A single crochet border adds a finished look to a knitting project, and it is pretty easy to do even if you don't have a lot of experience with crochet. On its own, single crochet is a quick way to add a border to any knitwear piece. But it can also serve as a foundation for other ornamental edgings.
If your project is curling on the edges, one round of single crochet might not solve the problem. To reduce the curl, make more rounds of single crochet until the fabric relaxes and lies flat. Or try adding a more elaborate decorative crochet border, perhaps with pretty picots or sassy shells.
One thing that knitters love about a crocheted edge is that you're working with a single loop. Make a mistake, and you simply drop the loop from the hook to rip back to the error! Crochet is much more forgiving than knitting is about fixing mistakes. That's just one more reason why you really should learn how to do this simple edging.
What You Will Need
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. You'll also need a knit swatch to put your edging on!
Equipment / Tools
- Crochet hook in same size used to knit the swatch
- Knit swatch to be edged
- Yarn in same weight as swatch for edging
The border is worked with the right side of the swatch facing. Begin on the bind off edge and toward the middle, not in a corner. Starting here will allow you to practice on easily defined stitches before reaching those sometimes messy side stitches.
- Insert the crochet hook from front to back into the center of a knit stitch, take the yarn over the hook, and pull the yarn around the hook back through the fabric. In crochet, this is called drawing up a loop.
In crochet, the move of taking the yarn over the hook is called "yarn round hook" or "yarn over." If you are familiar with knitting yarn overs, be aware that crochet yarn overs are brought over the hook in the opposite direction from those made when knitting.
Attaching Yarn With a Chain Stitch
The last step of attaching the yarn is to make a chain stitch.
- Yarn over, pull the yarn through the loop on the hook.
Making the First Single Crochet Stitch
You have one loop on the hook.
- Insert the hook into the next knit stitch, yarn over, draw up a loop; yarn over, draw the yarn over through both loops on the hook—1 single crochet stitch made, 1 loop left on the hook.
Continue across the bind off edge, working one single crochet stitch in each knit stitch to the corner.
Turning the Corner
To make a neat turn at the corner, you need to work more than one crochet stitch in the same knitting stitch. The first of the three stitches finishes the top edge, the third starts the side edge, and the one in between fills the corner.
- Work 3 sc into the last knit stitch of the bind off; turn the work 90 degrees.
If a pattern calls for a crocheted border, it will usually tell you how many stitches to work in the corners to give them a curved appearance. If you're adding a border to a project that didn't call for one, or are adding a border to a project of your own design, a good rule of thumb is to work three stitches into the corners.
Working Down Rows
The single crochet stitches are worked in the same way down the rows of the knit piece. However, be aware that you may need to change how frequently you work into the edge. Knit stitches are not square; it takes more rows to fill an inch than stitches. Try working 2 sc for every 3 rows of knitting, or 3 sc for every 4 rows of knitting. What will work depends on your crochet gauge and your knitting gauge; inches must match inches!
Count the number of stitches worked along top and bottom, and likewise along the sides. Having the same number of stitches will make the border even.
Turn the bottom corner as before, work across the cast-on edge, turn the corner, working up the side, turn the corner, work across to where you attached the yarn.
Finishing the Border
When working in the round in crochet, the last stitch and first stitch of a round are usually joined with a slip stitch.
- Insert the hook into your starting chain stitch, yarn over hook, draw the loop through both the chain and the loop on your hook.
Cut the yarn and pull it through the last loop, just like you would do to finish a knitting project. Weave in the ends just like you would on any knitting project.