Crocheting Blog

How to Crochet Foundation Single Crochet (FSC)

Foundation crochet stitches are designed to skip the usual first step of creating a long crochet chain to begin your work, instead making the first row and the chain stitch in one step. For example, in the Foundation Single Crochet (FSC) stitch, you'll create the chain row and the first row of single crochet at the same time. Cool, right?!

Read on to learn when and why you might want to use foundation crochet stitches, plus how to do the FSC!

foundation single crochet (fsc)

Images via Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence

foundation single crochet (fsc)

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Understanding foundation crochet stitches

A traditional crochet pattern calls for you to create a chain of a certain length before you begin your first row of the work. Foundation crochet stitches combine these two steps into one, creating the chain at the same time that you create the first row. That's why these stitches are sometimes called "chainless crochet." There are several benefits to this approach:

  • Some people find it tedious to work their first row into a very long chain, sometimes causing them to miss stitches. This is not an issue with foundation crochet.
  • Some yarn types don't lend themselves well to working into a base chain because the stitches are tougher to see (novelty yarns are often like this); it's easier to work directly into the first row.
  • Many people complain that their starting chain has a different tension than the rest of the project. This problem is eliminated with foundation stitches.
  • Foundation stitches have a little bit of give to them, making them a great choice for projects such as garments where you want a little bit of stretch.

Some patterns specifically call for foundation crochet or chainless foundation to begin a project. However, you can use this technique with any pattern.

Simple eliminate the chain from the equation and begin with the first row, creating the same number of foundation stitches as the row calls for. For example, if the first row in your pattern calls for 100 single crochet stitches, you will skip the chain and make 100 foundation single crochet stitches instead.

How to crochet Foundational Single Crochet (FSC)

As you work your foundation single crochet, you'll notice that this first part of the project is worked vertically instead of horizontally. For those of you who are familiar with Tunisian crochet, crochet designer Doris Chan explains that, "It resembles the way the edge stitch is worked as you begin a return pass in TSS." The "chain" will be on the left side of the vertical strip (if you are a right-handed crocheter) and the first row of single crochet will appear on the right side of this vertical strip. Let's give it a try.

Step 1:

Begin with a slip knot on your crochet hook.

foundation single crochet (fsc)

Step 2:

Chain two.

foundation single crochet (fsc)

Step 3:

Insert your hook into the first chain stitch.

foundation single crochet (fsc)

Step 4:

Yarn over and pull through one loop. You should have two loops on the hook when you complete this step.

foundation single crochet (fsc)

Step 5:

Yarn over and pull through one loop again. The yarn you just pulled through is actually a chain stitch. You might want to add a removable stitch marker so you don't forget. 

foundation single crochet (fsc)

Step 6:

Yarn over and pull through both loops to make a single crochet. You should have one loop on the hook when you complete this step.

foundation single crochet (fsc)

You've just finished your first foundation crochet stitch. Pretty easy, right? The second stitch is a little trickier, so stay with us. 

Step 7:

Remember how we said you made a chain in Step 5? That's the chain you'll now be working into: 

Foundation Single Crochet Diagram

Insert your crochet hook into the space indicated above — the space between the chain and the single crochet.

Now complete Steps 4 – 6 to make another FSC: YO and pull through one loop; YO and pull through one loop again; YO and pull through both loops. 

Then you'll have a two FSCs:

foundation single crochet (fsc)

Repeat step 7 until you have the desired number of stitches to start your project.

Step 8:

When you have complete the first row, turn your work. You are now ready to begin Row 2 of your project.

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23 Comments

Susan34

Although unusual for Craftsy, this is one of the worst tutorials for foundation single crochet. Of all the photos, doesn’t even show the unique insertion point for the remaining stitches using a photo and/or arrow – just text. You can do better than that, Craftsy!

Reply
Ann

Couldn’t agree more with the first poster. Lousy tutorial. Got a big blob of I don’t know what on my hook

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Millie Vega Pineiro

I don’t get this tutorial. What chain does the hook insert ? We need more and clearer photos for visual learning students. I say students because if you trying to learn something you are a student.

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Carol

I am a newbie, so I followed the text and pictures exactly and was able to reproduce your work. Thank you for this lovely tutorial! Carol in SA

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annie

I’m also a “newbie” and I tried following the written instructions to no avail. A clear photo of the very critical step #7 appears to have been omitted. Unusually unhelpful tutorial for Craftsy. Disappointing.

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Kim

I concur. The photo included with Step 7 seems to be another version of the photo from Step 6. I do NOT see the chain stitch or the single crochet, and therefore have no idea what loops I’m supposed to insert the hook under. I either end up with a curvy blob or I unravel.

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Kim

However, it seems that this problem was identified in May and there’s been no effort to modify the tutorial. I guess Craftsy just doesn’t care.

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Heather

thank you for having this tutorial online – I always forget how to do this starting foundation and I’m never at home with my books when I need to get started!

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Shelly

Tutorial seems just fine so long as you follow it exactly as written. Thank you, Craftsy! 🙂

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Tami

I thought they did a great job with the tutorial. Just follow the steps 1 at a time and look at the pictures for backup. How much easier could they have made it? For the people who didn’t like it, all I can say is you can please everybody all the time. Way to go Craftsy, another great tutorial. 🙂

Reply
Mae

I’ve been crocheting for 45 years and looking at this, I had to agree with most of the other post but I grabbed some yarn and tried it anyways and had to giggle at how ###### easy it is.

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Rosemarie

What a time saver! I’m fairly new at crochet. After a few attempts, I really looked at each step and couldn’t believe how easy it was. I was just trying to make it more difficult. Thanks so much for this tutorial!

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Jj

Thanks so much. I started this project a year ago, but gave up. Now, I think I’ve got it, I had to learn it this evening to make a scarf by chaining the longer side. There’s no way I can chain over 100 stitches, single crochet and proceed. This is a big help. If one inserts the stitch marker at the chain one, it all becomes clear

Reply
Sandra Allen

I have to agree with the earlier posters. The photos should be with the hook at the top of the photo, not vertical. And yes, there is no indication of where the hook is to be inserted so it’s just another shot of the previous one. I will learn it somewhere else.

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SanAnn

Very confusing. Perhaps the tutorial could be redesigned. I agree the position of the hook added to the confusion. I plan to learn this stitch using a larger hook and chunky yarn.

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Laura

I tried watching videos of this technique but couldn’t figure out where to put the hook after the first fsc. Then I looked up this tutorial and the written instructions were so much clearer than watching a video. Yes, the link to the diagram doesn’t work, but I figured it out. The other photos made it much easier to figure out, and now my fsc looks like it is supposed to!

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Kelli

I’ve never done a foundation chain before but needed to for a pattern I’m trying out. There may not be very many explanatory pictures in this which makes it not so great for the very basic beginners but I was able to complete my large foundation chain using only the written directs. It really wasn’t hard at all. Good job!

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Mary Riedel

Interesting. I will be doing a scarf in vertical rows and the pattern is completely SC in the back loop only. Does that mean I also do the SC of the FSC in the back loop only?

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W James

Awful instructions?! I had to keep turning my work upside down to get the same view as the pictures, and not all the pictures are there. Will be looking for another site for better explanation

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missy

Best foundation row explanation ever!!! Now makes sense.

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Haley

A photo is missing!!!!!

Reply

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