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Sometimes, when joining a new yarn color or starting at a different spot in a motif, the chains that you have to create to count as the first stitch can stack up and break up the look of the stitch pattern. A technique to avoid too many chains in your work is to form a standing stitch instead. Start with a slip knot on your hook. Do a yarn over if the stitch you are trying to create calls for one and then insert your hook into the row or round below where you want the stitch, then complete the stitch. This way, the yarn tail is at the top of the stitch rather than at the bottom. Later, you can go back and undo the slip knot and/or weave in the tail to complete the seamless look of this starting stitch.
(Many thanks to Myra Wood for this handy technique)