Tuesday, February 9

Start Crocheting without a Slipknot?!?

How do you start a crochet foundation chain? With a slipknot of course! Isn’t that the only way?

I thought so, but not according to Marianna from Romania. Here’s a video where she demonstrates a crochet chain stitch, but it’s the way she started that had me intrigued. She shows it three times, 1:00-2:20.

In a nutshell, you just hold your yarn taut with no knot, yarn over and twist (this makes a pseudo-knot), then hold twist, yarn over and pull through (to make the chain) – which results in this…


…instead of the “usual” method of making a slipknot and then yarning over and pulling through the loop for your first chain – which results in this…


It’s a little harder to see the first chain in the “YO twist” photo up top than when it follows the slipknot. Once there are three chains total, you can see the “YO twist” start just leaves a little extra loop at the very end, compared to the slipknot start.


So what’s the big deal? Perhaps not much. But since I’m a tester, I did make some quick swatches. They look essentially identical: both are 10 chains, then two rows of sc; the swatch with the purple clip uses the YO twist start; the pink uses a slipknot. And they’d look even more similar once the starting tails are woven in. (I usually crochet over the ends as I go, but I wanted to leave them out in this case).


But I can certainly feel a difference. Both swatches are nice and soft, except for where the slipknot is – a hard, firm lump right there. It’s a small thing (literally) but I think it’s great news that I can now avoid it, like when making slippers that otherwise end up with a hard slipknot lump right in the middle of the ball or heel!

I also made some swatches of 10 foundation sc and a row of sc: dark green clip shows YO twist start, light green shows slipknot start.


In this case, I didn’t just feel a difference; I could see one as well. Whenever I do fsc the “usual” way, i.e. starting with a slipknot, I end up with just a little bit of extra yarn at the start where I don’t want it. (This really bugged me while making my Hello Kitty Scarf.) Perhaps my technique is a little off. But with the YO twist start, for some reason, that “extra bit” just isn’t there.

So why have I never heard of, read, or seen this method before?!?

* * *

P.S. While watching another video I heard someone say “you always start with a foundation chain because… that’s really the only way to start anything when crocheting.” Nuh uh! How many more “secrets” are there out in the big world of crochet?!?


  1. This is an interesting way to start a chain! I will have to give it a try soon. Thank you for taking the time to photograph and share the comparison!

  2. And thank YOU for taking the time to stop by and leaving a note! : ) I still can't figure out why this method is so unknown -- I keep thinking there must be something HUGELY wrong with it, but if so, it certainly isn't obvious to me.

  3. That's awesome!!! I'm going to totally start doing that. I like that when she pulls out the chains, that there isn't a little knot in the yarn ... like I always have. Thanks for doing the comparison experiment!

  4. Alice, so glad you can use the info. And yes, here's to easier frogging of all our swatches! : )

  5. Thanks for posting that. Learning new little tricks like this make my day.

  6. 10 out of 10 for testing! I have been annoyed by these wretched knots for years, especially when it comes to finishing. Thanks so much.

  7. That is awesome! Thank you!

  8. I, too, hate those little knots, and nothing fires me up more than someone telling me, "But this is the way it's always done!" Thank you for this tutorial.

    1. Me too, Socal! "That's the way we've always done it" is NOT a reason, in and of itself, to continue. Not if there's a potentially better way!



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