How to Crochet: Foundation Single Crochet (fsc)

By Rachel Choi – 88 Comments

The foundation single crochet (fsc) is a stitch that can replace the foundation chain and the first row of single crochets in your work by completing them at the same time! This is also known as chain free crocheting!!!

But what’s the point?

  • Often times crochet foundation chains are tighter than the rest of the work, but with fsc it will have the same tension without having to use a larger hook.
  • With some yarns (such as boucle) it is hard to see the stitches in a traditional foundation chain, but with fsc you don’t have to crochet on a chain.
  • Even if you prefer making a traditional foundation chain. You can use fsc to add extra stitches to your work without having to take the whole thing apart if you accidentally miss count the number of chains.
  • It’s faster if you do it right! Being able to complete a chain and a row of single crochets at one time can save you time.

Here is a picture tutorial for making the foundation single crochet. This tutorial is for both right and left handed people. For left handed pictures, roll your mouse over the image and it will change for you.

Step 1: Start with a slip knot on your hook and chain 2.





Step 2: Insert your hook into the second chain from your hook (which is also the first chain that was made)



Step 3: yarn over (wrap the yarn around your hook)



Step 4: pull the strand of yarn though one loop on your hook (you should now have 2 loops on your hook)



Step 5: yarn over (wrap the yarn around your hook)



Step 6: pull the strand of yarn though one loop on your hook (you should now have 2 loops on your hook) Note that you just completed the chain portion of the stitch.



Step 7: yarn over (wrap the yarn around your hook)



Step 8: pull the strand of yarn though the final 2 loops on your hook (you should now have 1 loop on your hook) Note that you just completed the single crochet portion of the stitch.



There you have it, your first foundation single crochet stitch! Take a good look at it, the chain is on the bottom and the single crochet is on top of it. This is important to see for knowing where to insert your hook next. Here is how to add more stitches:

Step 9: Insert your hook under the 2 loops of the “chain” portion that was made in the previous stitch. It should seem like your hook is between the chain and the single crochet. It may be easier to see where to insert your hook if you hold your work sideways or upside down.




Repeat steps 3 – 8 to complete the stitch. You can make a row as long as you desire. This will replace the foundation chain and first row of single crochets in a piece of work.

Here is what a row of fsc looks like!




If you need help with making a foundation single crochet, let me know and I’ll love to help!

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88 Comments

  1. marion says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I am from Melbourne, Australia and I have a lot of your free patterns and I love them. I have just read your FSC. What a great idea as I seem to never have enough space when I work into the chain foundation. I am looking forward to trying it out. I was wondering if you have ever thought of having a special page for printing the patterns.
    It often takes a lot of printing just for a small patterns. Just a thought. I love your site. I guess you are enjoying warmer weather now and we are in the middle of winter. We get very hot summers so I really don’t mind the winter. Cheers for now, Marion

    • Rachel says:

      Hey Marion!
      I plan on making the printer friendly version some time in the future, but I just have to get the time to make a printer page for all the patterns and tutorials that’s on the site. There are so many, it’s overwhelming to go through it all.

    • Jean Barnard says:

      I do print preview and see what pages I really need to get the pattern. Say for instance the pages total 16 but when you look at the different pages, your pattern is just on page 3 through 6. Then you put 3-6 and click on pages in the print 2nd window and hit print and it will only print 3 through 6. This saves a lot of ink and paper.

      Hope this helps

    • Christine says:

      Hi Marion,
      I too am from Australia (Newcastle/Maitland country area) What I do is copy and put patterns into a document then I make the pictures smaller and the printing to about a size 14 and spread it out a bit to make it easier to read and see. I to have many of Crochet Spot free patterns. I am going to try this new one the foundation chain row. I hope it works out. Christine

  2. marion says:

    Hi Rachel, Thanks for your reply. I am 73 years of age on Wednesday and not long ago I started crocheting again after many years. I am really enjoying it and I have a special folder for all the patterns I have printed from your site. I just have to remember that your sc is our dc and your dc is our trb. but I am used to it now. Thanks, Rachel, Cheers, Marion

  3. marion says:

