I use this technique All. Of. The. Time. I hate raw edges on my crochet work and tend to turn the work to make different shapes. When writing up crochet patterns that use this technique (most of them), I’ve been taking pictures of how to do this, like it was a weird thing to do when crocheting. It dawned on me that this is a basic crochet skill that we should have in our arsenal of awesome crochet tools. (If my brother is reading this, he might have just stopped and started to do the corny dance… which he will deny having any knowledge of what I’m talking about.) We should have the know how to crochet down the side edge of our work, and we should know how to do it correctly. Nobody wants their crochet pieces to ruffle or buckle, because we’re not doing the work right.
Working down (or up) the side of your crochet edges is really important. Correct hook placement in each side edge space will make your piece look amazing or like your thumbless cat suddenly took up crocheting (unless maybe your cat is a really good crocheter). You need to know how to work those corners, so your crochet retains its shape. You WANT THIS TECHNIQUE as part of your crochet knowledge. What if you make a blanket and want to add a border? What if you crocheted a tooth and it needs an edge so the tooth shape really stands out? What if you need to attach two pieces together at the side? This technique allows you to accomplish all of it and more that I probably can’t think of right now.
Make a crocheted swatch of 10 sc sts and 10 rows (the pattern for this is at the bottom of the post). Normally you would chain 1 and turn (ch 1, tn) the work to do another row. You will still chain 1 (ch 1) and then turn the work clockwise so the left side edge of your work is facing up (1). Now you need to find the side edge space created when you chain 1 and turned those 10 rows (2), starting with the same space as your last crochet stitch. Make sure you don’t forget that part or it will ruin your counting and spacing. Single crochet (sc) 10 down the side of your work making sure the hook goes into your side edge spaces (3). Turn that corner to continue to the bottom stitches. These will be the back edge of the original chain we made when we started the 10 X 10 swatch. After your 10th side single crochet stitch, chain 1 and turn the work so the bottom is facing up (4). Now you start the process all over again, just on the back edge of the original chain. You can go all the way around your crochet work, repeating these step for each side (like for a border of a blanket), or follow the instructions on your crochet pattern.
When working down the side of double crochet stitches (dc sts), you have to make some modifications. Ten rows of double crochet work will get you 20 side edge stitches, because 1 double crochet stitch has “2 stitches” to it (thus the double part of double crochet)… the same thinking stands true for triple crochet (tr) and beyond.
Stitches like a half double crochet (hdc) would still only get the one single crochet (sc) in the side edge space, because there’s really only the one crochet stitch in a half double crochet stitch.
Keep practicing this technique until you are comfortable with it. It takes a little bit of practice to see those side edge spaces, but it’s really an awesome way to add a nice finished edge (or whatever your pattern is telling you to do) to your crochet work. Most of the KBG crochet patterns use this technique. You can see them all here.
Pattern for 10 X 10 swatch
- working in rows, ch 11, tn
- sc 2nd st from hook, sc next 9 sts, ch 1, tn – 10 sc
- (mark 1st st) sc each st across, ch 1, tn – 10 sc
- repeat last row (7 times) – 10 sc
- sc each st across, ch 1, tn so the side edge is facing up
Pattern for the border on the 10 X 10 swatch
- sc 10 down the side of your work in each side edge space, ch 1, tn so the bottom is facing up, sc 10 along the back side of the original ch, ch 1, tn so the other side edge is facing up, sc 10 up the side of your work in each side edge space, ch 1, tn, sc each st along the top of your piece, sl st 1st st, F.O.
- ch – chain
- sc – single crohet
- tn – turn
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- sl st – slip stitch
- F.O. – fasten off