Crocheting into the back bar

One crochet technique that I picked up several years ago (and which I now couldn’t live without), is that of work a stitch (or stitches) into the back bar of the foundation chain.

To my mind it is a much overlooked and under utilized tool that every crocheter should have in her (or his) tool kit.

The first thing a crocheter needs to pay attention to is the fact that a chain has both a front and back. Here is a photo which I think shows the difference between the front and the back — the top chain shows the front, while the bottom chain shows the back:

front and back crochet chains
The front and back of a chain

This next photo shows a detail of the “back bar” with a yarn needle inserted where you would insert a hook if you were going to crochet a stitch:

back bar of a crochet chain
The back bar of a crochet chain

And in this photo, I’ve replaced the yarn needle with a hook:

crochet hook inserted into back bar of a crochet chain
Inserting a crochet hook into the back bar to make a single crochet stitch

and here I’ve zoomed in so there is no question about where the hook should be inserted:

crochet hook inserted into back bar of a crochet chain
Detail of the hook insertion

From there, a crocheter can go on her (or his) merry way and complete the stitch. Here I have worked a single crochet:

back bar single crochet stitch
Completed single crochet stitch through the back bar

This technique can be used in a number of situations, but is particularly useful when making amigurumi and any time you want a tidy edge for easier joining.

I’ve also heard that when you work the foundation chain of Tunisian crochet through this “back bar” it helps reduce curling.

I don’t know that this tip will transform your crochet life as much as it did mine, but I hope you find it useful.