How to Foundation Single Crochet (FSC) and Ditch the Chain

Single crochet stitch

The foundation single crochet stitch (FSC) is a total game changer. Gone are the days of creating long chains and then going back and working into the chain before you start the first row — with FSC, you cut straight to the chase, working the chain and your first row of single crochets in one step.

There are so many reasons to love foundation single crochet. Missing stitches (which is all too common with a long chain) is nearly impossible, the stitches are easy to see and FSC has the same tension as the rest of your project for a super-stretchy edge.

Pro Tip: You can use the FSC stitch in any pattern, even one that doesn’t call for it. Just do away with the chain and begin with the first row, creating the same number of foundation stitches as the row calls for. So, for instance, if the first row calls for 100 single crochet stitches, skip the chain and make 100 FSCs instead.

An FSC is a bit like a Tunisian edge stitch, if you know how to Tunisian crochet. You’ll be working vertically instead of horizontally for the first part of the project. The chain will be on the left side of the vertical strip (if you’re right-handed) and the first row of single crochet will appear on the right side. Got it? Let’s do this!

Foundation Single Crochet

Level: Easy

What You Need

  • Yarn
  • Crochet hook
  • Stitch marker
  • Instructions

    Beginning crochet stitch

    1. Begin with a slip knot on your crochet hook, then chain two.


    2. Insert your hook into the first chain stitch.

    Crocheting with a hook

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

    Looping a stitch

    4. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the first loop on your hook. The yarn you just pulled through is actually a chain stitch. Go ahead and add a removable stitch marker to this chain stitch so you don’t forget.


    5. Yarn over and pull through both of the loops on your hook to make a single crochet. You should have one loop on the hook when you complete this step. You’ve just finished your first foundation crochet stitch.

    Crocheting stitch

    6. Remember how you made a chain in Step 4? That’s the chain you’ll now be working into next. Insert your crochet hook into the space between the chain and the single crochet.

    Crocheting with a hook

    7. Yarn over and pull up one loop. You should have two loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the first loop on your hook. You’ve just made your next chain stitch. Now’s a good time to move the stitch marker and place it around this chain stitch (as in the photo above).

    Crocheting with a hook

    8. To finish the second foundation crochet stitch, yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook.

    9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 until you have the number of stitches you need for your project.

    Finished single crochet

    When you’ve completed the first row, give yourself a high five and turn your work. You’re ready to move onto the second row, whatever that may be.

    Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

    Make a comment:
    characters remaining

    24 Responses to “How to Foundation Single Crochet (FSC) and Ditch the Chain”

    1. Gloria Schroeter

      By far the best instructions for foundation sc I’ve ever seen, and a YouTube video wasn’t even necessary. It now makes perfect sense to me and will be easy to remember. My only tip is to say that moving the stitch marker is only necessary for the first couple of stitches…after that it’s easy to know where to make the next fsc and goes quickly if you’re not constantly moving the marker. Thanks so much!

    2. Karina

      Great! Finally easy to follow instructions; managed to do the FSC almost straight away and will be a real time saver when crocheting items that start with very long chains and then need single crochet stitches for the first row. Thank you so much for the clear instructions

    3. Ann

      I’ve watched several videos and photo tutorials. This was the most helpful, especially the use of a moving marker, with photo, which I used until I had it down pat.

    4. Chris Labas

      This is the third set of instructions on how to do this and is by far the easiest to follow. The pictures were most helpful, as video is hard to see. I think I may have this method down now. I hate working in chain stitches, so this will be more enjoyable

    5. Becky Lynn Hall

      Thank you for this, it's much better then chains. I don't like starting a crochet project with a lot of chains. You described how to do it perfectly.

    6. Janice

      Thanks for this. It was easy to follow, so much better than a video for me. And I will never again twist my foundation chain and have to undo my work.

    7. Frances

      Learned from a utube.

    8. Ann Talley

      Thank you for providing excellent instructions on making a foundation single crochet chain. I have been trying to learn how to do it for years with no success. I have avoided patterns that started with long chains, but now I feel I can do them quickly and not have them twisting.

    9. Josephine Santiago

      Reading the instructions is not clear. It would be more helpful with a video.

    10. kathryn bernabeo

      I have been crocheting over 50 years and this is the first time I'm hearing of this. Just goes to show always something new to learn and your never to old. Thank you