Once a crochet chain is created, there’s a variety of ways that new stitches can be created from that chain. In this video, Mary Beth Temple demonstrates how to work into the front of a crochet chain.
When looking at a crochet chain, there is a front and a back. The front of the crochet chain looks like a column of Vs. The back of the chain has bumps for each chain that’s created. Mary Beth notes that each chain has a total of three legs – two legs to form the front of the chain and one leg to form the back of the chain. To crochet in the front of the chain, Mary Beth mentions that you can work under one leg of the chain, or two. She prefers to work under two legs of the chain, as this creates a sturdier edge.
Mary Beth inserts the hook into the front of the chain, at the center of the V, two chains from the hook. She notes that a crochet pattern will indicate where to start working your stitches into the foundation chain. For single crochet, which she is working in the video, typically the row will be started two chains from the hook. Once the hook is inserted, she works under two legs of the chain – one leg from the front of the chain and the leg from the back of the chain. She works a stitch into the chain.
For comparison, Mary Beth then works into the front of the chain by working under only one leg. She notes how the starting chain looks different whether you work under one leg or two. Most of the time, how you work into the front of the crochet chain comes down to personal preference and what qualities you’re looking for in the starting edge of your crochet project.