Turning Chains – Basic and Alternative

When you create something, you will do one of two things: You will work in rows, or you will work in the round. When you reach the end of the row, you will need to chain a predetermined amount of stitches to get to the height you need to create the row. These videos will show you HOW many stitches and WHEN they are appropriate for use. If you just start making the stitches with no turning chain, you will end up with weird divots where there should not be and the goal is to create a square or rectangle type look. In order to get those top corners square, turning chains are needed. So in order to get your hook up to the correct height so that you can then move your hook down and begin crocheting into the tops of the stitches from the row you just created, you will need to utilize turning chains. When working in the round, you will create your circle (Lesson 5 is on working in the round) and then join your yarn to the first stitch of the round, create a turning chain and move on from there. Different patterns utilize different turning chains in different ways, and they should say in the pattern whether the turning chain counts as a stitch or it does not. Pay attention or your stitch count will be off. Take a moment and watch the videos and I believe you will leave with a firm grasp on how to create both types and their uses within patterns!


In my basic turning chains I DO skip an extra stitch compared to what other people do. I do this because if we’re being technical, and you are counting the turning chain as a stitch, then it should be the same in the foundation row. When I crochet normally, however, I use the alternative turning chain method. Both ways ARE correct. As long as you come to the correct stitch count, it does not matter how you get to the end result. I, personally, like the alternative method because it closes my stitches better at the ends of my rows and it allows me to have a more invisible seam when I am crocheting in the round. I thought it best to teach both ways though.


Basic Turning Chains – when the turning chain is counted as a stitch

This video is on BASIC turning chains



Alternative Turning Chains – when the turning chain

is NOT counted as a stitch

This video is on ALTERNATIVE turning chains




Print this entry


2 thoughts on “Turning Chains – Basic and Alternative”

  1. Awesome lesson. I having been trying to learn crochet for the last 3 months or so with still very sloppy work. Your series has taught me so much already. I would love to be able to learn more from you after this series is over. Your explanations are very clear and being able to watch you complete the instructions is really putting it altogether for me. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and love of crochet with us.

    1. I am SO happy to hear that this series is helping someone! That was my goal! Please don’t be afraid to reach out to me in any way you feel comfortable. I am very happy to help you if you have questions. My goal is to get you crocheting! If you are at the end of lesson three, or even on step ONE of lesson three, I can help you to follow simple patterns!


Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear your feedback!