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The Ultimate Stretchy Crochet Chain

a stretchy chain made of white yarn held over a scrubbed wooden tabletop

Basic old CHAIN STITCHES don’t stretch!
This is a perennial problem for both Traditional and Tunisian Crochet. But luckily, I’ve found a solution. Here’s how to make a STRETCHY CROCHET CHAIN.

Let’s get right into it!

a black crochet hook is held in the right hand while the left hand holds on to two chain sticthes.
  • With a slip knot and loop already on your hook, make 2 chain stitches

a black hook has been inserted into the first chain, there are two strands of yarn on the hook.
  • Insert hook into chain farthest from hook.

A yarn over has been added to the two strands of yarn on the black crochet hook.
  • Yarn Over

The Yarn Over has been drawn through the first chain, leaving two loops on the black hook
  • Draw loop through chain – 2 loops on hook

a second yarn over has been added to the hook. there are now three loops on the black hook again
  • Yarn Over again.

One loop is left on the hook. a small sticth has been made and is being held in the left hand.
  • Draw Yarn Over through both loops on hook – 1 loop on hook
  • (You’ve essentially made a UK dc / US sc st in the first chain)
  • Note: I’ll refer to this as a “double crochet” throughout this tutorial.

a yarn over has been added to the black hook. there are two loops on the hook
  • Yarn Over

a chain stitch sits below the black hook
  • Draw Yarn Over through loop to make a chain stitch

two black arrows point the two strands in the stotch below the chain just made

See these two loops?
The one on the right is part of the V on top of the double crochet just completed.
The one of the left is the SIDE of the same double crochet.
Once you have identified your two loops, carry on to the next step.

a black hook has been inserted into two loops on the previous crochet stitch
  • Insert hook through BOTH loops.

a yarn over adds to the loops on a black hook. there are now four strands of yarn on the hook
  • Yarn Over

two strands of yarn remain on the black crochet hook
  • Draw Yarn Over through both loops – 2 loops on hook

an added yarn over takes the loop count to three loops
  • Yarn Over

a crochet stitch sits below a black hook and is held by two hands
  • Draw Yarn Over through both loops on hook – 1 loop on hook
  • Double crochet complete.

black arrows superimposed on the photo point to dips in the completed stretchy crochet chain

Alternate between a chain and a double crochet by following steps 7 – 13.
Each full repeat gives you an additional stretchy chain. Always end on a double crochet.

See the little dip indicated by the arrows?
That’s where you’ll insert your hook to make your first row of stitches for your project.


5 thoughts on “The Ultimate Stretchy Crochet Chain

  1. Nice!! This makes a very decorative starting chain, as well. It is similar to the foundation sc starting row but it is certainly more decorative. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome, Gina!
      It creates a very pretty edge, indeed.
      I’ve been playing with it as a decorative edge on a few of my future patterns, and I can’t wait to unveil them!

  2. […] OK, so this is what you have in your hands if you followed my Stretchy Chain Tutorial. […]

  3. Cool. Must give this a try. Hmmm, is there a matching end row?

    1. Oooh, good question!
      In fact, there is!

      If you do one chain, turn your work and then run a row of crab stitch (reverse sc) along the sts in the last row, you get a matching rolled edge effect.

      I’ll add that to the list of future tutorials, for sure.

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