I have the same problem of which stitch to go into especially with the first row after foundation row...sc 1.....is the first stich the one the loop is coming out of??? also the ends...which one is last???
As far as I know, you don't count the loop that your hook is on...you start counting with the one next to it. I find patterns very confusing to read too. But like anything, the more patterns you read and master, the easier it becomes. Often a sticky tab that you can move along in the pattern helps you keep your place. When doing a pattern multiple times, I also circle something significant in each row that reminds me what to do without tediously looking at every stitch in the pattern--this is very helpful when doing something like a lace ripple. I gave up many times before finally plowing on and feeling comfortable with my crochet hook. Now I love it and find it very relaxing. It's fun to alternate knit and crochet projects. I see you are knitting a SOCK--I'm still in the pulling out my hair, giving up stage on that!!!
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My handy little book says this for single crochet:
Your foundation chain is always one stitch longer than the number of stitches you want in the first row. The first sc will go in the second stitch from your hook (NOT including the loop that is on your hook).
Hope that helps.
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