Beginner’s Guide to Foundation Single Crochet

Ever wondered what a foundation single crochet is? Maybe you’ve seen the term in advanced patterns from top designers, and perhaps gotten a little nervous. Trust me, I get you. I first tried to learn to do foundation single crochet (fsc) when I was about thirteen years old. I failed—miserably. The instructions I tried to follow were purely written. No photos were given. Since I was not an experienced crocheter at the time, I just couldn’t get it to work. I finally gave up on the whole project.

I don’t want that to happen to you!

Maybe you feel like foundation single crochet is too hard, that you’ll never get the hang of it. This is a common feeling, and I understand! I was right there with you. However, when I did finally find this stitch, it became my go-to. I hardly ever start a pattern with chains now. Let me show you how fsc can be a help, rather than a hassle. First, I will tell you what exactly foundation single crochet is, and why I like it. Then, I will provide you with a detailed tutorial, perfect for beginners, that should get you using this new stitch right away!

How to Make Foundation Single Crochet

Foundation Single Crochet—What it is

Below you can see a picture of a small row of foundation single crochet. So what is this stitch? Basically, it is a chain row and a single crochet row combined. Instead of forming a chain row first, and then adding sc on top of it, you do them both at the same time. Intriguing? Keep reading to find out why I like this stitch so much.

Why You Should Use Foundation Single Crochet

You will always hear crocheters debate the use of foundation single crochet. Some say it is worthless—stick with tradition, and do a normal chain stitch. However, others say fsc is actually a useful new crochet technique that we should most definitely take advantage of. So who’s right?

I’ll be honest—I tend to side with those who are for foundation single crochet. In fact, I love fsc as a starting row. Here’s why:

1. It gets your chain row and single crochet row done all at once

Does anyone else out there hate that first row after the chain as much as I do? I don’t know about you, but it’s always a huge relief to me when I’m on to the regular stitch pattern. A chain is just SO annoying to stick a hook into! However, like I said earlier, foundation single crochet eliminates that pain. Your normal chain stitch and single crochet stitch is combined into one row. With each stitch, you create a chain and a sc at the same time. Let me tell you—it’s wonderful!

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2. It is extra stretchy

Another annoying thing about chains is that they tend to be tight. Even if you try really hard to work them loosely, they end up tighter than the rest of the pattern. In garments, this is especially annoying. If the neck is started with a chain row, it can be hard to fit over your head. Even in a scarf, you will see this. The first row will be very tight, and then the rest of the scarf will be slightly larger than the rest. So annoying. However, (I bet you can guess what I’m going to say…) foundation single crochet is super stretchy! It solves a problem that a chain stitch cannot solve.

3. Lots of “Big” Designers use it

Don’t just take my advice—I’m not the only one who loves fsc! I’ve done a lot of patterns from designers like Doris Chan and Robyn Chachula, who have their work published in Interweave Crochet Magazine, their own books, etc. And let me tell you—they almost always use foundation single crochet as a starting point.

Are you convinced yet? Trust me, once you get the hang of this foundation stitch, you won’t want to go back! It may take some getting used to, but I know you can do it. So grab a hook and lets get started!

More Stitch Tutorials:

Foundation Single Crochet Tutorial

Let’s get into the details of how to crochet the foundation single crochet stitch! View the video tutorial below, or keep reading for step by step instructions.

Step 1:

Ch 2.

foundation single crochet

Step 2:

Pull up a loop in second ch from hook.

foundation single crochet

Step 3:

Yo, pull through one loop. (This step forms the “ch” of the fsc row),

foundation single crochet

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Step 4:

Yo, pull through last 2 loops on hook.

foundation single crochet

You have now finished your very first fsc!

Now, you will see the hook pointing to a space below. That is the “ch” of the fsc stitch. It is the loop you will insert your hook into for the next step.

foundation single crochet

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Step 5:

Yo, pull up a loop in the “ch” space of the first fsc stitch.

foundation single crochet

Step 6:

Now it is basically the same as the first fsc stitch! YO, pull through one loop.

foundation single crochet

Step 7:

YO, pull through last 2 loops.

foundation single crochet

And there are your first two foundation single crochet stitches! Pretty neat, huh? Now all you have to do is repeat steps 5-7 for as many fsc as you want!

foundation single crochet

Here is my row of fsc. As you can see, I have done my chain and single crochet row all at once.

foundation single crochet

In this picture, you can see the tops of the sc—it looks exactly like a normal row!

foundation single crochet

That’s all there is to it! As you keep practicing this stitch, it will get easier and easier. Don’t give up, even if it’s a struggle at first. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to help! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for lots more crochet inspiration!

Related Tutorial: Learn how to block your crochet projects!

Happy crocheting!

— Rachel 🙂

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