Does the crochet turning chain cause you a bit of confusion?
Do you need some clarification as to whether you should count the turning chain as a stitch?
In this article, I’ll attempt to shed some light on this topic!
WHAT IS A CROCHET TURNING CHAIN?
When you have completed the first row of your crochet project, you will turn your work. You may turn your work either clockwise or anti-clockwise (it doesn’t matter as long as you are consistent for a neater edge).
At the beginning of the next row, you will be instructed to work a certain number of turning chains (also called beginning chains). The number of turning chains that you are asked to make will depend on what the next stitch of the row will be. These are the numbers that I usually stick to (although they can vary slightly with each crochet designer):
Single crochet – 1 turning chain
Half double crochet – 1 turning chain
Double Crochet – 2 turning chains
Treble Crochet – 3 turning chains
DOES IT COUNT AS A STITCH?
In the notes section of a pattern, the designer will often specify whether the turning chain of a row counts as a stitch.
To illustrate this issue better, I’ve included a couple of photos below. For example purposes I used a turning chain of 2 chains, but the same principle applies to any number of turning chains that a pattern calls for.
WHEN THE TURNING CHAIN DOES NOT COUNT AS A STITCH
If a pattern specifies that the turning chain does not count as a stitch, then it will be necessary to place the first stitch of your row into the same stitch, essentially at the base of the turning chain (as seen by my needle in the photo below):
WHEN THE TURNING CHAIN DOES COUNT AS A STITCH
In instances where it states that the turning chain does count as a stitch, this means that you will place the first stitch of your row into the next stitch:
AT THE END OF ROWS
In cases where the turning chain does count as a stitch, you will need to make sure that you crochet into the top of the turning chain at the end of the row (as seen by my needle in the photo below). If you fail to do this you will find that your work gets narrower!
If the turning chain does not count as a stitch, you should not crochet into the top of the turning chain. Instead, you should ignore the turning chain at the end and crochet into the last stitch of the row (otherwise you will start adding stitches and find that your work gets wider!)
The issue of whether a crochet turning chain counts as a stitch and where to place the first stitch of a row can be a common problem that many beginner crocheters encounter, so I hope that you found this information helpful!
If you have any opinions / thoughts on this topic, leave them in the comment section below! 😃
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