Chainless Starting Double Crochet

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This little crochet trick has been invented and reinvented repeatedly over the years! And the Chainless Starting Double Crochet stitch IS tricky – it definitely takes some practice. But it’s worth it, because it tricks the eye – and makes the telltale starting chain obsolete! Learn how to make it in this tutorial!

Chainless Starting Double Crochet : Video and Photo Tutorial

Now don’t get this stitch confused with the Standing Double Crochet! They perform the same function – getting rid of the conspicuous starting or joining chain 3. But they are used in two different situations. The Standing Double Crochet is used when you are joining or starting a new row with a new color. On the other hand, the Chainless Starting Double Crochet is used when you’re working the next row in the same color as before. You can use the Chainless Starting Double Crochet for a one skein or one color project, or when picking up a color that you are carrying along the side!

Chainless Starting Double Crochet Video Tutorial – Right Handed

Left Handed

Chainless Starting Double Crochet Written Instructions

The Chainless Starting Double is worked as the first st of a row, to replace a chain 2 or chain 3 start – the usual method of working the “first dc” of a row.

To make the stitch, pull up the loop on the hook to the height of a normal dc st. (Look at the row below if possible to get a good idea of what this looks like – this part takes a little practice to eyeball it!)Chainless Starting Double Crochet : Video and Photo Tutorial

Hold the forefinger of your hook-holding hand on top of the stretched loop, against the hook, so it can’t move.

Yarn over the hook with the stretched loop, so that the loop is wrapped around the hook as shown below.Chainless Starting Double Crochet : Video and Photo Tutorial

Yarn over with the working yarn and carefully pull up a loop behind the stretched loop, so that the new loop and the top of the stretched loop (still held down by your finger) are on the hook.Chainless Starting Double Crochet : Video and Photo Tutorial Chainless Starting Double Crochet : Video and Photo Tutorial

Yarn over with the working yarn again, and pull through both loops on the hook (releasing the pressure on the stretched loop as you pull the other loop through).  Chainless Starting Double Crochet : Video and Photo Tutorial Chainless Starting Double Crochet : Video and Photo Tutorial Chainless Starting Double Crochet : Video and Photo Tutorial

Now could you do this for a treble crochet, or trc st? Absolutely! Just pull the loop up higher, and wrap it twice, etc!

It takes some practice – pulling up the loop to just the right height (a little shorter is easier!), keeping the stretched loop on the hook, and finishing off the stitch. It might look a little funny at first. But it looks WAY better than a ch 3, and if you keep practicing you can master it – I believe in you!

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  1. 10

    Sandy Ghorbani says

    I ‘m new to crochet, 73 yrs. Old, & doing quite well. So happy to learn as much as possible. Looking forward to your emails. Sandy G.

  2. 11

    Judy Ashwell says

    Thank you! I have been crocheting for thirty years and have always had that ragged edge to everything. So nice to have this technique. Off to practice!

  3. 13


    Yes!! That’s what I was looking for :) thanks Tamara!!
    I asked for the same on your post about standing double crochet but I could not explain further what I actually wanted so I gave up. This is a great solution!! :)

  4. 14

    Sandy Martin says

    I did this on an afghan I’m making for daughter’s wedding present. Love it, looks great. Thanks so much for the tip..

  5. 18

    Lindsey King says

    Will this technique work from the foundation chain as well? For example, if I am told to chain 30 and then dc into 4th ch from the hook, could I instead chain 27, make a chainless dc, and go from there? Thanks for all of your patterns, tutorials, etc. They are fabulous.

  6. 20

    Andi says

    THANK you from the bottom of my hooks! I started using this today and I will never abandon it! Gone are my gaps. You are a fountain of information!

  7. 22

    Faith says

    I completely understand this technique if you are turning your work but what if you’re joining a circle and continuing on in the same direction? When you start the CSDC you turned your work. I can’t figure out how to do this without turning my work?

    • 23

      Tamara Kelly says

      Hi Faith! It’s worked exactly the same when working in the round. Join the previous round first, then pull up the tall loop and proceed as before. If you want the loop to have more twist, as if you had turned your work, you can remove the hook from the active loop, insert it in the opposite direction, and then spin it around 180 degrees to work the CSDC. Does that help?

