What is a chain space (ch sp) in crochet? How do we know where the pattern wants us to insert our hook?
A chain space is made when you skip a stitch or several stitches. You'll see a lot of chain spaces used in granny squares or lacy crochet projects.
Working into the chain space can be a lot of fun as it means your project is moving quickly. You may feel like you're just working through air.
Should my chain space stitches be different?
No. If you are asked to make a double crochet into the chain space, just make a double crochet. The chain space replaces the individual chain you may have otherwise been working in. See my example of where it goes here:
This is a double crochet stitch being worked into a chain space.
Other examples of where you use the chain space.
In this image, you can see that V stitch is constructed by working into the centre of every v ch sp across the row.
V stitch is one of my favourite stitches for this reason. No need to worry about counting chains and stitches if you're just working into the chain space.
This entire jumper is worked in v stitch. It's much quicker to whip up than working a dc into every chain, for example.
Using chain spaces also means that projects with finer yarns take less time too. For example, the Titania shawl is a very big shawl but doesn't take months to make because of the amount of openwork.
Chain space and its descriptions in patterns.
In my patterns I always describe the chain space as this:
Ch Sp: Chain space. The gap created between stitches.
This literally means the 'gap' that has been made between stitches or chains.
If you look at the image above, you'll see that some chains have been skipped along the bottom row. This has created a chain space for you to work your next cluster of stitches into.
Other ways chain space may appear in patterns:
Ch-3 sp: The number here could change from pattern to pattern but it basically means to work your stitch into each space that has been created by 3 chains. It is just specifying what the space looks like. In this example, it has 3 chains above it. In the pattern pictured above I might say "Ch-2 sp" meaning, insert the hook into the space created by the 2 chains made in the row before. This will also appear if there are other types of stitches or clusters being used in the same row or round.
I hope this article helped!
Thanks for reading. If you'd like to learn more about crochet and crochet patterns, here are some more posts for you to explore.
Where to put your crochet hook
Yarns to watch out for in crochet