    Sorry Rachel, It’s me again. It is3.15am ( can’t sleep) and I am trying to do the fsc. I am fine until wanting to make it longer. I put my hook under the two loops of the chain (I think) lol and then I have three loops on the hook so when I put a loop over the hook to pull through there are three loops on the hook instead of two. OOPS. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong. Sorry to be so dumb but I have tried it a few times. Thanks Rachel, Marion

    • Rachel says:

      Hey Marion!
      No worries, I love answering questions :)
      After you put your hook under the 2 loops of the chain, you should yarn over and pull the strand of yarn though the 2 loops of the chain that is on your hook. Then you should have only 2 loops on your hook.
      I probably confused you in the tutorial when I said to pull through one loop on your hook, but the “one loop” referred to the 2 loops of the chain that’s on your hook.
      I hope that helps, let me know if you still need more help.

  4. marion says:

    Yes that was the problem I was just picking up one loop the the chain. I will go to bed happy now. lol. Thanks a lot for your help.

  5. Melissa says:

    This looks great! I’ll have to give it try. My foundation chains always seem to be too loose, leaving gaps. If I don’t have to actually do one, that should help.

  6. Carmel says:

    Thank you for talking about the fsc! I learned it for a particular pattern and have loved it ever since! I had to track down tutorials for it online since I did not see directions in any of the books I have read so far… and it took a couple tutorials for me to finally get it. One of the best was a video where the person used a very very large hook (possibly an S!), which made it very easy to see where to insert the hook at each stage.

    Thank you again for mentioning the stitch, I think it was not in my books because it was deemed difficult for beginners or something, but it makes life so much easier!! :)

  7. Mary Ann says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I’m really enjoying your blog.
    Here is my problem – I can follow your instructions and do the FSC correctly, but mine always ends up with a curve. It seems the part that makes the chain is shorter or tighter than the rest. I’ve tried doing the first step very loosely, but I’m still getting a curve.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Mary Ann,
      I actually get a bit of a curve too when I use small hooks. But once I put a row of some other stitch on top of the foundation it straightens out. With or without a curve, the bottom should still be more “elastic” than an ordinary foundation chain.

  8. Mary Ann says:

    Thanks so much Rachel. I’ve been ripping out once I see the curve. I will try again and this time just keep on going and see what happens. Thanks again for your quick response.

  9. Sowmya Menon says:

    This is really useful. I knew this stitch existed but not the many advantages you have listed above. Can’t wait to try it out.

  10. lynne says:

    I have just seen this stitch for the starting chain, with a bit of practise I will get better at it, as soon as I done the second row I knew that I will be using this all the time, just have to learn to get out of my old ways. much nicer finish, thank you

  11. Cat says:

    That is so kewl how you fix the pics for us lefties!

  12. Margaret Garland says:

    Thank you so much for the assist to us lefies. I’ve spent so many years making the transition from right-hand to left in my brain that it looks odd to see it done for me. Many years ago, I taught myself how to crochet from a small book I got at Woolworth’s. I would look at the b/w picture. Then, do the opposite with my left hand. It took awhile, but I’m still crocheting 45 years later.

    TG for the Internet where such info as yours can be found and one can even watch a video for a how-to.

  13. stacie says:

    Hello Rachel,

    I was searching for fcs and your site popped up. Your tutorial is great, but I am still having a problem (I think) when working into the chain just made (that still has a the top, bottom and back ridge/hump, which two loops should I be working through? I have seen a few videos, one said to work into the “v” where the back ridge is on the back side of the hook. Other videos showing working into the second chain from hook (after chaining 2 to begin fsc) they pick up the top loop and back ridge but the stitches after that I can not tell what they are working into. I am wondering if it matters as long as you go through any two loops? I understand that with this stitch you must working into two loops, but which ones *smiles*

    Thanks for your patience,
    Stacie

  14. Jan says:

    A friend showed me this in a crochet book she has, but it sounded like you would need 3 hands to do it! I have checked out some other of your tutorials….You’re the greatest! They are easy to understand and the pics are very clear. Much more helpful than any other tutorials I have seen. THANK YOU!

  15. Namiko says:

    I’m a self-taught crocheter (hooker? Ha!) from childhood so I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of these cool tricks but no more! This is incredibly cool and very useful, for the reasons already stated. I’m assuming that you can create foundation double crochets by this method as well? Or will it not work?

