How do you crochet a chain?

If you're a new crocheter, the first stitch you will learn is a chain. Chains are often used as the bottom row of a pattern, to crochet your pattern stitches in. Chains are also used in patterns to create 'empty spaces', or airy patterns. For example, lace crochet or filet crochet both use a combination of chains and other stitches to create a pattern in crochet that consists of holes.

Luckily, chains are very easy to learn. However, as a beginning crocheter, I can imagine that you'd like some visuals to go with this explanation. That's why I created a video tutorial and a photo tutorial to help you learn how to crochet a chain. Watch the video and start crocheting!

How to crochet a chain

1. Make a slip stitch.

2. Insert your hook in the slip stitch.

3. Yarn over.

4. Pull loop through loop on hook.

Congratulations, you've made a chain! Repeat steps 3-4 for each additional chain.

Now the tricky part with chains is to crochet all chains evenly, and not make one chain very tight and the other very loose. This isn't something that you can 'trick' or 'hack'. You'll need to have patience, and you will get better at evenly crocheting chains over time. My first chain of crochets was a mix of incredibly tight stitches, and stitches that were so big I could put my pinky in it. It takes practice and effort, but you'll see improvement soon as long as you just keep doing it.

A thing to keep in mind is that it is important to not crochet your chains too tight, as it can be hard to insert your hook into them in the next row or round. So if you are a tight crocheter, consider using a larger hook for your chains.

Abbreviation of chains in crochet diagrams

Chains are always abbreviated as 'ch'. For example, 'ch3' or 'ch5'.

Abbreviations (US Terms)

  • ch


In a crochet diagram, a chain is almost always depicted as an open oval. Every once in a while you will see small open circles that represent chains. If you see this, it's often in Japanese crochet diagrams.

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