I love crochet edgings! They’re quick and easy to do and add a lovely hand-made touch to something a little bit ordinary. When I was designing these edgings for Issue 11 of Simply Crochet magazine, I was mindful of the fact that edgings are sometimes a bit of a faff to do. Very often you know how long the edging needs to be, but if you’re following an edging pattern that starts with a foundation chain, the chain itself isn’t a very reliable guide to how long the finished edging piece will turn out. Foundation chains are notoriously fickle, and once you’ve worked a few rows, the finished piece can turn out quite a different length from the original chain because the tension of the chain, and the tension of rows of stitches, varies quite a bit.
One of the solutions to this problem is to work a foundation chain quite a bit longer than you think you will need, because it’s a relatively easy job to unpick the extra chains that aren’t needed after you’ve worked a couple of rows. This was the instruction I gave for a couple of the edgings above, but the one on the outside of the image is worked using a different method. Instead of making a chain as long as the edging needs to be, the pattern is written to be worked back and forth in short rows, so you can adjust the length to fit as you work.
I thought I’d try and come up with some more patterns like this that are ‘back and forth’ edgings, worked in short rows. Here are three more designs, with the most straightforward one at the top.
For all of these edgings I used DMC Petra #3, and a 2.5mm (US B/1 or C/2 hook). UK crochet terms are used throughout.
This first one’s nice and simple to work. It would be an interesting way of starting off a piece of work too, because you could then rotate the edging and work into the row of chain spaces along the long edge:
Ch6 and ss into the first ch to join into a ring.
Row 1 (RS) Ch4 (counts as first dtr), 3dtr into ring, ch4, 4dtr into ring, turn. [8 dtr, ch-4 sp]
Row 2 Ch3 (counts as first tr), (3tr, ch3, 3tr) into ch-4 sp, tr into top of beg ch-4, turn. [8 tr, ch-4 sp]
Row 3 Ch4 (counts as first dtr), (4dtr into ring, ch4, 4dtr) into ch-4 sp, turn. [9 dtr, ch-4 sp]
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until your edging is the desired length, fasten off and weave in ends.
You could add more colours to this edging by threading lengths of chain through the spaces along the long straight edge, or do the same with narrow ribbon:
Row 1 (RS) 4dc beg in second ch from hook, turn. [4 dc]
Row 2 Ch1 (does not count as st), 4dc, turn.
Row 3 Ch4 (counts as tr, ch1), skip st at base of ch, tr in next st, ch1, skip next st, tr in next st, ch3, rotate 90 degrees to work in sp created by tr just worked, tr4tog with first 3 ‘legs’ in space created by tr, and last leg in end of last row of dc, turn. [3 tr, 2 ch-1 sp, ch3, tr4tog]
Row 4 Ch3, ss in top of tr4tog from previous row, ch4, skip ch-3 from previous row, (dc in next tr, dc in next ch-1 sp) twice, turn leaving top of turning ch unworked. [ch-3 picot, ch-4, 4 dc]
Row 5 Ch4 (counts as tr, ch1), skip st at base of ch, tr in next st, ch1, skip next st, tr in next st, turn. [5 sts]
Row 6 Ch1 (does not count as st), dc in each of next 4 sts, turn, leaving top of turning ch unworked. [4 sts]
Rows 7 and 8 As Rows 3 and 4.
Repeat Rows 5-8 until edging is the desired length, fasten off and weave in ends.
This is my favourite because it’s so well behaved! I like the way the trebles without any turning chain make a neat firm edge along the top, and of the three this one is most suited to working around curves like a neckline because there is a bit of ‘give’ in it. Incidentally, in the first image above I shot it from the wrong side, so I’ve flipped the image below to match the chart and the direction of working.
Row 1 (WS) 4dc beginning in second ch from hook, turn. [4 dc]
Row 2 (RS) Ch1 (does not count as st), 2dc, ch4, tr in next dc, ch4, tr around post of last tr worked, turn. [2 dc, 2 tr, 2 ch-4 sp]
Row 3 Ss into first ch-4 sp, ch4, ss into same ch-4 sp, ch4, dc in next ch-4 sp, ch1, tr in each of next 2 dc, turn. [2 ch-4 sp, dc, ch-1 sp, 2 tr]
Row 4 Ch1 (does not count as st), 2dc, ch4, tr in ch-1 sp, ch4, tr around post of last tr worked, turn. [2 dc, 2 tr, 2 ch-4 sp]
Row 5 Ss into first ch-4 sp, ch4, ss into same ch-4 sp, ch4, dc in next ch-4 sp, ch1, tr in each of next 2 dc, turn. [2 ch-4 sp, dc, ch-1 sp, 2 tr]
Repeat Rows 4 and 5 until edging is desired length, fasten off and weave in ends.