Working into the Starting Chain (First Row)

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One of the most common questions that beginning (and long time!) crocheters have is where should they insert the hook when working into the chain. 

The short answer is:  it doesn't matter as long as you are consistent. 

The longer answer is:  In most cases, the finished item looks more elegant when you work into the "back" of the chain, also described as the "hump" of the chain.

Let's look at the parts of a chain:

 

Working into the Starting Chain, Chain Parts 1

Check out the Chain:  Make a chain.  Looking at the "front" of the chain, here we indicate possibilities for hook insertion.

 

 

Working Under the Top Thread of the Chain:

 

Working into the Starting Chain, Chain Parts 2

Crochet Hook inserted under Top Thread: This leaves 2 strands of yarn at the starting chain border of your work.  This is considered the "easiest" place to insert your hook, and most beginners work the chain in this way.

 

Working Under the Two Tops Threads of the Chain:

 

Working into the Starting Chain, Chain Parts 3

Top Two Threads of Chain:  This leaves 1 strand of yarn at the starting chain border of your work.  It is trickier to get into the little space between the top 2nd thread and third thread.

 

Working Under the Back Hump of the Chain:

 

Working into the Starting Chain, Step 1

Step 1:  Turn the chain over so the "back" is now facing you.  Notice that the middle thread creates a "hump" on the back of the chain.

 

Working into the Starting Chain, Step 2

Step 2:  Insert the hook from right to left under the hump created by the middle thread.

Working the chain in this way, regardless of whether you are doing single crochet, double crochet or any other stitch, will create a border along the starting edge chain of your work containing 2 threads.  These 2 threads will exactly mirror the top of the last row of your work, resulting in a more elegant finished appearance.