Despite having books on it, vintage monographs on it, links to websites on it, I still find them to be all a bit vague and contradictory.
My biggest question still remains: now, where exactly do you stick the hook?
Most of my references indicate and illustrate inserting the hook under only the top loop of the links formed on top of the last row. But I find this creates a straggly fabric with ridges on one side. Thank goodness for the Crochet Guild of America's website. Their instructions illustrate what I assumed must be required for a smooth, tighter fabric: insert the hook under both loops of the chain on top of the last row. This doesn't apply to the foundation row, of course. But I have a great trick for that first row that I found in a little technical book on knitting and crochet. It creates a lovely sturdy edge from the get-go. I'll have to post it here.
One more thing about the Crochet Guild of America - they even have instructions for lefthanders!
- Crochet Guild of America