A Simple Crochet Border Is an Easy Way to Finish Knit Projects
A single crochet border adds a finished look to a piece of knitting and it is pretty easy to do even if you don't have a lot of experience with crochet. It is a very quick way to add a border to any piece of knitwear and as you work on more projects, you will learn the value of this simple technique. It even works as a foundation for other decorative borders.
If your project has a lot of curl on the edge, a single round of crochet might not solve the problem, but it will give a nice look to the edge. To really reduce the curl, continue with more rounds of single crochet until the fabric relaxes and lays flat enough for your liking.
The one thing that knitters love about a crocheted edge is that you're working with a single loop. This makes it very easy to pull out the yarn if you make any mistakes—just drop the loop from the hook and rip the stitches out before starting over.
Crochet is much more forgiving in this manner and that's just one more reason why you really should learn how to do this simple edging.
How to Begin the Single Crochet Edging
To begin, you'll need a crochet hook and some yarn that's the same weight as your project. Crochet hooks are sized with both letter and number sizes. They are sized by the millimeter just like knitting needles, so you can easily choose a crochet hook that's as close as possible in measurement to the size of knitting needles you used.
Start with the front of the work facing you. You can start your border anywhere you like, but it's often preferred to start toward the middle of a side rather than in the corner. It's also often easier to begin on the top (or last) row of your knitting rather than the sides. This allows you to practice on easily defined stitches before reaching those sometimes messy side stitches.
Wherever you start, put the crochet hook into the first stitch from front to back and put the yarn over the hook (in crochet, this is sometimes called "yarn over").
Drawing up a Loop
To turn your "yarn over" into a loop that you can work from, you need to do what's sometimes called "drawing up the loop."
To do this, simply pull the hook back through the work to the front, keeping the yarn on the hook so that it forms a loop on the front side of the fabric.
Making a Second Loop
Before you can complete the single crochet stitch, you have to make a second loop on the hook. This is accomplished by putting the yarn over the hook one more time.
Completing the First Stitch
Now you have two loops on your hook. Complete the first stitch by pulling the yarn over that you just put on the hook through the first loop.
Now there is one loop on the needle and one crochet stitch on your finished knitting project.
Continuing to Crochet
You can then work the second stitch by putting your hook into the next knit stitch to the left of the stitch you just worked in. Again, insert your hook from front to back.
Put the yarn over the hook and pull it back through as before, so you again have two loops on the hook.
Finishing the Second Stitch
To finish the second stitch of single crochet, wrap the yarn over the hook one more time and pull it through both of the loops on the hook. This leaves you with one loop on the hook that is the foundation for the next stitch.
Continue in this manner across the edge of the work.
Turning the Corner
In order to make the corners of your project neat, you need to work more than one crochet stitch in the same knitting stitch.
If a pattern calls for a crocheted border, it will usually tell you how many stitches to work in the corners in order to give them a curved appearance. If you're adding a border to a project that didn't call for one or are adding one to a project of your own design, a good rule of thumb is to work three stitches into the corners.
This is done exactly the same way as working a straight crochet border. Instead of moving the hook into the next knit stitch after the first crochet stitch is formed, you go back into the same place you made that first stitch, pull up another loop and make another stitch.
This very naturally turns the corner and makes it easy for you to continue crocheting along the next side.
Finishing the Border
When you have completely crocheted around the border of the knitting project, you'll get back to where you started and have one loop left on the hook.
- A slip stitch is typically used to join the beginning and the end of the "round."
- Cut the yarn and pull it through the last loop, just like you would do to finish a knitting project.
- You can then weave in the ends just like you would on any knitting project.
Make sure as you are working that you crochet the same number of stitches along the top and bottom and likewise along the sides. This will make the border even.
You can skip stitches as you work across to help pull in a knit border or edge that might be too wide for the rest of the work. Just be careful that you don't skip so many stitches that it makes the edge too small.
It takes a little practice to get the single crochet method down if you've never crocheted before, but it's a nice way to add a different look to your knitting.