by Alison Stapleton
Most crochet items have a base chain
Typically the pattern will call for a chain of say, 40 or 100 chains, and the first row is built on the base chain.
In the chain-less cast-on method there is no chain.
I have also heard of this being called the chain less starting (crochet stitch) method CShdc, CSdc etc. which I may incorporate soon if that is the general term.
The chain-less cast on technique is used without a base chain so it provides some give in the item as a base chain can pull if not loose enough. Any tightness is only noticeable when you have worked up more of the item.
The first row is actually the base row and indicated as Row 1: on all patterns.
Row 1: 3 ch,
yarn over, insert hook in first ch (but both loops),
pull through (3 loops on hook),
yarn over, insert hook into bottom stitch two “V” and pull through (3 loops on hook),
make 1 dc as normal inserting hook into both loops of previous loop pulled through.
Each new double crochet is started in the one loop pulled through from the two on the base.
Continue for as many double crochets as required.
Where to use the chain-less cast-on
This is great for waistbands on skirts and shorts. It also goes well for bag handles and straps for summer tops.
I don’t use it all the time but it does result in a really nice edge that has give and does not pull. In a way it is forgiving and I like that.