Friday, March 5, 2010

Foundationless Double Crochet or DcChain



I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite techniques. Instead of starting every project with a chain strip, using a "foundationless" stitch can speed up the start of your project and allow for more stretch than a starting chain would.

A foundationless DC, or DC Chain, is my favorite way to start a simple, lengthwise scarf. It is also good for garments that you crochet from the bottom edge up, since it creates a stretchier edge as compared to a starting chain. It's easy to change a pattern that calls for a starting chain and then a row of DC. Just work a row of foundationless DC (or DC Chain) instead.
Start with a Ch 3 (this chain 3 counts as your first DC stitch). YO, insert hook into the first Ch, YO and pull through. YO and pull through one loop to create the "base chain" (3 loops remain on hook). Now work a DC as normal - YO and pull through 2 loops, YO and pull through last 2 loops.
See the picture above - the last chain made under the hook is the "base chain" and the double crochet will be on top of it, next to the starting chain 3.
To work the next DC Ch, YO and insert the hook into what was the last "base chain" stitch (it's actually a ch 1 at the base of each stitch). To make this easier to find, I usually hold that stitch as I'm finishing the DC so I know where the chain stitch is when I move on to the next one.
YO and pull through, creating the next "base chain". (Hold this stitch if you want to to mark it.) Then work the DC - YO, pull through 2 loops. YO, pull through last 2 loops. Continue working DC Ch for as long as you want your project to be.
So each stitch consists of a base chain (like a ch 1) and finishes with a double crochet, all in one stitch and the beginning chain 3 counts as your first DC.

I have incorporated this stitch in the foundation of my Circle Shrug Vest Pattern, the Long Fingerless Gloves pattern, for the hood on the Wildwood Capelet Pattern, and the Chunky Crochet Button Wrap pattern.


**Update 6/17/13 - I have uploaded a video tutorial for this stitch here and it does include the foundationless double crochet, single crochet and half double crochet techniques...  http://youtu.be/UiKLCVd74Mw

22 comments:

Krystyn/KameKnits said...

I actually learned how to do this the other week and i believe i am a convert!

esthergum said...

Can you share how to do this with a single crochet stitch? Thanks so much!

LazyTcrochet said...

I don't have pictures, but I can try to explain it.
Start with a ch 2. Insert hook into first stitch, YO and pull through for ch 1, YO and pull through the 2 remaining loops for the sc. Insert hook into the ch 1, YO and ch 1, YO and sc. Continue with the ch 1 and sc for the foundationless single crochet.

esthergum said...

Thank you! Now off to see if I can figure it out... :-)

L!ND$EY said...

Thank you so much! This was perfect for starting a circle scarf/cowl.

AireyLynn said...

Ok, I tried to leave a comment? Maybe it didn't work...


I got your crochet circle vest and am trying to start it. Anyways my question is, I get the first part of the chain...Start with a Ch 3. YO, insert hook into the first Ch, YO and pull through. YO and pull through one loop to create the base chain (3 loops remain on hook)... then a dc, but it's the next part that confuses me. It doesn't tell me to yo and pull through one loop to create the next base chain? Otherwise I keep crocheting in the same base chain? Or am I missing something? Thanks!

LazyTcrochet said...

Hi AireyLynn - It says "To work the next DC Ch, YO and insert the hook into what was the last base chain stitch...
YO and pull through, creating the next base chain." Then work the next DC. Hope that helps.

Renee Bowman said...

This is a beautiful circle vest. Just curious, before I purchase this pattern, is this crocheted as one piece? I don't do well with patterns that need more than 1 piece to make. I only end up with 1/2 a project done :-)

LazyTcrochet said...

Hi Renee, yes, it is crocheted in one piece, so-to-speak. You work on the square and then the instructions show you how to continue around to start the circular collar.

Unknown said...

I'm unsure what you mean by "the last base chain stitch".

Heidi Y said...

A video tutorial would be very, very helpful.

Rosemary said...

Your crochet vest shrug looks beautiful! Have you ever considered making a alternative design with a short sleeve added to the shrug? (Older arms sometimes need to be covered)

creacarmen said...

This was confusing at first, but I figured it out, yay! I hope I can explain this correctly for other crocheters out there: The first 3 chains are your first double crochet. Insert hook into the 3rd chain from the hook, yarnover and pull through 1 loop (like a chain stitch). This chain stitch is the "last base chain stitch" LazyTCrochet is referring to later on. Hope this helps!

Lori Fowler said...

I can't believe how easy this was. I will be trying to use this stitch as much as possible in all my projects.
Nice idea!

Agatha Jackson said...

I wish lazytcrochet would complete all three stitches and show the results as she went along. I spent all day trying to figure this out. After you worked the first 3 stitches, where are the other stitches coming from. I did not get it. I would like to make this pattern as shown. Need more explanation.

Sylvia 4 said...

Interesting that i just learned the "foundationless dc" as "chainless foundation dc" or just "foundation dc". When I read your instructions, I was pretty confused because I thought that there has to be a foundation to build on. Is it possible that the terminology is different because from country other than USA?

LazyTcrochet said...

Sylivia - I don't know of it's origin. I have heard it called both. I call it "foundationless" because it doesn't require a foundation chain to start with. It creates the chain and the stitch as you go.
Agatha - I've added a video link at the bottom of the post. Thanks

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the video tutorial. It really helps. Is there any time that you can think of where it would not be a good idea to start with a foundationless row first? Thanks.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the video tutorial. It really helps. Is there any time that you can think of where it would not be a good idea to start with a foundationless row first? Thanks.

LazyTcrochet said...

Well, it may just be a matter of tension in the chain part of the stitch, but my DcChain sometimes "pulls together" or is narrower than the regular rows of dc as you go along. While this base chain style is nice and stretchy, if you want a more precise measurement or length to start with, you may choose to start with a regular chain for accuracy. I hope that makes sense!

Unknown said...

Okay - you are amazing. I have been trying to learn a foundationless single crochet and had no luck learning from other websites. So I come here and learn to do a foundationless double crochet from you. It was easy for you describe it so logically - so much in fact that I was able to figure out the single crochet afterward (same as double, but no yarn over hook at the start). Thank you so much!

Gina Padilla said...

Thank you so much for posting a video it really helped me understand how to work with your pattern. I can't wait to finish mine. Also I have been crocheting for 23 years and today you taught me something New!! Thank you.

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