You may have noticed that many of my patterns start with what I call a Knotless Chain. What in the world is a Knotless Chain? Just as it sounds, a chain without a starting knot. Having proved itself, through many a crochet project, to be clean, reliable, and trustworthy, the Knotless Chain has now earned a tutorial of its own.First of all, credit where credit is due: the Knotless Chain was inspired by the Sloppy Slip Knot (found here at freshstitches). Thanks to Stacey Trock for her great tutorial and video.
To make a Knotless Chain, wrap yarn from left to right (or right to left if you're a left-handed crocheter), across front of hook and around back, bringing tail back over working yarn and towards you.
Grasp the place where the strands cross, and gently start chaining. (Don't tug on the yarn end or you'll turn your first chain into a slipknot.)
That's it - pretty simple, isn't it? Here's a little video for all the videophiles out there (sorry for the wonky lighting and focus - it was VERY cloudy when I shot this):
Tip for working into a Knotless Chain: After inserting your hook into the starting stitch (where the yarn tail is) wrap yarn end over top of hook before completing stitch.
And now for some practical applications. When can you use a Knotless Chain?
1. When working in the round, to make a smoother starting ring of chain stitches. Example: Knotless ch 6, join w/sl st to form ring, as in video above. Advantage: no bumpy knot!2. When working in the round, to replace a magic ring. Chain 2, and let the knotless starting stitch flip over so that a single strand is at the top and the crossed strands are at the bottom. Now you can begin to work into that stitch, just as you would into a magic ring.
Don't forget to wrap the yarn tail over the hook when making the first stitch in the "ring".
Advantages: this gives you a double strand of yarn at the core of your project. Also, the yarn end is pointing towards your stitches, and it's already been caught in the first stitch for extra security. If (like me) you're
paranoid concerned about the center ring working loose, you can wrap the yarn tail over your hook again at any time while making the first round, encasing it in even more layers of yarny security.
A note on stitch anatomy: the starting stitch of the Knotless Chain seems to have two strands only, with no "back bump". (Edited to add: There is actually a back bump - it's just twisted together with the back loop. Work your hook between the two strands to work into the back bump.) If you want to work into the top two strands, you'll need to carefully pick out which ones to use - but it can be done.
Smooth and secure, the Knotless Chain can be a great alternative start for many of your crochet projects. Try it out and let me know what you think.
|Shameless Product Endorsement :)|
(It really is the nicest yarn.)
Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting!
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