Understanding Crochet Turning Chains

Understanding Crochet Turning Chains: A Guide with Stitch Chart

Crochet turning chains might seem like a minor detail, but they play a significant role in the outcome of your crochet project. They act as a foundation for new rows, providing height and stability to your stitches. Mastering the right number of turning chains for each stitch is essential for maintaining the correct tension and achieving a polished look in your work.

crochet turning chain

Why Turning Chains Matter

Turning chains are the initial chains you create at the start of a new row or round. They vary in number based on the height of the following stitch. Their purpose is to elevate your work to the appropriate height and mimic the height of the stitches you’re about to create.

Crochet Turning Chain CHart

This handy chart outlines the number of turning chains needed for different crochet stitches:

Stitch (US Abbreviations) Number of Turning Chains
Single Crochet (sc) 1
Half Double Crochet (hdc) 2
Double Crochet (dc) 3
Treble Crochet (tr) 4
Double Treble Crochet (dtr) 5


Stitch (UK Abbreviations) Number of Turning Chains
Double Crochet (dc) 1
Half  Treble (htr) 2
Treble (tr) 3
Double Treble Crochet (dtr) 4
Triple Treble Crochet (Trtr) 5

Remember, this chart serves as a general guideline. Always refer to your pattern instructions, as some designs might call for variations or special crochet stitches that require a different number of turning chains.

Tips for Perfect Turning Chains

  • Consistency is Key: Maintain a consistent tension while creating turning chains for each different crochet stitch to keep your work even.
  • Count Carefully: Ensure you count turning chains as one stitch when starting a new row unless the pattern specifies otherwise.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: If you’re unsure, practice making sample swatches with different turning chains to see their impact on the height of the stitches and how the crochet looks.

Final Thoughts

Crochet turning chains are the unsung heroes of crochet projects. They might seem small, but they make a big difference in the overall look and structure of your work. Understanding their role and mastering the appropriate number for the different crochet stitches will elevate your crochet skills and give your projects a polished, professional finish.

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