Foundation stitch is one of the coolest, most practical concepts for crocheters. I learned Foundation Double Crochet from the Green Learn How booklet ten million years ago -- it's a way of adding double crochets at the end of a row in filet crochet to match increases made at the beginning of the row. But then I realized I could use it as the base row, that it is good for any kind of yarn, and that it can work with all kinds of stitches, including pattern stitches.
Interweave Crochet had a little article about the concept in their last issue, but they explained it differently than I do, so here's my take on it.
First, you have a chain row to start a project. Then you have the first row that you work into that chain row. Would it not be wonderful if you could combine the two rows and work them all in one swell foop? That is the foundation concept.
Foundation double crochet (fdc) looks the most like a row of double crochet, so it is easiest to start with. Here's how: Chain 3 to turn.
- yarnover/yo (because you're doing a double crochet)
- insert hook in last chain from the hook, yo, draw up a loop (3 loops on hook)
- yo, pull through ONE loop to make the chain stitch. (3 loops are still on the hook)
- look at the base chain stitch you just made -- see where it is
- finish the double crochet just like normal: (yo, pull through 2 lps) twice
That is one foundation double crochet. To make more fdc's, *yarnover, and insert the hook under two strands of the base chain you just made. Yarnover, draw up a loop, yarnover and pull through one loop (to make a new base chain), look to see where that base chain is, and finish off the double crochet. Repeat from * as much as you want.
You may want to stretch or ease how the stitches line up so they look straight.
Incorporating the base chain into the first row makes a wonderful, much better edge. PLUS, you are spared the torture of working into the initial chain row.
I'd love to hear how other people like this technique. It is really adaptable to other stitches, too. Do you have a pattern stitch you'd like to see worked as a foundation row? Let me know.