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Borders and Edgings
© 2007 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com

Just the Facts...

There are about a zillion borders that you can choose from to put on any one project.

There are a few general things, however, that I can tell you and here they are:

1) Usually, you put more stitches into your corners to make the turn and "square" that corner - that is unless you WANT a rounded corner, of course. It is usually 3 or 5 stitches (whichever allows your work to lie flat without bulging out), but pay attention to your pattern. An odd number is especially helpful if you intend to join that square to others. Here are a few options for getting those corners nice. They are listed below.

    Corner Options:

    1) 3 stitches in each corner - This is the option many patterns choose.
    2) (sc, ch 2, sc) - add chains between stitches. This is a nice picot look for borders as well.
    3) (2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc) - more square corner
    4) (2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc) - more square corner
    5) (sc, hdc, sc) or (dc, tr, dc) - use a longer stitch as the corner stitch
    6) (sc, ch 1, sc, ch 1, sc)
    7) (sc, ch 1, sc)

Some edgings do not require a change in the corner. When I'm working a faux picot (sc, ch 2, sc, sk 1) I might just go around without making any additional change, depending on the pattern. Sometimes I might add an extra couple of stitches there - for example (sc, ch 2, sc, ch 2, sc, sk 1) might be an option and still keep the same look.

2) Borders are usually worked on the right side of your project. If you are doing a border with more than one row, pattern may say to turn and continue but in most cases, you chain up and then continue along the same side, joining at the end of a round. In any case, my suggestion would be to finish the final round on the right side.

3) You want your work to lie flat, so you sometimes have to adjust your stitches along the sides for that to happen. If you are bordering a square, you might want to count the stitches along each side and adjust to make sure they are all the same, particularly if you will be joining these squares later.

4) If your piece is worked in double crochet rows, and you are doing a plain sc or dc border, along your sides you would put 2 stitches in (or under) the post of each double crochet, probably 3 in each corner as states above in #1. However, if your piece won't lie flat, feel free to skip a stitch here and there to help with that problem. If it seems to pull then add a few.

5) If your piece is worked in single crochet rows, you would border with one stitch in each stitch along the sides. Same suggestion as in #4. Adjust as necessary for your work to lie flat and not pucker.

6) As to the top and bottom of your piece, you would work 1 stitch in every stitch and usually one in every ch-1 space. If you have a place where there is more than one chain, you will have to judge whether that spot needs more stitches or not. Your piece should lie flat, so adjust stitches so that it will. You want to try and have approximately the same number on your top row as your bottom.

7) For a ripple pattern, when you get to the place where you did your foundation row, you will be working opposite when you get to your first row. Where you skipped 2 chains, you would make that your "hill" and as in the case of my pattern, you would put 3 stitches. Where you put 3 stitches on your row 1, you would skip that stitch, for your "valley". It's a little confusing to read, but when you're doing it, you will see.

8) If you are working in the round, same rules apply. You want your piece to lie flat, so adjust your stitches accordingly, still probably making 3 stitches (or more) in corners of a square piece. However, do all the corners the same on the same square and in a series of squares that will go in the same project.

9) Even if I am going to use a fancier border, I put a single crochet border all around first. I then find it easier to determine my stitches for the border and get it to lie flat.

10) Sometimes I also find that I fudge a bit when I get back round to my beginning and join. The join adds one "loop" so I may only work 2 stitches there and count the loop as another. This is just how I personally work. I don't know what rules the experts say to use.

11) Work your border in the same material that you worked your square. In other words, if you used worsted weight acrylic for the project, use worsted weight acrylic for the border. You don't have to use the same color obviously because often a border is used as an accent.


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Single Crochet Small Rectangle and Edging
© 2006 Sandra Petit

I needed to border a strip for the joining tutorial, so I thought I'd add a "tutorial" on working a simple single crochet border. I made up a small sample strip to border. Here is the pattern I used. This strip is done in purple with white border.

