I was going to say what Marykz said. Sometimes they count the chain as the first stitch and sometimes not. Why do they do this? :-) Make sure to count at first because it's easy to lose stitches and it is usually that first stitch or the last one on a row that is missed.
Marykz advice about loose is good too. Try to do everything a bit loose. It's like in knitting you can work loose and your stitches are easier to do, if you need it tighter you can use a smaller hook and still work a little loose.