What is a Chain Space (ch-sp)?

By Rachel Choi – 108 Comments

Sometimes when you read a crochet pattern, it’ll tell you to work into a chain space (ch-sp). But what in the world is a chain space? Simply put, a chain space is any space/hole/gap in your work that is created by making a chain. The space is located below the chain.

Chain spaces can be created in numerous ways and can vary in size. Often times (but not always), a chain space is made by making a chain then skipping a few stitches on the row to make your next stitch. Chain spaces can be made by any number of chains, for instance you can chain 1 or you can chain 5 to create a chain space. In a pattern you may see a chain 5 space abbreviated as “ch-5 sp”.

Here is a photos of what a chain space can look like:
crochet chain space

Normally when you crochet into a stitch you insert your hook into the font and back loops of the stitch. But when you are instructed to crochet into a chain space, just insert your hook into the space/hole/gap (underneath the chain) to make your stitch.
crocheting into chain space

What this helpful? Let me know!

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  1. Judy Serrio says:

    I would like alittle bit more information on how many shells I am suppose to have when you do
    2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc in center of next shell? Are there 3 or 4 shells?

    Also would like more information on how to do : Slip stitch to center of lst shell, (shell over shell.
    chain 3, 7 tr in ch 5 sp, ch 3, shell over shell) 8 times.

    • April says:

      Id anyone help you out, or did you get this figured out? I am doing something similar and it looks all wrong.

  2. Sara Lesztak says:

    Thank you so much! I had begun a flower in a square pattern and got lost on row 4 when it switched to say to work into the chain space instead of the stitch. The devil is in the tiny details!

  3. Mary Builder says:

    in a pattern I am reading it say ch3 ch2 21dc ch4, (in the next ch space). Does this mean that I chain 3 then secure it in the next chain space, chain 2 and secure that in the same space, double crochet 21 and secure it in the same chain and then chain 4 & secure it in the same chain space.

  4. Michelle says:

    Need help with this instruction:

    (Inc dc, 3dc across, 3dc V stitch into next chain space)

    So do I dc across until the next chain space? Or is it just a dc in next three chains?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Michelle!
      It seems like you will repeat all of the instructions within the parentheses. Try contacting the designer of the pattern if you can for clarification as it isn’t completely clear in the instructions.

  5. Paula Dickson says:

    What does it mean when it says turn, 25sc, 8sc in 5sps

    • Rachel Choi says:

      It seems like it wants you to make a single crochet into each of the next 25 sc, then make 8 single crochets into a space that was created by chaining 5 on the previous row.

  6. AMANDA says:

    Hi ! I would like help on what gauge in pattern 8ch -2 sps = 4″ and 10 rows =3 3/4 means? Please

  7. Megan johnson says:

    What does this mean tr in first ch-1 sps, v-st in next ch-1 sps,tr in next tr

    • Rachel Choi says:

      It means that you will make a treble crochet into the first chain space, then a v stitch into the next chain space, and then a treble crochet into the next treble crochet stitch.

  8. Elspeth says:

    I have a pattern that states that, after joining a round with a slip stitch, before going into 2nd round, it says; ” 6 ch – 3 SPS. I can’t figure out what that means; can you help?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      That sounds like the stitch count for the round. You don’t have to do it again, it is just there so you can double check your work. You will have 6 spaces that were made by chaining 3.

  9. Lisa says:

    I’m having trouble understanding an instruction in a repeat and have searched online for days. I hope you can help me.
    The problem is in R3, but thought helpful to include R2. The finished picture is a wave pattern with no open spaces.

    R2: ch1, sc in first st, ch 3, sk next 2 sts, *sc in next st, sk next 2 sts, 7 dc in next st, sk next 2 sts, sc in next st**, ch 7, sk next 5 sts, rep from * across, ending last rep at **, ch 3, sk next 2 sts, sc in last st, turn

    R3: ch 1, sc in first st, *cl in next dc, [ch 1, cl in next dc] 6 times**, WORKING OVER CH-7 SP, sc in 3rd sk st, rep from * across ending last rep at **, sc in last st, changing color

    Does this mean to work into the chain 7 space? If so, with what sts? Also if I work “into” the space, seems to me there will be a large hole, multiple times down every row and that doesn’t match the picture at all.

    So confused and disheartened. Can you tell me what i’m missing?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Lisa! It doesn’t look like you are going to work into the ch-7 space, instead you’re working over it and into the stitch on round 1. When you did the chain 7 on round 2, you skipped 5 stitches on round 1. So you will work over the ch-7 space and “sc in 3rd sk st” that is on round 1.

  10. Sunnie Mitchell says:

    Thank-you SO much for this – the photos show just where to put the hook, and your text is clear and easy to understand. Very helpful, thank-you again!

  11. Rose says:

    Thank you for much for the help. After ripping out my row twice, I’ve finally got it! Much appreciated.

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