Row 1: ch 8, dc in 4th chain from hook, dc in each remaining chain, ch 2, turn. (6dc)

Row 2: dc in 2nd dc (second "hole") and in next 4 dc, dc in top chain of turning chain, ch 2, turn. (6dc)

Rows 3-5: repeat row 2. Do not ch 2 at the end of row 5, Do not finish off but do cut your yarn about 4-6 inches from the end. Join white for border here.

Note: You will finish Row 5 on the RIGHT side of the strip. I always try to work my border on the right side of my work unless the pattern says otherwise.

Border: (Important note: You're going to be turning your work - but when I say "turn" in this case, I don't mean turn it towards the back, but rather just move it so that the row you're working on it at the top. You'll remain on the RIGHT side of the work.)

With right side facing you, shove the beginning dangling piece of your new yarn (white in this case) to the back and work over your old yarn (purple) end. You can work over both ends if you want to but it may be kind of thick there. You should have about 4" of the purple.

Note: I personally find that my border lies flat if I use a hook one size smaller than I used for the project. This may not be the case for you. You'll have to experiment to see what works best.

Left side: With white, ch 1, work 2 sc under each dc (lying on its side) down the left side of your strip. (don't forget you're working over your end so you don't have to sew it in later). If your end is longer than that side, snip it here. Caution: Make sure you snip the right one, because your beginning yarn is hanging there too. You should have 10 single crochets at this point.

For your corner, you have options. There are many ways to make the turn of your corner in a border. See above for suggestions.

After you complete the corner, it will help if you turn your piece so that next side is now your top. Work 1 sc in next 4 chain loops (there's 5 of them but only use 4 right now), crocheting over the beginning yarn dangling there.

Then make 3 sc (if that is the corner you've chosen) in the top chain. (This is the skipped chains from your foundation chain where you chained into the fourth chain to make your first row.) We're doing this for consistency as this will be important when you join.

Okay, turn your piece again so the next row, which is actually the side of your work, is on top. Work 2 sc under each double crochet (lying on its side). NOT counting the 3 sc in your second corner, you should have 10 single crochets.

Now, here's where it's a little tricky. You need to make a corner, but do you see a stitch there? It's real hard to see. You're going to have to squiggle things over so you can catch that top chain. (Remember that those last two single crochets you made were not over an actual double crochet but over your turning chains. That's why it's hard to see.) Work 3 sc in there, then work a sc in the next 4 dc.

Last one - work 2 sc in next dc (that's not a mistake, I said TWO) . Reason I say two now is because you're going to join with a slip stitch, which will give you another "loop" for your joining. Otherwise, you'll have 4 loops and you'll get confused. Trust me.

Now join with a slip stitch to that beginning chain you made. If you forgot to make a chain-1 at the beginning, don't fret. Just make an extra single crochet and join to that first single crochet of your border.

Note: You can also choose to finish with the Invisible Finish Off.

Ta da! You just made a border.

Remember, that this is just ONE kind of border you can make on ONE kind of strip. More border ideas below. If your crochet project is worked in single crochet rows, then instead of 2 sc in each row down the side, you would do one but still do the 3 sc in corners. You can also use double crochet rather than single for your border. You would work it the same way. Work 2 dc in each double crochet along the sides (or 1 dc if you worked the piece in single crochet rows) and 3 dc in corners.



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Shell Edging
© 2006 Sandra Petit

Here's another border, simple shell border, that you can use for almost any afghan. I think it would be suitable for a woman or a man. (I was recently told this is called the bushy stitch. Who knew? LOL)

Round 1: ch 1, sc around piece using 3 sc OR (sc, ch 2, sc) OR (sc, hdc, sc)  in corners - any of the methods that use 3 stitches, join with sl st to beg (note: if your afghan uses dc, you should do 2 sc in ea dc row along sides; if your piece uses sc, then you should do 1 sc in ea sc row along sides)

Round 2: in same st (ch 1, sc, ch 2, 2 dc), *sk 2 sc, in next sc (sc, ch 2, 2 dc), rep from * around, join with sl st to beg ch-1


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Reverse Single Crochet Edging
© 2006 Sandra Petit

I often like to border afghans that just need a bit of a finished edge with a reverse single crochet. It is not real delicate, so it works well for a man's afghan. Work just as the single crochet border above, but use the reverse single crochet stitch.