  16. Dawn says:

    Wonderful, Rachel! Like Namiko above, I am a self-taught crocheter and it has been hard to find good tutorials (I learned from the back of the crochet magazines). You have made this so easy to do, I must bow and scrape before you..lol..I’m not worthy…lol…that sort of thing. Seriously though, your tutorials are the best out here is the crochet world, Rachel, and I’ve looked (and looked, and looked). Now, I can stop looking and just stary right here at your web site.

    Thank you so much!

    Dawn

    PS Right now, I need the free patterns and tutorials and you have been kind enough to make them available. I know you need some financial help for your web site, so as soon as I can, I will buy from your store or send in a donation to your web site. Thanks again. Dawn

  17. Ladee says:

    Rachel~I, too, must thank you for the free patterns. I have been crocheting winter items and sending them out to Pine Ridge Reservation. Without people like you who allow us to use your patterns for charity purposes I would not be able to do that, as I don’t buy online (I already have ID problems). It has also allowed me to learn to make some things I had no idea about before! BIGGGG thank you to you!

  18. Ruby Murphy says:

    Rachel-I have struggled to learn the foundation sc and finally have it down; but the pattern I am working on is a vest that states work this stitch 58 times to go around the arm hole. How do I attach the fsc to the already made crochet item. I have been crocheting for 60 years and have a hard time learning new things but after trying 5 other instructions pages you finally showed me I could do it. Thanks

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Ruby, maybe the pattern is telling you to sew the fsc onto the edge of your sleeve? Normally the fsc is made first and other stitches are crocheted on top of it. I’m not sure how your pattern works, so if you can ask the designer of the patten directly, he/she could probably give you a better answer.

  19. Susan says:

    Thanks for the fsc! Wish I had found it 2 weeks ago when I was having a hard time getting the chain and the 1st row to come out with the same #. Come to think of it, the 1st row was hdc. Can you do that without a chain? Also, I just printed out the directions for getting the wpi. All so helpful!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Susan, sure you can do this for hdc too. Since this stitch has both the chain and single crochet portion, you can replace the single crochet portion with the half double crochet.

  20. Sundaye says:

    Hi Rachel, This fsc looks and sounds great. Looks like it would be great for leg warmers too. I was wondering if there is a was to do an elastic type stitch like this at the top of a leg warmer. Since the patern starts at the bottom and works up? Thank you …your site is wonderfu.

  21. Bronwyn says:

    What a wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much!
    I am following a pattern for socks in the March/April 2011 issue of Crochet Today! (p. 28) and just as Ruby above mentioned, my pattern is telling me to “FSC 27″ to make the heel opening. The heel opening builds from the toe and foot. The toe and foot are entirely SC. Can I just build off of what I have? How?

  22. Susan says:

    I just used this method substituting a hdc for a throw. What a difference! So much easier than using a chain. Thanks again, Rachel.

  23. [...] the foundation single crochet (fsc). But what if the base is made up of double crochet [...]

  24. Linda says:

    Thanks!

  25. Liv says:

    Rachel, words cannot express…learning this has revolutionized my crochet experience! I hate, hate, HATE working into the chain!!! And I always do it too tight or then I overcompensate and make it too loose, so my pieces always look wonky. This is amazing! I put off starting new things because I hate the first row so much, this is a lifesaver! When I learned how to do it, I called my mom and when she answered I said “What’s the worst part of crochet?” and without skipping a beat she said “Well, the first row, obviously.” I told her I have the solution, thanks to you!

    Now, if only the lightbulb would go on for broomstick lace. :) I can’t seem to do that without fumbling and getting frustrated and giving up in a fit of rage!

  26. Kate says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! Starting my very first Doris Chan design today, and, as I’m sure you know, she loves using Fsc to start her work . . . now thanks to this tutorial, I can continue on! :)

  27. Susan Preston says:

    Oh Thank You Rachel! This was perfect. I am so grateful you directed me here, it was exactly what I needed! I’ve tried to learn from other sites and videos but when I did your steps I said to myself, ‘this is it? This is EASY!’

  28. Bronwyn says:

    Please help!
    I am following a pattern for socks in the March/April 2011 issue of Crochet Today! (p. 28) and just as Ruby above mentioned, my pattern is telling me to
    “FSC 27″ to make the heel opening
    The heel opening builds from the toe and foot.
    The toe and foot are entirely SC.
    My question is, Can I just build off of what I have? How?

