You may be right, Judy...it seems as if after a few rows it gets much harder to put the hook through the next stitch.
I did have a minor crochet 101 epiphany last night
in that I realized that when I created the foundation chain, my next row was not always being put onto the same side of the foundation chain.
Is it 'normal' in crochet that when you cast the foundation chain that it curls up a lot when you are done? I'm not sure if that is a yarn thing, a tension thing or a me thing?! By the time I am finished with that first chain row, it is all curly which makes it a big tougher to see where to put the next row.
Also, to make turning chains, I know you put whatever number matches the type of stitch you are doing - is it to create height for the NEXT row you plan to stitch (e.g. so for a single crocheted next row you would make 1 turning chain in the current row or the next one - whichever the pattern specifies)?
It's funny you mention making a few coasters because I had a knitting swatch sitting here for a while and my hubby asked if it was going to be made into something and I said no, so he took to using it as a coaster and was missing it when it got moved - so voila! I can make him some nice coasters for his upcoming birthday!