Easy Fixes for a Foundation Chain with Too Few or Too Many Chains | #Crochet #TipsTuesday

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

When you’re crocheting a project with a long foundation chain – like a blanket or a scarf worked lengthwise – it can be so frustrating to discover (typically, at the end of the first row!) that you didn’t count your chains correctly.

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To prevent having to unravel my project or add on another piece of yarn, I always leave a very long yarn tail of 12” (30 cm) or more at the beginning of any project with a long foundation chain.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

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Easy fix for when you end Row 1 with too few chains

When I get to the end of the first row and find I need to add a few more chains to my project, I pull up the loop on the hook so that it is very tall and won’t unravel.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

Next, I remove my hook. I locate the slip knot I created at the beginning of my chain. I gently untie my slip knot until it forms a small loop.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

I place this loop on my crochet hook, and add as many stitches to the foundation chain as I need.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

(This time, I’m sure to check my count again before fastening off the foundation chain!)

Foundation Chain Too Long or Short 11

I finish by returning my hook to the loop and continuing across Row 1. I may waste a few inches of yarn when I’ve counted the chain correctly, but I save myself a lot of frustration when my chain is too short.

Foundation Chain Too Long or Short 12

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Easy fix for when you end Row 1 with too many chains

Sometimes, the opposite happens. I finish the first row and  find that I started with too many chains.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochetI locate the slip knot I created at the beginning of my chain.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

I gently untie my slip knot.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

I slowly unravel each extra chain until I reach the base of the last stitch of the first row.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

I hold the base of the last stitch in one hand and the yarn tail in the other and pull them gently apart.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochetThis forms a new slip knot and the end of my first row.

Easy fixes for a foundation chain with too few or too many chains on Underground Crafter #TipsTuesday #crochet

I hope you enjoyed this crochet tip! If you have a crochet question – or a tip of your own – leave it in the comments!

46 Comments

  1. Linda Peck
    May 27, 2015 / 8:49 am

    Thanks for this tip. There’s times I’ve miscounted too.. I think I have shared your link about unraveling if there’s too many chains. Sometimes I need to be shown. Then I kinda do a “well dah!”
    Thx again♡

    • May 29, 2015 / 1:36 am

      Glad it could help, Linda! It took me a long time to figure this one and I know all about that “well dah” moment!

      • Linda
        May 31, 2015 / 10:39 am

        I’ve just seen a post which left the edge of a striped afghan very uneven. I’m thinking the add on technique could be adapted and used here too. Ideas yet?

        • May 31, 2015 / 1:45 pm

          Linda, without seeing the actual blanket, I would probably recommend blocking an uneven edge or adding a border rather than adding stitches to a completed afghan. Hope this helps!

          • Linda Peck
            June 5, 2015 / 10:31 am

            Hi. It wasn’t my blanket and it’s now buried deep in posts on a fb group page. It was a stripped blanket and the stitches were simple double crochet.
            The problem was incorrect stitch counts and the person didn’t notice until 6 rows later. She asked for suggestions. And dreeded the thought of frogging it. I was thinking of adding on stitches in the same manner you added on to your foundation chains. But…she frogged it.
            It was just a thought. Thx. Linda.

  2. cindyzs/freespiritczs
    May 31, 2015 / 2:52 am

    wish i would have known this 5 months ago when i first started to crochet, lol!! i cant seem to count, maybe i should be going back to kindergarten, lol 😀 !!! this will be a life saver! (it is one reason i learned, finally, how to do the chainless foundation, but that cause a new problem cause i dont know really how to count those stitches, lol :D. i learned by watching youtube vids, and everyone that does vids, no one seems to do this as their base so i can learn the ins and outs of this!! i will have to keep searching, but in the mean time, know i can fix my mis-counting thanks to you!! no more avoiding chain stitches!! thanks 🙂

    • May 31, 2015 / 1:46 pm

      So glad it could help, cindyzs! Let me know if you have other crochet problems/questions you’d like to see answered on Tips Tuesday.

