Sidetrack into crochet chain anatomy: There are at least 4 reasonable ways to insert your hook into a chain. First, some vocabulary.
For a lefty, the pictures are flipped left/right but not top/bottom: the top loop will still be above and/or further from you than the bottom loop.
Now, the methods. The difficulty, neatness, and sturdiness ratings are my own opinion and are on a scale from 1 (least) to 3 (most). My general-purpose method is #4. In the notes below there are explanations for which we haven’t yet learned the necessary background; refer back to this chart later as they become relevant.
|1 top loop only||1||1||1|
|2 top two loops||2||2||2|
|3 front teardrop||3||2||3|
|4 back bump||3||3||3|
When beginning a piece in the round via making all stitches into the first chain, method 1 is fine because the chain will be completely covered in stitches anyway. Sometimes 1 is desirable because you’d like to use both sides of the chain and perhaps leave a “spine” in the middle (as in a leaf), formed by the back bump.
2 is the standard method for crocheting into a starting chain and is also used for crocheting into the top of a turning chain in double crochet.
3 is also used for crocheting into a turning chain and is the method required if one is extending a row via chaining out and then crocheting back along the chain and across the previous row of stitches.
4 is my go-to method for crocheting into a starting chain and for making slip stitches in the midst of a chain. It is how the samples in these lessons have been made. Forever in Fibre has an aid to make this method easier (there are two pictures for each step: the top is right-handed, the bottom left-handed).
Here are some videos:
Tamara Kelly: video demonstrating the difference between stitching into a chain and around a chain (AKA into a chain space).
Craftyminx: videos with instructions on three methods to stitch into a chain and comparison of those three methods, in righty and lefty versions, though I can’t actually vouch for them because I rarely am able to view Vimeo videos.