Treble Crochet Turning Chain- 4 Alternatives

Janne Kleivset
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As a beginner crocheter, mastering the treble crochet turning chain can seem daunting. However, with the right tutorial and tips you may realize it’s not difficult at all.

In this crochet tutorial, I’ll cover topics such as how many chain stitches needed for a turning chain for treble crochet, chart symbols and abbreviations, step-by-step photos and video tutorial.

We’ll explore alternative turning chain methods, including stacked single crochet stitches.

After reading this crochet tutorial you will also be able transition between rows of trebles without using a traditional turning chain.

Finally, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions about turning chains.

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What is Turning Chains for Treble Crochet?

Turning chains for treble crochet is the chain stitches you crochet to start a new row or round of treble crochet stitches.

The turning chains are used to lift your hook and yarn to the level of the stitch you crochet, for the treble crochet stitch this number is 4.

The turning chains can be crocheted either before or after you turn your work, and varies depending on which pattern you follow. Both give the same overall result, so do what you prefer.

There are many alternative ways to start a row or round of treble crochet. These are turning chain alternatives that gives the same result, by lifting your crochet hook and yarn to the same level as the stitch, but may result in neater edges.

Each turning chain technique for treble crochet may give better or worse results, depending on the crocheter that uses them. Because of that, it’s important that you try the different techniques and stick with the ones you find suits you best.

Get a full overview of turning chains for all stitches including tips and tricks on our main post here.

Materials Needed

To crochet a treble crochet turning chain you can use any mm crochet hook size and yarn. If you’re following a crochet pattern, use the crochet hook and yarn suggested.

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Turning Chain for Treble Crochet Abbreviations

Turning chains are abbreviated tch or t-ch in crochet patterns.

For treble crochet you may also find them abbreviated as ch 4.

Learn more about crochet abbreviations & find a complete list on our Crochet Abbreviations & Terms post.

Treble Crochet Turning Chain – Crochet Chart Symbol

The treble crochet turning chain chart symbol is simply the same symbol as 4 chain stitches turned upwards.

It is 4 oval circles representing the chain stitch crocheted as a turning chain.

It will be turned in the direction it will lay in your finished crochet work.

Photo showing the turning chain for treble crochet stitch chart symbol.

Treble Crochet Turning Chain- 4 Alternatives Pin

4 Alternative Ways To Start A Row Of Treble Crochet – Step By Step Photo Tutorial

Alternative 1: Chain 4 Does Not Count As A Stitch

In the second alternative, the turning chains does not count as a stitch. In this case you will not work into the turning chain when you come back to it on the next row, as the last stitch of the row.

If you work into it, you will end up increasing the number of stitches on the row.

Step 1: Chain 4

Treble Crochet Turning Chain- 4 Alternatives Pin

The first step is to chain 4 turning chains to get to the height of the stitch.

Step 2: Work first treble crochet into first stitch

Treble Crochet Turning Chain- 4 Alternatives Pin

The second step is to work the first treble crochet into the first stitch. That means to work into the last stitch of the previous row. Then continue crocheting treble crochet stitches into the following stitches.

By following the instructions above, the turning chain does not count as a stitch.

Alternative 2: Chain 4 Counts As A Stitch

The second alternative for the treble crochet turning chain the turning chains counts as the first treble crochet of the row. In this case you will have to work into the top of that turning chain when you come back to it when you finish the next row.

Step 1: Chain 4

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To get to the height of the treble crochet stitch the common number of chains is 4 turning chains.

Step 2: Work first treble crochet into 2nd stitch

Treble Crochet Turning Chain- 4 Alternatives Pin

After working the 4 chains, work the first treble crochet stitch into the second stitch of the row. That means the second to last stitch made on the previous row.

By following the instructions above, the turning chain does count as a stitch.

Alternative 3: Wrap Around Turning Chain Technique

The 3rd alternative turning chain for treble crochet is the wrap around technique. It creates a big turning chain and first treble crochet stitch in one.

The positive about this technique is that you avoid gaps completely and the edges turn out straight.

It can be a bit more difficult to master than the other techniques, but the overall finish looks good.

Step 1: Chain 4

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To start the wrap around technique for treble crochet, chain 4.

