Long Starting Chains Made Easy!

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Or at least easier! There are many gorgeous patterns out there that start off with a long, long… long chain. We’re talking 100, 200, 300 chains or more! There are strategies to keep track (stitch markers are #1!), but mistakes in counting happen. And is there anything worse than getting to the end of the first row and finding out you’re just 1 or 2 chains short? This method is one quick and easy solution!

Let this quick crochet tip change your life - Long Starting Chains Made Easy (or at least easier!) Video tutorials on Mooglyblog.com!

Long Starting Chains Made Easy – Right Handed

Long Starting Chains Made Easy – Left Handed

As Seen in This Video (click for more info)

In words…

When you start a long chain for a project, make the slip knot loosely – pinch it with your fingers if needed to keep it in place as you begin chaining. Then, when you think you’ve chained enough… chain a few more! The longer the chain, the more extras I’ll make.

Finally, work that first row. When you’re ready to finish your project, weaving in ends and such, then undo the slip knot, and carefully pull out the extra chains. You can use your yarn needle to make a knot at the base of the first stitch, or just weave in the end, and done!

The most important thing here is to make that initial slip knot loose, so you can pull it apart later with your yarn needle. It’s fiddly at first, but it has saved me hours of grief!

It’s also a great trick for when I’m designing something new, and I know the general width of the project I want, but I’m not sure how many chains I’ll need to get started. I just chain to the width I want, plus a few extra for a margin of error, and then start crocheting. Then I can go back and get the chain count when I’ve got the first row established! If you are designing your own project, it’s a great way to get started without the stress!

Thanks for watching!

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  1. 7


    This seems kind of obvious, but I’m so glad you pointed it out! I can def see how it’s helpful with blankets and similar unruly gigantic chains. I also just learned the foundation crochet stitch–between these two new tips, my whole starting-project-world is getting rocked! :)

  2. 9

    Marilee says

    Great Idea! And THANK YOU for always including text content in addition to your videos. I find videos inconvenient to watch (probably bc I’m usually on mobile), so I always skip to your text (which is always clear & concise!). :)

    • 10

      Tamara Kelly says

      I try – occasionally I have overlooked it, but I’m trying to do better every time! :) Thank you Marilee!

  3. 13

    Tiffany says

    Or if you’re doing a pattern that has a specific repeat, just count that many, over and over again. I do a ripple blanket that has 14+3 repeat, so I just count 1-14 over and over in my head until I get the chain to be about as long as the blanket should be, then I add 3!

  4. 17

    Michael says

    Fantastic idea! Especially for a beginner like me. It’s people like you posting tips like this that make crocheting more accessible. Thank you.

  5. 21

    Sue says

    Brilliant, obviously itll work best with smother threads but I can se it being really useful so long as yarn isnt too flufy. Video & written instructions are greatx.

  6. 23

    Sandra says

    Thank you for this great tip.!!!
    My question is if the pattern calls for SC in the second row, how do you know how many SC’s you need to work without counting? The third row starts the pattern, so only then you would be able to see if you have too many sc’s!!! I don’t understand how you knew you had too many stitches on the sc row!!!
    I don’t know if I am clear enough on this, pls help me understand . I am a novice crocheter, maybe that’s why!!!
    Thank you!!!

    • 24

      Tamara Kelly says

      Hi Sandra!

      You still have to count your stitches in the first row. But stitches are typically a lot easier to count than chains, particularly if it’s not just a row of plain sc, but something with a stitch repeat. I just made a few sc and called that row “done” for purposes of demonstration for this video. :)

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