How To Extend Crochet Foundation Chain – Free Tutorial

This quick tutorial will show you how to extend your crochet foundation chain after you have completed the first row. Useful for adjusting long foundation chains.

Long foundation chains. I feel the shiver running down your back when you read the first line of the pattern which instructs you to chain 299 or other obscene number! Crocheting a long foundation chain is not the problem, is it?

The real problem we face here is miscounting. When you think you have chained 299 stitches. Then you work the first row. And just as you get to the last couple of stitches, you realise that you are in fact two or three stitches short!

The dilemma is, whether to start again or try and squeeze extra stitches across the last few chains. We know that neither of these options are acceptable!

Let me save you all the curse words and show you how to extend your crochet foundation chain. Without having to squeeze last few stitches here and there. Without having to rip a single stitch out.


extend your crochet foundation chain tutorial

When To Extend Crochet Foundation Chain?

As I said above, extending your crochet foundation chain is especially useful when starting long starting chains. These could be for blankets, rugs, table runners or even crochet scarves worked lengthways.

It can be very disheartening when you miscount and come up a few stitches short. Realising this just as you are about to finish the first row.

The technique of extending crochet foundation chain is especially useful when designing or adjusting existing patterns. If you are naughty sometimes and “forget” to do a tension swatch before starting a project. You might go by the measurements rather than the stitch count.

Whichever technique of adjusting the pattern you are using, having the ability to extend crochet foundation chain for your project is a must have.

I have recently used the technique when crocheting a winter hat for my little boy. It was a simple ribbed beanie worked as a rectangle. After completing it you cinch one end together to make it into a hat.

Of course, the rectangle needs to be the right size for the finished hat to fit. And this is exactly the time I came up with the technique. I needed to extend the crochet foundation chain of this hat as I have not added enough stitches for a fold over brim.

how to extend crochet foundation chain

How To Extend Crochet Foundation Chain

Simply said, after you work your foundation chain and work the first row back, you add extra stitches at the end. Easier said than done? Not so much, this is a super easy technique. Everyone should know this technique if you do not want to be frustrated because you have to rip your project back to the very beginning.

Firstly, if you are unsure whether the amount of stitches is going to be enough, you need to do one thing. For this technique to work, you need to leave long tail end of the yarn before you start your foundation chain.

This will be the yarn you will use, if your foundation chain is not going to be long enough and you need to extend it. I would recommend leaving a long tail end on every project even if you are sure about the amount of stitches. I tend to do this for most of my projects when designing something new.

If you do not happen to use this tail end to extend crochet foundation chain, you can always use it to for sewing up your project.

Written Instructions

  1. after completing the last stitch into the last chain, do not pull the chain tight closed
  2. take the working loop off the hook
  3. insert your hook into the last chain stitch of the foundation chain
  4. pull up a loop through the last chain stitch using the tail end of the starting chain
  5. using the tail end, chain extra stitches which will be part of the foundation chain
  6. once you have enough extra stitches and extended the crochet foundation chain, fasten off
  7. place the working loop back onto your hook
  8. continue working stitches across the extended crochet foundation chain

You could also have the last chain of the foundation chain active and extend as you go. Do this until you reach the correct amount of stitches or measurement. Then fasten off the foundation chain and carry on with your project.

Video Tutorial

I know that some people are visual learners and prefer to follow video instructions. This is why I have also filmed a video tutorial. I will show you step by step how to extend crochet foundation chain of your project. Click HERE for the video or watch below.

YouTube video

Long starting chains are most usual for large crochet projects like blankets. I have designed a cosy Cottage Blanket that is worked in rows.

That means you will have to start with long foundation chain depending on the size you are making.

The pattern is free on my blog. I have written the pattern for twelve different sizes from lovey to king size. You can choose the size that suits you most and finally not have to worry about the long starting chain.

I hope you have found the above video tutorial helpful. If you think your crafty friends would find this tutorial useful too, why not share it with them? You can share a direct link to this tutorial on your social media. 

You might also like The Easiest Way To Join New Yarn In Crochet Securely.

Do not forget to pin this tutorial to your favourite Pinterest Board so you can easily find it later too. You never know when you might need it!

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About Veronika Cromwell

Hi, I’m Veronika! I design modern and wearable crochet garments, accessories and homewares. Grab your hook and find your next project!

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6 thoughts on “How To Extend Crochet Foundation Chain – Free Tutorial

  1. If I’m not sure that I’ve made the 300 or so chains, then I will just chain a few more to be sure. If I end up with too many, I just undo the slip knot and take out the extra chains.

    1. That works too! I find extending the chain useful when I am designing and working out the pattern.

  2. Excellent! I’ve been crocheting for more years than I can remember and am always looking for tips to make things easier – thank you!

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