Whether it's functional or decorative, crochet edging makes the dullest of projects look prettier and more professional.
Where to Put Crochet Edgings
After you learn to crochet and have mastered the basic stitches, and you've made crochet scarves for all your friends and crochet hats for your kids, you may begin to feel a little, well, bored. Is this all there is? No!
A basic crochet scarf is often made with the same stitch, over and over and over. If you add a fringe to each end, you add some interest, but if you add a simple crochet edging down each side, you add both interest and a tailored look.
You can add crochet edging to a knit blanket or sweater, too. Make a neat stitch, like a row or two of single crochet, along the hem and cuffs to help keep them from stretching out of shape. Add a more decorative edging at the neck, or down the front edges of a cardigan. Now you have a classy and unique sweater you can wear or proudly give as a gift. Crochet along the brim or edge of a knit hat, and brighten it up and help keep it from stretching, too.
There's no need to stop with edging knit or crocheted items. Purchase crochet supplies like small metal hooks and cotton crochet thread or light weight yarn, like a sport or DK weight, and dress up plain towels or pillow cases with your own personal touch. You can even add edging to a crochet rug. The look of your own edging turns basic guest towels into personalized gifts.
Join the Secret Crochet Edgings Club
There's no mystery to making crochet edging, and generally no new stitches to learn. While you were learning to crochet the basics, you learned everything you need to know to make edgings.
If you don't want to jump into the deep end and add an edging to your full size afghan, you can start learning to crochet edgings on the gauge swatches you've been making. Use a contrasting color as you practice so you can see what you're doing more easily.
Start by joining the edging yarn to the object to be edged with a slip stitch on the right hand edge of your work. The simplest edging is to crochet one to four rows of single or double crochet, making one stitch in each stitch of a top or bottom edge, and one or two stitches in each row along the side edge of your project, depending on the height of the row. Almost every edging is easier to do if you start with a row of single crochet, whether the pattern calls for it or not.
For something fancier, you could try a simple scalloped edging. Begin the row with a slip stitch, then repeat the following pattern stitch to the end of the row (right side of project): Skip two stitches, make five double crochet in the next stitch, skip two stitches, make one crochet in the next stitch. When you reach the end of the row, either make three single crochets in the end stitch to turn your project and continue working the edging down the side, or bind the yarn off.
Another popular crochet edging is a picot stitch. The picot is a two row edging. Join the yarn at the right edge of the wrong side of your work, and make a row of single crochet, then turn. For the next row (right side of project), chain three and make a single crochet in the third chain from the hook. Make a single crochet in each of the next two stitches. Repeat that pattern to the end of the row and fasten off.
Make Crochet Trims for Linens
To trim pillowcases or guest towels with crochet edging, make the trim and sew it into place by hand or with a machine. Each horizontal trim begins with making a chain the length you'll need, in a multiple specified in the pattern.
Make a pretty eyelet trim by chaining a multiple of two for the length you need, and add two at the end, then turn. For the first row, skip one chain then make one single crochet in each chain to the end of the row, chain one, and turn. The second row basically repeats the first. Make a single crochet in each single chain to the end, but then chain four and turn. Skip the first two single crochet as you start the third row, then make one double crochet in the next single crochet, skip one and chain one, and repeat that to the last single crochet. Make a double crochet in the last single crochet, chain one, and turn. For the fourth row, make a single crochet in each double crochet and each chain space to the end of the row, chain one, and turn. The fifth row repeats the second, and after making the last single crochet, fasten off the yarn. If you want to dress this trim up a little, weave a coordinating ribbon through the spaces.
These are just a few of the many possibilities for crochet edging and trim. You can find more in books, leaflets and on the Web. Once you've had some practice, you may even find yourself creating your own edging designs.
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