Tunisian Crochet – Foundation Chain & Foundation Row


Tunisian Crochet Foundation Chain & Foundation Row Tutotial_Btrix Dsigns

The Foundation Chain (fch)

Just like in crochet and knitting, Tunisian Crochet needs a base to start building rows on.  This is called the foundation chain (fch) and is similar as in conventional crochet.

You will pick up loops from the back bars of the chains, this way your bottom edge will look the same as the top edge and the sides of your work.  It gives the familiar “V” on all the edges of your Tunisian Crochet Work.  This is not a rule though and if you prefer working either under the back loop or in both the back loop and back bar together, it all depends on personal preference.


  • When you find that the bottom of your work pulls in a bit or the chain stitches are too tight to pull the loops up for your foundation row, work the foundation chain with a larger size hook.  It is important to have the foundation chain worked more loosely.
  • The amount of chains will always be the same as the stitch count of your stitch pattern, because you will not have a turning chain to turn your work.
  • Counting chains:  Count the outside loops of the chains.  Remember the loop on the hook does not count as a chain, but will become the 1st stitch of the foundation row.

The Foundation Row (FRow -Tss)

The starting row is always referred to as the Foundation Row and the foundation row of the Tunisian Simple Stitch is the base of most stitches. It consists of a Forward Pass where loops are pulled up from the foundation chain (fch) and then a Return Pass where they are worked down until ONE loop remains on the hook.

In the stitch tutorials and patterns, note the following:

  • The Forward Pass will be referred to as (Forward), written in parenthesis.
  • The Return Pass will be referred to as (Return), written in parenthesis with the instructions following thereafter.  [When the return pass of a stitch type differs from the Return Pass for the Tunisian Simple Stitch, it will be written after (Return)].
  • This Foundation Row is generally worked the same for most stitch types and can also be referred to as the Foundation Row for Tss (Tunisian Simple Stitch).  In the stitch tutorials, it will be referred to as “work as for Tss”.
  • When the Foundation Row differs from this one for the Tss, like in the case of some openwork stitches and lace stitches, it will be fully described during the specific stitch tutorial.

Watch the YouTube video to see how the Fch and FRow is worked and read to written pattern below to LEARN TO READ TUNISIAN CROCHET PATTERNS:

Foundation Row for most Tunisian Stitches:

Tunisian Crochet_Foundation Row_Btrix Dsigns

1.Foundation Row (Forward Pass): chain X,

Chain the indicated amount of stitches for the pattern.


The amount of loops that will be collected during the foundation row is equal to the amount of chains made.

2. pick up loops from each chain across.

The first chain from the hook is allocated to the loop that is on the hook that counts as the first loop or stitch of the row. Work into the back bumps of the chain and pull up a loop from the 2nd chain and from each chain across.

Tunisian Crochet_Foundation Chain_Btrix Dsigns

During the second half of the row the loops are worked down until ONE loop remains on the hook:

3. (Return Pass) chain 1,

The first stitch on the return pass is always worked as a chain, in other words, “yo and pull through ONE loop”.

Tunisian Crochet_Return Pass Chain_Btrix Dsigns

After the chain is made for the 1st st, the rest of the loops will be worked down two-two at a time until ONE loop remains on the hook.

4. *yo, pull through 2 loops; rep from * across.

You will note that the loop on the front of the hook (the 1st loop) creates a chain stitch that interlocks the loop that lies behind it (2nd loop), which on the other hand gets dropped from the hook during this step.  This 2nd loop is the loop that was pulled up from the chain or from the previous row.

Tunisian Crochet_Foundation Row eturn Pass_Btrix Dsigns

Working Row 1 (Tss-wise)

After the Foundation Row, you will start with Row 1, which will be worked according to the stitch type or stitch pattern.

Some stitch patterns will have the Foundation Row worked differently to create the stitch pattern, but your pattern will indicate how this row will be worked.  During a pattern, this basic Foundation Row  may also be referred to as: the Foundation Row as for Tunisian Simple Stitch.

Row 1 as for Tunisian Simple Stitch:

Tunisian Crochet_Row 1_Btrix Dsigns

1. Row 1: (Forward Pass) Skip the 1st vertical bar,

The 1st loop on the hook counts as the first stitch; therefor you do not work in its vertical bar.  During the Return Pass, this loop will be referred to as the LAST loop on the hook and during the next Forward Pass, it will be the 1st loop or stitch.


In a pattern, it can either be stated as in above written manner or the pattern will skip it altogether and only read the following stitches to be made.  In the case when this stitch is worked, for e.g. as in Tes (Tunisian Extended Stitch), it will be instructed in the pattern.

 2. *Insert the hook from side-to-side under the next vertical bar in the direction you work,

The placement of the hook is referred to as Tss-wise.  For other stitch types, this step will differ.

Watch this video for more on Hook Placements and the Stitch Anatomy of Tunisian Crochet

3. Yarn over and pull up a loop;

ONE Tss is worked.

4. Rep from * across to last stitch,

Working the last stitch:

The last stitch looks different from the rest and is in fact the chain stitch that you made at the start of the return pass on your foundation row or the previous row worked.  This chain will have two vertical bars or V-bars (one front V-bar that slightly lies to the outside and one back V-bar that lies slightly inward) and a back bar.  Insert the hook between the two vertical bars and the back bar, so that the outer vertical bar and the back bar lie on the outside of the hook and create a “V” on the edge.

NOTE: be careful not to insert the hook on the chain that forms when you work return pass on the second stitch.

5. (Return Pass) To return or to close the stitches, yarn over and pull through ONE loop

This is 1 chain and will generally only be referred to as; ch 1.

6. *Yarn over and pull through 2 loops; rep from * across until ONE loop remains.

This one loop will count as the 1st stitch/loop of the next row.

Feel free to leave a comment if you found this tutorial helpful.

Visit my youtube channel for more videos on Tunisian Crochet.

If you want to try out some patterns, you can find my designs on Ravelry.

Happy TC!


Leave a Reply

Translate »