  8. 24

    Lisa T says

    Thanks for sharing this. I have been using it on some scarves I have been working on. It looks great. I now can do it with a treble stitch as well and still looks great.

  9. 26


    Awesome. I just tried this on a basket weave afghan I’m working on. Wish I’d been doing this all along! It works great! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. 27


    Will this technique work if you’re doing a treble crochet instead of a double crochet by extending the loop further and wrapping it twice? Unless you know of a better way to do a treble without chains. We all know the chains for dc look baggy but it’s even worse with a treble st.

    • 28

      Tamara Kelly says

      Yes! Be sure to keep the loop very taut, and you might want to add an extra twist to it first, but it does work!

  11. 32

    Lisa L says

    Wow… this is SO clever! I just made my first baby sweater as a Christmas gift and I did a lot of weaving tails through those chain 3’s at the seams so it didn’t look like big holes. This is BRILLIANT! Thank you! (p.s. I’m going to make the Eloise for a friends new baby girl!)

  12. 34

    Ellen M says

    Oh my gosh! This stitch, along with the Foundation Double Crochet, brings things to an entirely superior level! Beautiful. I’ve been crocheting for about a year and was wondering what to do to make edges look tidy. Presto. Truly remarkable difference.

    Have a few rows done on (your) Eloise sweater; the bottom edge surely would not look as nice with chains.

    Thank you, thank you.

    Look forward to incorporating all of your tricks.

  13. 36

    Ria says

    This is a really awesome trick! I’ve been practicing since I came across this post and am never going back to chain starts again! Thanks, Tamara!

  14. 38

    Cheryl says

    Thank you for all of the free patterns! Also a big thank you for the stitch tutorials and videos. I’m going to use the Chainless Starting Double Crochet on the blanket I’m making now!

  15. 41

    Karen says

    Thanks for the technique! I am always looking for ways to make my work look more professional. I am left-handed and have practiced the technique. The stitch looks exactly like yours. However, I still have a whole in the work just as with a Ch 3. Do you have any ideas what could be causing the hole? I have lengthened and shortened the loop, and neither seems to eliminate the hole.

    • 42

      Tamara Kelly says

      Hm, I’m not sure Karen! That’s a tough one. Does it lessen when you work the next row into it?

      • 43

        karen says

        No, the holes stay the same size. There must be something – maybe a twist that I make that a right-handed person would not make. I will keep working on it. Thanks!

  16. 47

    sherry says

    You are a crochet Goddess! I love the way you teach and what you teach! I got this on my second try! Amazing! It looks so nice on the baby blankets I am making to donate! Thanks so much for being so awesome!

  17. 49

    Valerie Kelley says

    Where have I been? This is such a great technique!! Thank you for all of the tips and tools you provide us. It’s nice to know that someone(me) who has been crocheting for over 40 years can still learn something new :).

  18. 52

    Leelou says

    I make this chainless starting double crochet for many years, and I looked for a good video for a long time to sharing with my friends….. Your video is very clear, even if we don’t understand all your words !! Bravo and Thanks a lot for sharing !! Merci beaucoup !! Leelou from France

  19. 55

    Paula says

    So I’ve been looking through comments and posts and haven’t seen this mentioned elsewhere…any way to do this with a hdc? When I try it just falls apart, but it was wondering if maybe I missed something. :)

      • 57

        dianne says

        Hmmm. I wonder if a very snug, taut dc would compensate for a chainless starting hdc? Something to play with. Might still leave a bit of a gap if it’s taller than the rest of the row. Hmmm. Would it be entirely too high maintenance to go down a hook size to make the chainless starting dc align with the rest of the row? Things that make you go “Hmmmm”.

  20. 59

    Connie M. says

    This is THE most useful trick I have learned, I have adapted it to use with hdc also, and it does such a great job of hiding an obvious seam when working in the round also :)

  21. 61

    KATHY says


  22. 63

    geri says

    I’m proud as punch this morning. What a difference between the new rows using your technique and the previous 23 using the 3-ch starting dc.
    I’m not too proud to unravel those 23 rows though (=
    Thank you!

  23. 65

    Wendy Trieber says

    This big tip has helped me so much. Thank you a million times, I still need more practice but now my edges are more even and pretty.

