Remember when I said that chain stitches were the foundation of any crocheted item? Foundation stitches are also the.....um.....foundation of any crocheted item!
Simply put, starting your project with foundation stitches is another way to start your project as you're crocheting your first row. As the nice lady says in the video, beginning your project with foundation stitches saves you the trouble of counting chain stitches on a large project and your finished product will have a stretchier edge.
And before I forget, here's the video for the left-handed crocheter. I wouldn't want to leave you hanging.
Back to it: a stretchier first row helps you set the right tension for your project. If you crochet your chain stitches too tightly, you'll have a hard time crocheting into the stitches and your crocheting may get a little puckered-looking by the time you have a few rows of stitches done in the right tension. This probably won't be too noticeable on something like a scarf or a cowl, and you're likely to be the only person it bothers. But if you're making a hat or a sweater--or even something that needs to be seamed together with other pieces of crocheting--you're going to notice that inflexible edge a lot.
(I thought about including a picture of how this has happened to me, but pride and my disorganized photo-organizing habits have saved your eyes from this horror.)
Not to be a fear-monger, but does anyone want to think about what happens if you're several rows in on an afghan and figure out that the problem with the pattern is due to the wrong number of chain stitches and you're going to have to rip the whole thing back?
Man, I really am getting into the spirit of Halloween! I'll stop now before things get too terrifying.
My point is, foundation stitches are a great way to start a project and it's always helpful to know different methods for starting a project.
AND! If you follow along with the video, you'll know how to do the single crochet stitch! You're crocheting now! High five! Here's a free scarf pattern!
I know, I know. A scarf. But scarves as a beginner's project are cliched for a reason. They're straight, simple, and scarves. I'm sure my personal bias for scarves is showing now, but whatever. We're settling into fall, the air is cooler, and this scarf idea is super cute.
Just a tip for reading patterns: "ch" means "chain" and "sc" means "single crochet." You'd probably figure that out on your own, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.
I also think I should mention that the pattern tells you to chain your beginning row, but there's obviously nothing stopping you from trying out your new skills at crocheting foundation stitches. Do it! It's going to be fun! You're crocheting!