Anyone who knows the basic rules of crochet will tell you that you should always start your item with a foundation chain, then you add your preferred design to this chain. But there is another approach to begin your piece that does not require you to count out that very long chain. Chainless foundation stitches and the foundation double crochet stitch.
Foundation Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial
Rather than making a foundation chain, you can use a chainless foundation, such as foundation double crochet. With this method, you work on both the first row of double crochet stitches and the chain at the same time. It makes a foundation row that is the same size as a normal row.
Because this method gets rid of the chain, your foundation row and all the other rows and stitches in your project will be more even. This method is also helpful because it helps keep the tension even from the first stitch to the last.
The foundation double crochet stitch, dc chainless foundation or fdc crochet stitch, is the name for this type of stitch. These steps for foundation double crochet will help you learn how to do this skill so you can make clean, even stitches for a wide range of projects.
How to Foundation Double Crochet Quick Guide
Here are the quick steps. I have gone into greater detail in the body of this tutorial.
- Yarn over and insert hook in previous chain
- Pull through (3 loops on hook)
- Yarn over and pull through 1 ( 3 loops on hook)
- Yarn over and pull through 2 (2 loops on hook)
- Yarn over and pull through 2 (1 loop on hook)
Supplies For Double Crochet Foundation Stitch
- Yarn and a crochet hook.
- Stitch marker.
Abbreviations Used in Foundation Double Crochet
All instructions for double crochet foundation chain are written in US crochet terms. (In the UK this stitch is called a foundation single crochet (fsc).)
- ch = chain stitch crochet
- sc = single crochet stitch
- dc = double crochet stitch
- fdc = foundation double crochet
- yo = yarn over
How to Foundation Double Crochet
Do you want to start a new project or crochet pattern without creating that long chain? Then you need foundation double crochet (fdc)! You'll see why chainless foundations are a great way to start a crochet project in these step-by-step directions.
First FDC Crochet Stitch
1. Make a slip knot and chain 2.
2. Yarn over and insert your hook through the first chain you crocheted (end chain).
3. Yarn over and pull through a loop. (3 loops on hook)
4. Yarn over and pull yarn through one loop. (Still 3 loops on hook.) Take note of how you made a chain here, which is really the foundation of your stitch!
Place a marker through this chain stitch. When you are learning how to do foundation double crochet, it helps if you use a marker for the first couple of stitches.
5. Yarn over and pull your hook through two loops. (2 loops on hook).
6. Yarn over and pull your hook through the last two loops. (1 loop on hook)
You've just completed your first fdc stitch! Well done!
Second FDC Crochet Stitch
7. Yarn over and slide your hook through both loops of the preceding stitch's base (the chain you made in Step 4 where the marker was placed).
8. Yarn over and pull a loop up.
9. Yarn over and draw through 1 loop (this is a chain). Reposition your marker to this stitch.
10. Yarn over, pull through 2. (2 loops on hook)
11. Yarn over, pull through 2. (1 loop on hook).
Rest of Row of Dc Foundation Chain
Keep working steps 7-11 until your foundation row is the correct length. By now you probably won't need the marker any more.
How to Start the Second Row
Once your foundation row is complete, simply chain 3 for a turning chain and turn and then continue with your double crochet stitches as usual.
Foundation Double Crochet FAQs
What are the Benefits of Using Fdc?
One major advantage of foundation double crochet chain (fdc) is that it eliminates the possibility of chaining too many or too few chains and discovering it at the end of the row.
When that happens, it usually means that you need to pull everything out and start chaining and counting again...so much counting!
Instead, you can effortlessly add or subtract a few (or a lot) of double crochet stitches with the fdc and save so much time counting!
Another fantastic feature of the fdc is its incredible stretch! This means you won't have to worry about tight regular chains, which are especially challenging when crocheting clothing, headbands, or hats.
Alternatives to Use Foundation Double Crochet
Foundation rows can be built with any basic stitch, not only double crochet! Your choice will depend upon which stitch you will be using after your foundation row. You can make the following foundation crochet stitches:
- Foundation Single Crochet (fsc)
- Foundation Half Double Crochet (fhdc)
- Foundation Treble Crochet (ftr)
Tips for Working Foundation Double Crochet
It is important not to become confused when you reach the end of the foundation row.
- Make certain that you do not miss the first fdc.
- The top chain of the first foundation stitch may tend to hide a little on the working side. So don't forget about it! Be certain to work your dc into every sing fdc that you have made.
- If you're new to the foundation double crochet row, I recommend counting the stitches to ensure you're not missing the last stitch or adding a stitch into the first two chains!
- Another tip is not to pull your stitches too tightly so that your foundation row doesn't curl. To do this, hold the hook perpendicular to the foundation row after pulling up the first loop in a stitch. Pull this loop up very loosely. This keeps the bottom row from being much tighter than the top row, which makes the whole thing curl less.
- Calculate the number of stitches correctly - If your pattern says to ch15 then crochet a row of double crochet, you will end up with 12 stitches since 3 will be used in the turning chain. This means you will fdc 12 stitches.
Does it Take Longer to Do Foundation Double Crochet?
Most of the time, making foundation rows does take more time than making your first row. Because you are working on two rows at once, each stitch takes more steps. Even so, it will help you in the long run because you will be able to skip an entire row, which would have been the first row of your foundation chain.
Why is My Foundation Row Curling?
It's normal for this foundation row to have a small curve, but if it curves more than it should, you can fix it by pulling the first loop from Step 1 up loosely to make it taller. The curve is because the chain of the fdc stitch is too short. If you do everything right, you should be able to start any double crochet project quickly and without too much curling.
What if I Don’t Want a Loose Foundation Row?
A base row of double crochet stitches can stretch more than a row of chain stitches. This can be good if you want a stretchy base, but if your project is too loose, it can make the bottom look wavy.
The best way to deal with this is to use a smaller hook for the first row. If the pattern says to use a 4.00mm hook for the main part of the piece, you can try using a 3.5mm or 3.75mm hook for the fhdc row. This will give you the amount of stretch you need without making it look too wrinkled.
Foundation Double Crochet - In Conclusion
Overall, foundation double crochet is a technique that can assist you in producing a neater, more professional and comfortable completed product. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned crocheter, it's worth your time to master this method and see how it can help your crochet projects.
Foundation Double Crochet
- Crochet Hook
- Make a slip knot and chain 2.
- Yarn over and insert your hook through the first chain you crocheted (end chain). Yarn over and pull through a loop. (3 loops on hook)
- Yarn over and pull yarn through one loop, mark stitch. (Still 3 loops on hook.)
- Yarn over and pull your hook through two loops. (2 loops on hook)
- Yarn over and pull your hook through the last two loops. (1 loop on hook)
- Yarn over and insert your hook through both loops of the preceding stitch's base (marker position). Yarn over and pull a loop up.
- Yarn over and draw through 1 loop (this is a chain). Reposition your marker to this stitch.
- Yarn over, pull through 2. Yarn over, pull through 2. (1 loops on hook)