    • Rachel says:

      Bownwyn, I’m not familiar with the Crochet Today patterns. But if it’s telling you to make a fsc, this tutorial will show you how. As for building off of what you have, you can give it a shot, but again I’m not familiar with the pattern so I wouldn’t know how to give advise for that.

  29. Linda says:

    Oh…my…heavenly…stars! Part of the reason I avoid crochet is the dadgum chain. Thank you!

  30. [...] Instructions: fsc=Foundation single crochet SK= Solomon’s Knot (counts as 2 stitches, chain should be 1 inch long) Ech= Extended crochet [...]

  31. Candace says:

    Bronwyn, without looking at the pattern (so this may be completely wrong) and simply going by my own experience with socks, you would be branching off from the main body of the foot and creating the stitches that would go around your ankle. What happens is you make the fsc’s starting with the loop still left on your hook as if you would if you’d started from the beginning of the tutorial (except you’ll have a partially finished sock hanging off the end instead of just a yarn end). Then you’ll probably connect it at the other end, probably with a sl st.

    I hope this hasn’t come too little too late.

  32. Sherrill says:

    Good tutorial. Thx!

  33. Lori says:

    This technique is great for the market bags I’ve been making. It saves me a lot of work.

  34. Paula says:

    I love this! I always have trouble with the first row in the chain….this will improve everything I make from now on. Thanks!

  35. Emily says:

    Do I use the FSC just like I would a traditional chain? For example, if I need to chain 75, do I just FSC 75? How would I use it to start a ripple afghan?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Emily, the fsc replaces the beginning chain (the chain 75 in your example) AND the first row of single crochet stitches. If your ripple pattern starts with a row or chains and a row of single crochets then you can use it to replace the first row.

  36. Krystel says:

    Hello Rachel,
    I would like to make the “Abydos vest” (Doris Chan), but the instruction says:
    fsc 37, then Row1 (RS).
    how is it possible to make a fsc and then work through it as a RS???
    as I know, after making a fsc, we should turn the chain in order to have the sc on top, and then work the pattern through them. if we do so, then Row1 should be WS, not RS.
    I’m looking for an answer to my question since few months. I hope you’ll help me.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Krystel, the RS can be any side the designer indicates. You will work into the fsc as you normally do and turn as you normally do. If row 1 is suppose to be the RS of the work, then it is the RS of the work. The RS can typically be determined by the orientation of the stitches, unless otherwise indicated in the pattern like in the one you’re working with.

      • Krystel says:

        thanks a lot for your quick reply.
        I have one more question: after making the fsc, do you usually turn the chain in order to have the sc on top and work through them? or you work through the foundation stitches( which keeps the RS of the fsc)?

  37. Nita says:

    I have been crocheting for 65+ years and love it, especially all the wonderful new things I have learned from Crochet Spot. I am a doll collector and basically I make outfits for dolls from 5″ to 35+”, and I sometimes make small items for Christmas presents. Rachel, I thank you and people who make comments regarding things they have learned. After mastering crocheting by a pattern, I started making my own patterns for dolls of odd sizes. Sometimes I goof and have to start over. Then sometimes I turn out a Cinderella. I am also a writer, and have numerous other interests, but with your help I have devoted my “spare” retirement time to my crocheting. Even a senior citizen can have fun, especially if they share their lives with you and all your members of Crochet Spot.

  38. Lizzie says:

    Rachel…
    I have been crocheting for years and I just love finding new patterns and if they are free I love them even more…I was so happy to find your site, you are in my neck of the woods. I live in South Jersey in a little town called Egg Harbor City…You may have driven through my little city on your was to AC if you came down the White Horse Pike. Anyway, I have tried to get this chainless foundation working for me, is that the same as your fsc?? I find if I work at something long enough, eventually the light will come on and I get it. Do you know the Adjustable Ring Method of starting anything crochet in the round, like a Granny square. It took me a little time to master this trick, but it is worth it, no more chain 4 and join with a sl st for me. Well, I have rambled long enough. Again, Thank you for being out there in cyberspace, and Happy Hooking! Lizzie

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Lizzie, yes we’re practically neighbors! The fsc is the same as the chainless foundation. It’s great for projects where you’d prefer not to start with a super long chain and then crochet into it. The adjustable ring is a fun trick as well :)

  39. Zeinab says:

    Hi,
    This is very useful for me, Thanks :-)

  40. Bernice says:

    Hi! I’m having trouble understanding directions. What does fsc a multiple of 8 plus 2. I’m still a beginner.