Step 2: Move the crochet hook to the right of the chains and behind

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Wrap the crochet hook around the chains, moving to the right of the 4 chains.

Step 3: Then go behind the chains

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Move the crochet hook all the way behind the chains, ready to pull up a loop.

Step 4: Pull up a loop from behind the chains

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Pull up a loop from behind the chains, you have 2 loops on the crochet hook.

Step 5: Yarn over

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Yarn over from back to front.

Step 6: Insert crochet hook into first stitch

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Insert hook into the first stitch. That means the last stitch you made on the previous row.

Step 7: Pull up a loop

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Pull up a loop. You have 4 loops on the crochet hook.

Step 8: Finish like a regular treble crochet

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Finish off as you would when you crochet a regular treble crochet.

  1. Yarn over and pull through 2.
  2. Repeat step 1 two times.

You have now finished the wrap around technique and can crochet the next treble crochet stitch.

Make sure you crochet into the wrap around stitch when you come back on the next row to keep the stitch count consistent.

Alternative 4: Stacked Single Crochet

The stacked single crochet stitches technique is a great alternative to regular turning chains.

It is essentially a technique where you start the row with multiple single crochet stitches stacked on top of each other.

The result is straight edges and no gaps, like you may get from regular turning chains.

Step 1: Crochet a single crochet directly into the first stitch

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After turning, crochet 1 single crochet into the first stitch.

Notice that the single crochet stitch has two legs, one left and right, coming out of the stitch you worked into.

Step 2: Insert crochet hook into left leg of sc and pull up a loop

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Find the left leg of the single crochet and insert the crochet hook and pull up a loop.

Step 3: Yarn over and pull through both loops

Treble Crochet Turning Chain- 4 Alternatives Pin

Yarn over and pull through both loops on the crochet hook.

Step 4: Identify the left leg of the single crochet

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Again, identify the left leg of the single crochet.

Step 5: Insert crochet hook into left leg of sc and pull up a loop

Treble Crochet Turning Chain- 4 Alternatives Pin

Insert the crochet hook into the left leg and pull up a loop.

Step 6: Yarn over and pull through both loops

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Yarn over and pull through both loops on the crochet hook.

You have finished the stacked single crochet as a turning chain for a treble crochet row.

In some cases you may find that stacking 4 single crochet stitches will work better, try both and see what looks best in your case.

Step 7: Continue with treble crochet across the row

Treble Crochet Turning Chain- 4 Alternatives Pin

Work a treble crochet in the next stitch and the following stitches to crochet a row of crochet treble stitches.

Make sure you work into the last stacked single crochet when coming back to it on the next row to keep the stitch count consistent.

Treble Crochet Turning Chains Video Tutorial

Typical Questions About Turning Chain for Treble Crochet

How many chain stitches are in a turning chain for a treble crochet?

The common turning chain count for a treble crochet turning chain is 4. Some find that fewer chains, such as 3 chains, is better turning chain lengths for treble crochet.

What is the turning chain for treble crochet?

The turning chain for treble crochet is 4 chains.

Is the number of chain stitches needed for the normal treble crochet the same as for different type of stitches?

Yes, for different variations for treble crochet stitches you need the same number and length of the turning chain. Including the front loop treble crochet, back loop treble crochet, front post treble crochet and back post treble crochet.

Turning Chains – Step-By-Step Tutorials

Below you can find turning chains needed for the different basic crochet stitches:

  1. Turning Chain For Single Crochet Stitch (sc)
  2. Turning Chain For Half Double Crochet Stitch (hdc)
  3. Turning Chain For Double Crochet Stitch (dc)
  4. Turning Chain Treble Crochet Stitch (tr) – this tutorial
Janne Kleivset

Janne Kleivset

Founder, Crochet Pattern Designer & Owner of Joy of Motion Crochet.

Janne has helped millions of crocheters find their next crochet project with more than 250 free crochet patterns and 110 crochet tutorials on her blog.

With more than two decades of crochet experience, and crochet designing since 2011, she's been featured on multiple prominent sites such as Lion Brand Yarn, in crochet magazines and the OML "Make" book.

Learn more about Janne.



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