Working on the Edge with Crochet

Buttercup Baby  

Crochet edgings are a quick way to add a finishing touch to just about any kind of fiber project, whether it's felted, knitted, woven or crocheted. Edgings, which can range from simple single crochet to elaborate lace, add more than elegance. They also  stabilize and hide an unattractive or otherwise boring edge.

Here are a few things to consider when working a crocheted edging.

Buttercup Baby

Gauge and stitch placement:

Go find your gauge swatch created for the project. If, for some crazy reason, you don't have a gauge swatch, whip one up. Work the same edging around your gauge swatch as you will around the project. If the edging ruffles, use a smaller hook and/ or try skipping stitches instead of working into each stitch. If the edging puckers, try a larger hook.

As you crochet, note the distance between stitches and the depth you insert your hook for the best visual effect. Don't pull the first row stitches too tight as you may buckle the fabric.

When working into a knitted cast-on edge, try working the crochet stitch between knitted stitches.

For fabric or felt, use a metal hook with a sharp point at the tip of the hook. The sharper tip and added strength of the metal hook helps pierce felt and fabric. Or you can pre-punch some holes into the fabric if you want to use a larger hook. Insert the hook far enough down into the fabric that the stitch will not pull out and rip the fabric.

Where to work the edgings:

Pink Frosting

You can work crocheted edgings along a neckline, sleeve edge, or hemline, but don't stop there. Elissa Sugishita's Buttercup Baby cardigan and pants (shown above) feature a crocheted panel worked on a knit foundation. Then the designer picked up stitches and knit several more inches. The edging is elevated to an internal design feature. In the Pink Frosting top (at left), Elissa worked a crochet edging first around the hem of the sweater; then she worked a second layer of crochet edging several inches higher. She joined the edging with evenly placed single crochets in the knitted fabric.

 
You can step up the crocheted trim by using crochet to create sleeves, collars, or the lower bodice such as in the Josephine Pullover, Beachcomber Tunic, and Mélange Turtleneck.
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Josephine Pullover Beachcomber Tunic Melange Turtleneck
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As a multi-crafter I love to both knit and crochet so I've pulled out my UFO of the Beachcomber Tunic and am trying to remember my brief knitting lessons. If you don't knit, try working a crocheted edging on a purchased knitted or fabric piece. Or, better yet, learn to knit with our sister publication Interweave Knits or work out a shared design with a friend who knits. If you are searching for the perfect crochet edging to create a unique piece, browse through Crochet Edgings & Trims: Harmony Guides. A Flower Border would look adorable around the hem of a little girl's tank top or shirt.

Best wishes,

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