Embroidery: How to do the Crochet Chain Stitch

Keeping in the theme of embroidery, this week’s technique highlights the crochet chain stitch! This embroidery technique allows you to easily create
outlines for shapes and motifs with a stitch that actually resembles the shape of
a knit stitch. Whether you outline an intarsia pattern or you create freeform shapes across a pillow or blanket, the possibility for using this stitch to introduce fun pops of color into your next project are endless. The beauty of this particular stitch is that you can really create curves and shapes, making it up as you go right on top of the surface of your knitted fabric.

And to help you embellish your knits, watch Kerin’s video tutorial on the crochet chain to get started!


The picture above is from the cuff of the Suzani Jacket which uses crochet chain stitches to create the stems of the flower motif. With the help of a bit of satin stitch and back stitch, you’re able to create amazing textures that add a lot of depth (and color!) to your project.

For me, the beauty of this particular embroidery stitch lies in its versatility. In addition to outlining motifs that are worked into your knitting or creating freeform shapes on top of your fabric, you can also use this technique to easily create vertical lines of duplicate stitch as it will match the right side of stockinette knitting! So if you’ve ever wanted to create a colorwork checkerboard effect with stripes, you can make that happen quickly and easily with the crochet chain stitch. Simply work stripes across your row to form the horizontal lines across your work. Then, at the end – simply crochet chain stitch the vertical lines up the fabric et voila! Vertical stripes without any stranding or intarsia!

Have you used this technique before? What are your favorite uses for embroidery?