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.

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    37 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. 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.

    8. 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

      • Bobbie Sue

        I agree, my grandma taught me to crochet and she never knew about it, she did her crochet right up to her passing at 90 years old!

    9. Suzanne madoc jones

      I loved it seeing that made. It was hard for me to see stitches maybe a white crotchet needle would help against a dark thread and background. Thanks

    10. Erica

      I used the FSC to start a project. In theory, to finish the project, you would do a row of SC and the a row of Slip Stitch. These finishing rows do not match my FSC row. What is the actual method for finishing a project to match FSC.

    11. Barbara

      Thank you so much for this tutorial. I’ve watched several on fsc, but it wasn’t coming together for me. Marking the chain really helped. Everyone learns differently, but the pictures made more sense to me than the videos. You made it very easy to follow.

    12. Patriciawn

      Part of the problem is nomenclature! If you are a UK crocheted, then the sc is our dc. And the chain is like working a slip stitch. The worst part is getting that marker to open up enough to not snag the loop! But no more bad language it demeans yourself and is unnecessary you don’t have to learn this stitch you are not at school!

      • Katherine Buchanan

        This is such a good step by step. I will have a go, and using some wonderful ideas from other commenters, I may try with a slightly larger hook if I have trouble seeing the stitches. Please don’t take to heart the hater comment!

    13. Dawn

      Fsc is such bullshit. Everyone makes it sound soo easy. Well, its not. I have tried for months now. This shit is crap. I have watched all the videos and wrote everything down step by step. I have used different yarns thinking maybe its that. No, its not. Its just another shitty way for those crocheted to lord it over those like me who were born stupid trash. Its a trap. Those of you who can, will continue to preen over the rest of us. Been that way for always. So what else is new.

      • Belinda Baker

        I understand your frustration. It took a good while for it to click for me. I can try to show you one on one somehow, zoom maybe? It is worth learning for sure because trying to make anything with starting chains is so awful.

      • Bee

        Why so hostile? What works for one person doesn’t work for another but that doesn’t make those who can lords and those who can’t trash.


        Don’t give up. I’ve been crocheting since I was 8 (51 years now) and I have so much trouble with this stitch. I’ve struggled it with it for years and continue to have trouble. I have discovered that some videos are better than others. Keep trying.

      • Ronnie

        Chillax sweetheart! There will always be someone out there that is trying to re-invent the wheel. If trying a new technique is too challenging and/or frustrating, just keep it simple and stick with the old tried and true method! I have been crocheting for 50+ years now and still like to use the original chain a row method! I also like to, from time to time, challenge myself by learning new methods! It’s all about what you’re comfortable with. Crocheting (like all crafts) is an art form of self expression. When one immerses themself in a craft, it should be pleasurable and relaxing; not stressful! Enjoy yourself and keep on crocheting!

      • Sharon

        To avoid the frustrations I only work on simple projects. Once in a while I’ll do a test strip, if it’s too hard I find another one to do.

      • Suzanne

        Working with your hands is supposed to be calming and fun. You need to go to a yarn shop and show them what you are trying to follow and Any yarn DEALER SHOP will help you. NOT A DISCOUNT store yarn seller .don’t give up if you reply with just your town/city. I’ll bet someone will send you a place to go. That you are feeling unloved overwhelmed reach out. Seek help good luck and I’m sure you’ll get more offers of help that will keep you reading instead of blaming yourself . You reached out so accept the offers of help.

    14. Joan

      Trying to get a foundation row started using chenille yarn but difficult to see stitches ( should tell you I had a stroke and am working with a right hand that doesn’t want to cooperate always-help

      • Tam

        Try using a hook that’s a size larger than what the pattern calls for. It shouldn’t affect the final project. I using start with a slightly larger hook for foundation rows whether using the ch and sc method or the fact method. It really helps.

    15. Emily

      See the bump at the end?
      I can’t figure out how to do the next row properly or do it in a round with that bump that is definitely not the height of the full stitch.

    16. Kendra Sambrana

      I have made my fsc but i am not sure what spot to start counting on. the first stitch or does the 2 chain of the ch 2 count as the first stitch. sorry i am so confused about it.

      • Nancy L Batterson

        You will flip your work to begin the second row and your needle will be on top. The stitches should be clear to see and count.

        • Kaitlyn Heater

          But does the two chains at the beginning count as a stitch or not? I’m trying to use this to do a granny stripe and 6 tries and double checking, it’s still off by at least one.