  41. Bernice says:

    Hi! I’m having trouble understanding directions. What does fsc a multiple of 8 plus 2 mean? I’m still a beginner. Do you just make 10 fsc?
    Thanks

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Bernice, a multiple of 8 is any number that can be divide by 8 evenly, so that’s…8, 16, 24, 32, 40, etc.. So you’ll make however many fsc you want to get the length that you want your piece to be (as long as it is a multiple of 8). Then you’ll add 2 more fsc.

  42. donna says:

    Rachel,

    I just joined your site.I was looking for instructions and your site was the 1st for me to choose. the words put me off a little but the pics just hit home. i needed this stitch as a requirement for a multile stitch scarf. i probably will use it as a gift or charity.
    A little about me: I’m 53(just) ,I learned to crochet from my grandmother when I was only nine, she also thought me tatting but I’m sorry to say I’ve forgotten how. But i still have my crocheting which is a form of art that will never leave my family. :)
    I’m sure I’ll be back soon.
    donna

  43. mari says:

    just found this to better understand,,, you did a great job an I am excited to start a project that starts out like this. Thanks for posting this.

  44. Paula says:

    I keep trying this, and maybe one day I’ll get it.
    The pictures and instructions make it easy to understand, but mine keeps rotating and then I can’t hold onto it. I think it’s just me! Thanks for posting these, at least I know I’m no the only one having trouble.

  45. Erin says:

    I have tried so many times to learn this stitch: I’ve visited web sites, tried Youtube, and even bought a book for beginners. I just couldn’t get it! But I looked at your directions and I finally did it! You took the confusion out of this stitch for me! Thanks so much!

  46. Susan says:

    I left a comment on another stitch stream requesting to find this exact stitch. I just had to research a little further on your site. I’m very excited to have found it. Thank you!

  47. sandi says:

    Rachel, this website rocks! I just found it tonight and thanks to you, I finally was able to understand how to do the fsc.
    Thank you soon much!

  48. Lizzie says:

    Once you get the hang of this IT’S GREAT!!! I love that the beginning of my piece is the same as the end. It just looks more finished. Thank You so much for your step by step instructions. And that why I’m a premium member. I love this site!

  49. Miriamr says:

    thank you for the instructions. It is still amazing to be able to quickly look up something on line. I have crocheted for years but never used this before for some reason. I like this over the chain and I will be doing foundation from now on because of the obvious advantages!

  50. Nita Owenby says:

    Hi Rachael, I have been practicing the Foundation Single Crochet for weeks and I have not “got it” yet. I know where I always goof up. It is about the 3rd or 4th step when I have to go through two threads to pick up. I have been crocheting since I was old enough. My late older sister taught me. I collect dolls and probably have 300-400. I stopped counting about five years ago. It took too much time. I sew about half of their outfits and crochet the other half. I gave up on knitting. To me, it’s like trying to learn how to eat with chop sticks. I can’t do that either. But, alas, I will keep struggling with the Foundation stitch. I’m not one to give up.

    I would like to tell you one crochet job I did, so you won’t think I am complete stupid. I came into ownership of a very old doll (composition has a few small cracks, mohair I washed, untangled one hair at a time, trimmed and designed into a beautiful style, one cloudy eye, etc. She has on a white dress and bonnet of crocheted thread in a beautiful old fashioned pattern. Apparently mice had made a cozy nest out of two pieces of her bonnet. I actually studied the crochet design and re-crocheted the holes with a pale off-white thread and you cannot tell that it has ever been damaged and repaired. I have repaired and replaced just about every part of a doll, but I do not attempt putting in or replacing eyes. I would have to give it a lot of thought before I would take $500 for the old doll. In my opinion, the gorgeous, delicate crochet work of the dress and bonnet are so unique, they, in my opinion would be worth more than $500 without the doll.

    Thank you so much for your letters and the information you send. You are the best and I have learned many new stitches from you. The only thing I would really like to learn now is how to crochet different kinds of trims on my doll outfits.

    Love in Christ, Nita

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