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Two Round Granny Edging for a 12" square
© 2006 Sandra Petit

I recently needed a border to be worked on squares that were already bordered with a single or double crochet. I wanted to join the squares with join-as-you-go for grannies, so I needed to make these squares "grannies" so to speak. Here's the border I added to do this. You can see this round in the picture below under Big Five Border. It is the buff round between the green and burgundy.

Abbreviated Instructions for experienced crocheters:

Rnd 1: sc around square, making sure you have same number of stitches all around, corners: 3sc OR (2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc)

Rnd 2: (2 dc, ch 1, sk 2) around, corners: (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc)

Rnd 1: join yarn with a slip stitch in any corner sp, ch 1, work 3 sc in corners [or (2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc) if necessary to square off] and 1 sc in ea st around square - try to get the same number of stitches on all sides. For the project I was working, which was a 12" square, it was 38 stitches - that doesn't mean every 12" square will need 38 stitches. It just depends on the square.), join with sl st to beg sc

Rnd 2: sl st in center corner st or sp, (ch 2, dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in corner, skip 2, (2 dc in same st, ch 1, sk 2) around, working (2 dc, ch 2, 2dc) in corners, (13 shells for this 12" square)

That gave me shells to use for my granny jayg joining.

Here's a photo of just the shell pattern in a different project.

After I finished joining these squares, I didn't want to do a plain border but wanted something a bit fancier. Looking around the web I didn't find anything that quite matched what I wanted, but I got some ideas from various sources and the 5 round border below is what I ended up with.


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Big Five Edging
© 2006 Sandra Petit

With I hook

This pattern works great with the regular granny square. I didn't go by size but by rounds - 15 rounds worked well, adjusting colors in a pattern that pleases.

Note: You can use some of these rounds as individual borders on another sort of project. See below.

Abbreviated Instructions for experienced crocheters:

    Rnd 1: sc around, corners: 3 sc

    Rnd 2: sc, ch 3, sk 1. corners: (sc, ch 3, sc)

    Rnd 3: 2 dc in ea ch-3 loop corners: (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc)

    Rnd 4: green, sc, ch 1, sk 1 corner: (sc, ch 2, sc)

    Rnd 5: back to buff, sc, ch 2, sc in each ch-1 sp including corners

Here are the same instructions, written in "pattern" format with a bit more detail:

    Rnd 1: join MC in any corner sp, sc around afghan, working 3 sc in corners, join with a slip stitch to first st, slip st to center corner st

    Rnd 2: ch1, (sc, ch 3, sc)  in corner sp, sk next st, (sc, ch 3, sk 1) around working (sc, ch 3, sc, sk 1)  in center corner stitches, join with slip stitch to first sc, sl st in ch-3 sp

    Rnd 3: (ch 2, dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in corner sp, 2 dc in each ch-3 loop around working (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in corners, join to first st and finish off.

    Rnd 4: in any corner, join one of the colors in the afghan other than the MC with a slip stitch (I used hunter green in the photo), ch 1, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner sp, (sc, ch 1, sk 1) around working (sc, ch 2, sc) in corners (if you find that pulls too much, use (2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc), join and finish off

    If you need more width/length try dc instead of sc
    Rnd 5: join original color in any corner sp, ch 1, (sc, ch 2, sc) in each ch-1 space around, including corner spaces.


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Copyright 1997 - 2016 by Sandra Petit. All rights reserved.

Crochet Cabana created October 1997 (domain name purchased March 2001)
Crochet Cabana’s Crafty Corral begun November 7, 2004.
The Crochet Cabana Blog begun May 2010.
Site update November 18, 2012.