How to Crochet an Oval around a Foundation Chain (amigurumi)

Crocheting around a foundation chain is the easiest way to make an oval. First, chain any number of stitches. Next, beginning from the second chain from the hook, single crochet across the chain piece, then turn and single crochet across the other side to finish the oval.

One of the most common techniques I use in making amigurumi is crocheting around a foundation chain to create an oval. Ovals are common shapes because they can help add more realism to your amigurumi, whether for paws, heads, or different accessories. I use this technique all the time, so I wanted to create a detailed photo and video tutorial to explain what I mean when I tell you to “crochet around a foundation chain.”

Before you go any further, check out my video tutorial if you prefer watching rather than reading 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe for more tutorials!

1. Crochet a chain of any length

The first step to crocheting an oval around a foundation chain is to make the foundation chain. The foundation chain is the chain piece that determines how oblong your oval will be, since after you create the chain the rest of the steps will just be crocheting in circles around it.

You can crochet a chain of any length, but make sure that the chain piece is one stitch longer than you intend it to be. This is because one of the chains will become absorbed in a “standing chain” to help you start the first round, so it will not count towards the total length of the chain.

In this example, I wanted my chain to be six stitches long, so I crocheted a chain piece that is seven chain stitches long.

2. Single crochet in second chain from hook

The next step is to work a single crochet in the second chain, counting from the hook. You might have seen this phrase before, since this step is so common that it’s often used in patterns without much further explanation.

To clarify, take a look at the image above (or the video tutorial here if you want a spoken explanation!). To identify the “second chain from the hook,” look at the chain stitches closest to the hook, aka the ones that you worked most recently. Note that this does not include the loop that your hook is currently in. Starting from the chain that you worked most recently, count each chain until you get to the slip knot at the beginning.

As you can see above, in my example I’ve labeled each chain stitch with what each one would be according to this numbering system. You can try to do the same with the chain piece you’re working on in. Once I’ve numbered all the chains, I can just locate the “second chain,” or the one with the number two above it, and then work a single crochet into that chain.

And now you know what that cryptic instruction means! Congrats!

More blog posts for amigurumi beginners:

3. Crochet across the chain piece

The next step is to continue crocheting across the chain piece as if you were working flat. Once you get to the last chain (the one with the slip knot), pause here and go to the next step.

4. Work two single crochets in the last chain

Once you get to the last chain, pay special attention because you’ll need to work two chains into it. This is because conceptually speaking, we are working single crochets across the foundation chain on both sides, so the last chain in the row is going to need to have two stitches in it.

5. Turn your work and single crochet back

Now that you’ve turned the corner and worked two single crochet stitches into the last stitch in the chain piece, turn your work and continue working on the other side of foundation chain. At this point, your work should resemble an oval, with stitches all around the foundation chain.

6. Continue working in the round like usual

The final step is to continue working around the oval, following the pattern. In my example above, the next round was to increase in each stitch all around. As you can see, after you’ve finished working around the foundation chain, all the other steps are the same as if you started your piece with a magic ring.

And there you have it! You’ve successfully learned how to crochet around a foundation chain. Go forth and use your skills to unlock more amigurumi projects!

Related projects:

Commonly Asked Questions

What does “sc in second chain from hook mean”?

“Sc in second chain from hook” means to work a single crochet into the the second chain, counting from the hook. The “first chain” is the chain stitch closest to your hook, so the “second chain” is the one second closest. The purpose is to be able to crochet around the foundation chain.

Where do I insert my crochet hook in a chain?

As a general rule, insert your hook through the middle of the “v” of the chain, under one strand of yarn. The back of the chain has a bump that should not be worked into unless specifically called for by the pattern.

How do I count chains from hook in crochet?

To count chains from hook, start counting from the chain closest to the hook — that is, the one worked most recently. From there, continue counting backwards until the last chain, which is also the chain that has the slip knot in it. The “second chain” is the second closest chain to the hook.