How do I make turning chains?

Q:  When ever I crochet, my turning chains are a mess – sometimes just on one end.  What am I doing wrong?  When it says chain two and turn, do I take the hook out and reposition it, turn the work around but not reposition the hook or perhaps click MY heels three times and turn around?  Nothing I do fixes it. (L. Harris)

A: The turning chain should be made without removing the hook from the work (or yourself from your chair). At the end of a row, simply continue to work, making the designated number of chain loops.  Then just turn the work backwards, so you are looking at what was the “wrong” side of the row just finished. 

Your chains will look neater if:

  1. You make them fairly loosely, corresponding to the size of the loops evident in your other stitches.
  2. You always turn the work in the same direction.  If you find that the working yarn is looped over the work after your turn, simple pass the working yarn around the hook in the opposite direction so it is correctly positioned at the back of the work and ready for the next stitch.  Be careful not to wind the working yarn around and around the chain, but carry it in the “unwinding” direction for your work.  This will vary for left and right handed crocheters, and depending on the direction of the turn you choose to do.
  3. Remember to follow the designer’s instructions as to whether you will then work into the first stitch of the new row, or count your chain as the first stitch and work into the second.

It’s also possible to make turns without chains and several good video demonstrations exist online.  One can easily do a Google search for “crochet chainless turn how to” and then watch video demonstrations of the various methods. A caveat: the quality varies greatly from one demonstration to another and it’s best to watch several and glean the useful information from each.