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Options for single crocheting in a chain

“Sc in each ch” is an instruction you’ll often see in a written pattern.

But exactly how do you crochet into a chain? It’s a great question, because there are actually two different options for crocheting into your chain stitches. I’ll show you both options and compare the finished look!

Meet your chain

When you crochet your chain (also called a ‘foundation chain’), it should look like this:


Yarn: Ella Rae Classic Wool, color #70

Hook: Knitter’s Pride Dreamz, size H (5.0mm)

It should look like a bunch of ‘V’s, laying on their side.

Does your chain not look like this? Let’s troubleshoot:

  • Look at the back… you might just be looking at the wrong side!
  • Is your chain forming a ringlet curl? That’s normal! Mine is just flat because I’m pulling on it. The ringlet will come out once you continue crocheting.
  • Is your chain zig-zag-y? This typically happens when you pause in between your chains, which allows the chain to twist slightly.

Okay… let’s do our first row!

Option 1: Crochet through the back loop only

Remember how we talked about those ‘V’s? The first option is to crochet only through the top half of the ‘V’ (also called the ‘back loop’):

back loop action

When you’ve completed single crocheting, your piece will look like this:

back loop finished

Option 2: Crochet through both loops

The second option is to insert your hook under the entire ‘V’ (also called crocheting through ‘both loops’):

both loops action

When you’ve completed single crocheting, your piece will look like this:

both loops finished

Comparing the two methods

Let’s look at the two options side by side:

comparison of ways to single crochet

As you can see, crocheting through both loops creates more of a ‘bump’, while crocheting through both loops is straighter along the bottom edge.

There’s no right way! And once you know the two options, you’ll be able to pick the one that best suits your project!


  1. LOVE seeing the results of both methods! I’ve also seen (and sometimes use) a third method – of crocheting into the back of the stitch, so the V ends up on the bottom and gives a “clean edge” to a scarf, for example. It makes it look like you have a single crochet stitch on the bottom. Do you ever use that method?

  2. Andrea G. aka SpringSplndr SAYS...

    I’ll play devil’s advocate, there is a third way. Crocheting into the back bump. This will leave you with the V’s on the edge thereby matching the V’s on your ending row. I like this way best when working into a chain because of the finished looking edge.

    • Thank you, Andrea! That’s not playing devil’s advocate at all… there are always plenty of ways! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Amy SAYS...

    Nice tutorial, Stacey. I think working into the foundation chain is one of the hardest things for new crocheters to grasp. Just where do you stick the hook?! My preferred method is kind of the reverse of crocheting through both loops. I turn the chain over and crochet under the “back bump.” I like the edge this produces. To me it looks more finished like the tops of a row of single crochets.

  4. Cheryl SAYS...

    There’s a third way that I use when I want an especially nice edge
    I crochet through the bumps on the back of the chain. That leaves the 2 loops on the bottom just like the top

  5. Maria Vazquez SAYS...

    I have two other ways I crochet into the foundation chain depending on the project and my mood. I will chain into the back loop and back ridge, with those two being on top of the hook as it’s inserted and the front loop being under the loop. A favorite way for me is to crochet into the back ridge only. The V’s will end up underneath the first row and will look more like the top of the last row of the project.

    • Thank you for adding those options, Maria!

  6. Donna SAYS...

    Rarely does anyone crochet through both loops of the chain, and its kind of awkward to do. Most people don’t use the Japanese method of the back ridge/loop either unless it is specifically called for.

    • Jennifer A Woods SAYS...

      I’m one of the ones who does crochet through both loops. It’s how my vintage instruction book showed. Fairly certain I’m not the only one to learn from an old book (now I think of it, it probably wasn’t that old when I learned, but I am 50, and I get that times do change). It also makes sense to use both loops, because those are the same two loops you’d crochet into if those chains were other stitches instead. This isn’t to say that it isn’t awkward, as you suggest. It is, for sure. I’ll probably try the other ways, just for fun. I may like them better. But it probably isn’t as rare you you might think for people to use both the front and back loops of the starting chain.

  7. Rae Haller SAYS...

    I crochet like Maria V. I’ve seen the “back bump” way, and it really does have a beautiful finished edge. Just my 2centa.