So you’ve just crocheted your first chain! Hooray! Good job!
But now you may be looking at your chain and finding it hard to recognise what you’ve just created… But it’s not as complicated as it looks – there are six (6) main parts:
- The free end of the yarn
- The slip knot
- The ‘V’ on the top side of each chain stitch
- The ‘bars’ / ‘bumps’ on the under side of each chain stitch
- The loop on your hook
- The yarn attached to the yarn ball
1. The free end of the yarn
This is often called the ‘tail’. I suggest you make sure this is about 4-5″ / 10-12cm long when making your slip knot; this should leave enough yarn to be securely sewn into your crochet project when you’re finishing it off.
Sometimes you’ll want to leave a much longer tail if you’re going to use it to sew this piece to another piece – but the pattern should specify this for you.
2. The slip knot
We’ve already talked about this in a previous post: how to create a slip knot. You really can’t start your crochet project without first creating a slip knot as this is what keeps your first loop from unraveling off your hook!
3. The ‘V’ on the top side of each chain stitch
Each ‘V’ represents one stitch. Each one is made up of the ‘front loop’ and the ‘back loop’ of a stitch. 99% of the time, this is where the next row of stitches will be crocheted into – through both loops of the ‘V’.
But some patterns will instruct you to crochet in the front loop only (FLO) or the back loop only (BLO)… The front loop is the side of the ‘V’ that’s closest to you, and the back loop is the side of the ‘V’ that’s furthest away.
The only other exception to working through both loops of the ‘V’ is when you’re working back along the foundation chain at the very beginning of a pattern – in this case, you’ll usually crochet into the back loop only (I’ll write a post on this soon).
In the near future, I’ll very quickly talk about how to count stitches… *HINT: it has a lot to do with the ‘V’*
4. The ‘bars’ / ‘bumps’ on the under side of each chain stitch
You will only ever see these ‘bars’ / ‘bumps’ on a chain; and you can also use the ‘bars’ / ‘bumps’ to count your stitches (similar to counting each ‘V’). In a not-too-distant post, I’ll talk about how to crochet into the chain stitches; and, while crocheting into the back loop of the ‘V’ of the chain is the most common method, I’ll also show you an option of crocheting into these ‘bumps’ and why it’s my preferred method!
5. The loop on your hook
You could think of this as ‘yarn in limbo’ or ‘a baby stitch’. This loop isn’t counted as a stitch, but it’s on your hook waiting for you to pull a hooked section of yarn through it so it can become a stitch…
6. The yarn attached to the yarn ball
This is the yarn in between your hook and the yarn ball – that is, the yarn that you use with your yarn hand to ‘yarn over’ and create each stitch. Once you ‘yarn over’, hook the yarn, and pull it through the loop on the hook: this bit of yarn then becomes the loop on the hook!
Do you have any suggestions on how to recognise the different parts of the chain? Is there anything that still confuses you? I’d love to help! Happy crocheting!