The crochet chain is the basis or the starting point for any crochet item whether it is in a block of straight crochet, a granny square or a round crochet circle.
At the start of both knitting and crochet the first stitch is the slip knot and from this the first chain can be made. It is called a slip knot because it is easily pulled apart.
I have shown how to do the slip knot by using my hand but it can be done around the fingers as well.
Take the wool and wrap around your hand until it meets at the thumb again.
Take the wool strand that is attached to the ball and feed it under the wool strand at the back of the hand and pull through slowly.
Take your hand out of the circle of wool and keep hold of both strands while tightening the loop. If the loop is too big then this can be adjusted by pulling the strand that is still attached to the ball of wool until it is small enough to allow the crochet hook through.
Place the hook through the slip knot and tighten the wool so the wool runs freely but without being too tight or loose.
Hold the wool and hook comfortably in your hands
It is probably best to hold the bottom of the slip knot with the thumb and forefinger of the hand holding the wool and using the hook wrap or grab the wool with the hook.
Carefully pull the wool through the slip knot and that is the first chain. There will always be one chain on the hook and the rest fall underneath the hook.
Repeat again grabbing the wool and pulling it through the chain on the hook and this time you will have one chain on the hook and two chains hanging underneath.
When making an item you will need to make a certain number of chains to then do the crochet stitches into. The chains are counted from underneath the hook and the one that is on the hook is not counted.
The more chains you make you will find that if you keep your grip near the bottom of the one on the hook the better the tension will be.
The front of the chain is in the shape of a chevron and the back of the chain has little bumpy ridges showing there is a difference between the front and back.
From this strand of chains many lovely things can be made. It is always hard to do the first row as you have to make sure that you go through all the chains so take your time. It is easy to miss one and then the pattern doesn't go well.
Usually you will use the front and back loop of the chain when doing the double or treble crochet stitch as this gives a firmer base. There are different pattern that only use one of the loops and this gives a different look.
A Granny square also starts with a row of chain stitches which are then put into a circle.
Enjoy your crochet.