In the past we've discussed two traditional ways of crocheting in the round. Both of these methods create a circular center which may be built upon to create any number of shapes. But there is a third method of crocheting in the round that creates an ovular center, and that method involves using the unused loops of a standard foundation chain. This method is used in projects such as kitchen rag rugs and crocheted socks.
To demonstrate, we will be working an example in single crochet.
When most of us first learned how to crochet, we were taught that first comes the foundation chain, and then comes every stitch after that. While this still seems to be the preferential technique, problems can arise when very long foundation chains are required. The longer the chain, the more likely the chances for a miscount, and one runs the risk of a foundation chain with extra or fewer stitches than needed.
The solution to this problem is to work the foundation chain and first row of stitches at the same time, using what are known as foundation stitches. This guarantees that you will have the exact right amount of chain stitches needed for the first row of stitches, and the finished product looks almost exactly the same as if the foundation row were crocheted separately from the first row of stitches. The best part is, foundation stitches may be used in any crochet pattern that does not skip chains in the first row and does not have more than one stitch being worked in any foundation chain.
While there are many tutorials online for how to specifically do a foundation single crochet, foundation double crochet, etc, we decided we'd rather explain the general concept of how a foundation stitch works, so that it may be applied to any stitch that is needed in the first row.