I learned about the single crochet foundation row as a means to bypass chaining and single crocheting at the beginning of a project but it recently occurred to me that any stitch could be done the same way. I'm sure this isn't a new concept but it's new to me so it's pretty exciting. I think the concept of a double crochet foundation row is actually more intuitive than single crochet and makes it easier to understand what you're doing in terms of building the stitches and the chain at the same time because it's a more involved stitch. With single crochet I tend to get lost along the way about where I'm inserting the hook and have to look it up every time I do it. Double crochet is much easier to complete in practice and you can easily see your mistakes if you forget to chain 1 because you'll see what looks like an increase instead of side by side stitches. (You could do this on purpose to make it turn if you wanted a shape instead of a long straight row.) I think it also makes it more clear how to progress after your foundation chain is complete because there's no question about which side is which because of the taller stitch.
Steps for double crochet foundation row:
- Chain 3 (this will act as your first DC)
- Yarn over and pull up a loop in the first chain (3 loops on the hook). You can work this in any part of the chain you want. Find what works best for you.
- Chain 1 (still 3 loops on the hook)
- Work a double crochet as normal (yarn over pull through 2, yarn over pull through 2 again)
- Then repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 except you are working into the bottom 'V' created by your chain 1 from the previous stitch.
Some tips for starting out:
- Use a multi-colored yarn to practice. I do this for most new stitches I'm trying out because it makes it very clear what you did as the colors change.
- Mark your chain 1's if you're unsure of where to insert the hook. This will help you get off to a good start.
- Turn your work to the side as if you're crocheting upwards instead of from right to left (if you're right handed) and turn your work so that you can see the left side (the bottom) which will make the 'V's stand out so you know where to insert.