the stitches down here are tighter than what’s happening up here, that’s where you start to see that curve, and it may be noticeable within your projects.

Brittany 8:19
Alright, now let’s see how to do the foundation double crochet. We will create a slipknot, place that loop on your hook, and you guessed it, keep it nice and loose. This time we’ll start off with four chains and again, you’ll make those pretty loose. Because we’re doing a double crochet will also yarn over before we go into the two loops from our first chain. So the side loop the back bump. The first one is always a little more difficult to work into. Then you’ll pull that up so it’s nice and loose. We’ll yarn over pull through one. Then we’ll finish the double crochet, so yarn over, pull through two, yarn over and pull through two. And we have our side loop and that back bump is right there. That’s where we will work our next foundation double crochet… pull up a loop, yarn over pull through one and finish the double crochet. Once you get a few of those made, your work should look something like this. And same as before, if you have too much of a curve going on down here, you just want to be a little more loose as you’re working through this part of the foundations stitch.

Brittany 10:11
Now, as you’re practicing these foundation stitches, there’s one thing I want to point out. Remember that however you start the stitch normally is how you’ll start it for the foundation stitch. So for example, you normally yarn over for half double crochet and a double crochet so you’ll do that for the foundation stitches well. Then you will make your placement, you’re always going to yarn over and pull up a loop and make that nice and loose. And you’re always going to yarn over and pull through just that first loop only. That’ll be the case no matter which foundation stitch you’re working. Then when you get to this point, you’ll complete this stitch as you normally would. So think about it in terms of this double crochet, I always yarn over and pull through two twice to finish the stitch and that’s exactly what I’ll do to finish the foundation stitch.

Brittany 11:08
Okay, so now that you’ve seen the foundation stitches in action, practice makes perfect as always. So I encourage you to make just a few swatches and get the feel for this. It always looks and feels a little bit different or awkward and it took me a few tries, a couple of projects really, before I really got this down. Alright, that’ll do for today guys. Thank you so much for joining me in Episode 4 of B.Hooked TV. I look forward to seeing you in the next video as well so stay tuned for that. Subscribe if you haven’t done so already that way you’ll know when the next video is available. And I will see you then my friend. Bye for now.

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