Once you have worked the beginning chain, you are ready to begin the stitches required to make any crochet project. These stitches are worked into the foundation chain. For practice, crochet six chains loosely.
When counting your chain stitches at the start of a pattern—which you must do very carefully before continuing—note that the loop on the crochet hook is never counted as a stitch and the starting slip knot is never counted as a stitch.
Now stop and look at the chain. The front looks like a series of interlocking Vs (see illustration 14), and each stitch has a bump or back bar at the back (see illustration 15).
You will never work into the first chain from the crochet hook unless your instructions state otherwise.
Depending on the stitch, you will work into the second, third, fourth, etc. chain from the crochet hook. The instructions will always state how many chains to skip before starting the first stitch.
When working a stitch, insert the crochet hook from the front of the chain, through the center of the V and under the corresponding bar on the back of the same stitch (see illustration 16a).
Excluding the first stitch, you will work into every stitch in the chain unless the crochet pattern states differently, but not into the starting slip knot (see illustration 16b). Be sure that you do not skip that last chain at the end.