Friday, April 02, 2010

How to Make a Crocheted Eyelet Foundation: A Tutorial

If you have ever made one of my designs, most likely you have come across the Eyelet Foundation. It is my favorite way to start a project, and I use it whenever possible instead of a traditional starting chain. It is so much quicker and easier!
But it is also the number one thing I get questions about; almost every week I get an email or letter saying "This pattern is WRONG, no where does it tell you how many chains to make to start the pattern!" Usually, after I write them back explaining the Eyelet Foundation, they love it and send me another email, saying how wonderful I am to have invented such a clever technique. But, I want to make it clear, I did not invent this technique! It has been around forever, I just seem to use it more than most designers.
The basic idea of the Eyelet Foundation is that you make a row of chain spaces into which you work the stitches of the first row. Sometimes, it is actually counted as the first row. To start a basic Eyelet Foundation, ch 3.
Then work a dc into the 3rd ch from the hook.
You have just completed the first ch sp of the Foundation.
Repeat this process the number of times called for in the pattern.
Two ch sps completed.
Five ch sps completed. The pattern for this would read:
(Ch 3, dc in 3rd ch from hook) 5 times.
After you have made the number of spaces called for, you will begin to work the stitches of the first row into them. In this example, I have worked a ch-3 which acts as the "turning ch" before I begin to work into the spaces. Not all patterns call for the ch-3.
To work into the ch sps, insert your hook between the ch-3 and the dc of the space.
Here I am working the first dc into the first space.
The first dc completed.
I am working a pattern of alternating shells and Vsts into the spaces of the Eyelet Foundation.
The first row of stitches worked into the Eyelet Foundation.
Another version of the Eyelet Foundation starts with a ch-4.
Then you work a tr into the 4th ch from the hook. It is the same principle, and works the same as the previous version. It just gives you a slightly longer space.
Here is the first completed sp of this version. You can see that the opening is a little larger.
Five completed spaces. The pattern for this would read:
(Ch 4, tr in 4th ch from hook) 5 times.
In this example, before I begin to work the stitches of the first row, I work a sl st into the first space.
The sl st is completed and I am ready to begin working the stitches of the first row.
I chain 3 for the first dc of this row. I will be working a shell of (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in each ch sp of this Foundation.
The first row of shells worked into the Eyelet Foundation.
The ends of the Eyelet Foundation can also be joined to form a ring (which comes in handy if you are the kind of designer who likes to make doilies with holes in the middle.) In this version, I am working (ch 4, dc in the 4th ch from hook). This gives a little more depth to each space, and creates a more scalloped edge.
After all the spaces have been made, join with a sl st in the first ch of the first space.
Sl st into the first ch sp (between the ch-4 and the dc).
I have worked a shell of (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) into each ch sp, and am joining with a sl st into the ch-3 that counts as the first dc of the first shell.
The completed ring of shells.
You can also work into the opposite side of the Eyelet Foundation spaces. With the right side of the stitches of the shells facing you, join in the first space. Here I am joining with a sc, and working (sc, ch 2, sc) in each space.

Continue working around the Foundation.

When you have worked all the way around, join with a sl st in the first st.

Both sides worked.
The unworked side of the Eyelet Foundation is also perfect for adding fringe!
Well, there you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about the Eyelet Foundation. Next week, I will post a pattern that combines it with my current favorite stitch, the 'sc shell', so you can try it out for yourself.
Copyright BellaCrochet 2010. All rights reserved.


Unknown said... friend.

BarbaraCrochetStudio said...

It is a clever technique indeed!
I've never come across a pattern using it as a foundation to start a project.
I love it and thank you for presenting it so neatly to us!

P.S. So far I only use it as a chain for my necklaces. :)

jayashree venkat said...

Hello Ann,
Wonderful tutorial for the Eyelet foundation stitch.Its first time i read about this stitch in your blog.Now its a wait for the Pattern from you.Happy Crocheting.

Regina A. Moro Garbeline said...

Hello Ann.

Obrigada por compartilhar essa t├ęcnica.



Lisa said...

Thanks so much this is just what I was looking for to trim a sweater:)

Sherri said...

wow Ive never seen this technique before Thanks for the tutuorial

crochethuahua said...

That is great Ann! I had never seen work started like that. It makes a much neater edge. Thanks for the tutorial.

Angela said...

Thanks! I hadn't seen this stitch before! So nice:0)

Mrs BLY said...

I used this stitch when I used to do living history Ive made collors-frames-edgings etc its one of my favorites thank you for sharing☺

Nathalie Brault said...

Wow, what a clever idea, thank you so very much for sharing your idea with us, it is greatly appreciated.
Have a very nice week.