  24. 67

    Maribelle says

    I gave up smoking for crafting almost a year ago (last Xmas eve to be exact) and have to say it’s women like you who help keep things interesting.
    I mostly crochet and am just loving your tutorials.
    Thank you so much for your generosity with your knowledge.
    I know I appreciate it!

    • 68

      Tamara Kelly says

      :) Stopping smoking is what first got me interested in crochet! Congratulations on quitting – I know how tough it is!

      • 69

        Maribelle says

        The quitting smoking came on the heels of an extended illness. I had a lot of time in bed to surf crafting sites and yours definitely delivers – great patterns and tutorials.
        I only wish known about chainless starting before making my last poncho, but there’s always my next project.
        Thanks again for the work you put in.

  25. 71

    Chelle says

    Thanks so much for this and for explaining it so well, and with screenshots – it is much appreciated and will have to try it – I’m so tired of my outside dc’s looking like they have ‘separated’ from the rest of the project!!

  26. 72

    lady27vox says

    Thank you for the great tutorial! I had viewed a different video for this stitch and it just didn’t make sense to me. You made it very understandable! Thanks again!

  27. 76

    Deborah Zotian says

    Brilliant! Wish I had seen this before I started on the blanket I’m working on right now. Unfortunately, I’m 3/4 way through the pattern, so I won’t be tearing it out – but I will use this on the rest of the blanket! Thank you.

  28. 78


    This stitch is amazing! I use it all of the time now, especially when working in the round using double crochet. The seam is practically invisible! I love it! I had put a link to it on my WordPress site when I first discovered it to share the love and would recommend it to everyone! Thank you so much for this tutorial :)

  29. 80

    Michelle says

    How would you do a chainless starting half double crochet? I am starting a major afghan project and would love to use this instead of the typical chains at the beginning of each row.

    Thank you for all the wonderful information and videos on your site. I have learned so much from you!

    • 81

      Tamara Kelly says

      It gets terribly fidly, and a little bulky with hdc. I would instead recommend doing a ch 1 and then hdc in the first stitch (instead of a ch 2 and then skip the first st, as most patterns suggest). It gives a nice firm edge. :)

  30. 82


    Thank you for this stitch you are a wonderful teacher. You made it look simple as I am a visual learner. Could you answer a question for me? When someone tells you to do multiples of 8, or 10 do they mean the same stitches as before. I have seen this on certain patterns that I have tried to read. I will most certainly return to your web site to learn more of your wonderful stitching techniques.

    I love sewing and crocheting and quilting.

    • 83

      Tamara Kelly says

      Thank you so much Kathy! :) In answer to your question, the stitch multiple is often given at the beginning of a stitch pattern, or a pattern where people are likely to want to customize the size. Basically, it refers to the number of stitches you need to have to “complete” a repeat of the pattern. For instance, let’s say I am making something that’s a dc, followed by a sc, then repeating across. I could say it’s a multiple of 2, because it takes 2 sts to complete the stitch pattern. So if it were a washcloth pattern, I’d say it’s a multiple of 2, because that way people can make a bigger or smaller cloth, or even adapt it to a blanket, just but adding or subtracting any multiple of 2 from the starting chain. So when you’re using the multiple info, you’ll use it to help you decide how long your starting chain will be. :)

  31. 84

    Ellen FRAZER says

    Your video.and photo instruction around so good. I am finally getting good results crocheting. That’s so much!

  32. 86

    Dominique says

    Hi Tamara!
    You are so very gifted and I wish I could say this video helped me, but I’m lost. I’m working with sportweight pashmina yarn so perhaps that’s what’s throwing me? This is the first time since teaching myself to crochet that I’ve felt like, “Oh my gosh, why can’t I grasp this?” I’m not sure if there are any tips you could offer me but I’m desperately trying to work on something for my mom’s birthday (in 3 days) and while I could do it with a chain 3 (since I’m still new, do I put the chain 3 at the end of the row or the beginning? I figured if I just did the csdc like the pattern called for since many patterns call for this technique I’d be better off. Help, please!

    • 87

      Tamara Kelly says

      Hello Dominique!
      It might be the slippery yarn making it tricky. I would recommend grabbing some kitchen cotton or a wool blend – something not so silky – and practice on a little swatch! :)


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