    • Phyllis Richardson
      October 14, 2015 / 12:54 am

      I was having a very similar problem and in order to help myself keep a better count I started placing stitch markers at every tenth stitch. This helped me a great deal and it might make it easier for you. When there was not a stitch marker for me to use (I keep a bunch of the scrap yarn) I just grabbed a piece of yarn and used it for my marker.

      • October 14, 2015 / 2:56 pm

        This is a great tip, Phyllis! I use a lot more stitch markers for knitting, but they are useful for crochet, too.

  3. Christina
    July 8, 2015 / 1:50 pm

    This is great information.. I can’t count how many times I have had to take out the second row because I miss counted.

    I am happy that I have found your website and the current CAL project.

    Thanks again..

    • July 10, 2015 / 12:04 am

      Haha, I had the same problem many times, Christina, so I’m glad to help out a fellow crocheter.

  4. Mimi S
    September 9, 2015 / 3:42 pm

    Loved this!! I have, through trial and error, learned this. Wish I had seen your tips long ago!! Also, I have a problem keeping long starting chains from twisting when you have to join them in a circle. To avoid that problem I make my chain and then work my first row of stitches without having joined. At the end of the first row I finally make the join as it much easier to see if the work is twisted or not. I use the beginning tail to sew the bottom of the beginning chain together. This has saved me a lot of frogging and headache!! Maybe this can help someone else avoid crochet troubles.

    • September 9, 2015 / 6:15 pm

      Great point, Mimi! I do the same, and for the same reason. (I guess it is something we learn from trial and error!)

  5. Mare Wise
    June 8, 2016 / 5:38 pm

    Thank you, this was so helpful

  6. terri
    June 11, 2016 / 11:59 am

    Brilliant!

  7. Eugenia Read
    November 10, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    My husband’s aunt taught me some tips and tricks as she taught me to knit and crochet years ago. This tip for too few or too many stitches has been used more times than I can count over the years. Thanks for sharing with others. I also use stitch markers or safety pins or bits of yarn to keep count of my foundation row.

  8. eliana
    January 10, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    thank you, you saved the project or at least my peace of mind

  9. Maureen
    June 18, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Oh thanks so much for your tips and the wonderful other comments that I just read! So helpful! Thanks everyone.
    Maureen Healy

  10. Anna
    January 9, 2018 / 3:22 am

    You have saved my life spent 2 evenings redoing crochet because chain was too long after I’d crochet into it … a lifesaver

  11. Lois
    May 30, 2018 / 1:32 pm

    What a lifesaver you are! After calculating the number of chains I needed for my project after finishing Row 1, I realized the project would turn out way too wide. I followed your instructions for reducing the number of chains and it worked perfectly! Thanks.

  12. Mahannah
    June 24, 2018 / 9:49 am

    I’m so glad I found your post. I will definitely bookmark it. It just saved me work on an afghan I had started. I had not left enough extra when I started but even with having to add yarn, it looks fine.

  13. Sarah
    October 16, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the tips they are very helpful, I have those problems all the time.

  14. DJ LanthierRismondo
    October 16, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    Great idea, thanks.

  15. Katherine Anderson
    October 16, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    Thank you so much for this great information. I often seem to have the foundation count off by a few stitches.
    Even if I count out loud while I am making the chain (which makes my kids look at me questioning way).

  16. Ruth
    October 16, 2018 / 11:07 pm

    What a great tip. Usually when I get toward the end of the chain I hold my breath and prayer that I have the right number. Now if I don’t I can fix it thanks to you…Thank you so much

  17. Brenda Maxey
    October 17, 2018 / 1:45 pm

    Thank you , thank you, thank you!

  18. Judith A Percio
    October 17, 2018 / 8:09 pm

    After making the short or over mistakes many times, I just add 10 stitches to the end of the chain row on EVERY pattern. If it is short, you have enough, if it is over, just undo the last few. This has saved many hours of redoing the chain!!!

  19. janet
    October 18, 2018 / 11:43 am

    Thank you that helps a lot done it to many times

  20. pauline
    October 25, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    I was short 2 chains, cant thank you enough

  21. Wanda Chorlton
    October 31, 2018 / 3:10 am

    Excellent tip about adding extra chains! Thank you.

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