How to add a crochet edge to knitting
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To add a crochet edge to a knitting project isn’t hard at all, even for crocheting newbies!
When crocheting you only have to manage one live stitch at the time, which makes it easier to handle than knitting. It also makes it easier to rip out if you want to change something.
There are a few good reasons to add a crochet edge to knitting:
- Hide the knit edges if you don’t think they are neat enough.
- It looks cute and makes your knitted piece look more finished.
- You could also add a crochet edge to knitting to stop the knit fabric from curling at the edges. This can work sometimes, but I can say that it didn’t on the curly stockinette swatch I used to take the pictures for this post. It actually got worse! So if you have a lot of curling going on you could give adding a crochet edge a try, if it turns out like my curly swatch try these tips instead!
Single Crochet: The first step of adding a crochet edge to a knitting project
This method of crocheting a row of single crochet around a project or along one or more edges can be used on its own or as a foundation for all kinds of crochet borders and edgings.
The single crochet row won’t stop knitting from curling, but if you add a few rows it can help. Or you use a row of single crochet as a foundation row and add a cute crochet border!
Knowing the basics of crochet can be really helpful in your knitting.
Learn more about why I think that the crochet hook is a knitter’s best friend!
How to start a row of single crochet edging
Yarn: You will need yarn in the same weight as the project you’ve knitted.
You can use the same yarn or another yarn in the same group. It can be a good idea to choose the same type of fiber because of the fibers different characteristics. Learn more about yarn weight here!
Hook: A hook as close to your knitting needles in size as possible. If you’re using needles and hooks in millimeter sizes, just use the same.
If you’re going to crochet the edge around a knitted piece:
Hold your knitted piece with the right side facing you. You’re going to start your row of single crochet somewhere in the middle of your bind-off row. It’s not that important where, as long as it isn’t in a corner!
If you’re going to use the single crochet edge as the foundation row for another edging you have to adjust your stitches so that you have the correct stitch count for that pattern.
You can do this by crocheting two stitches in the same stitch if you need more stitches. Or by skipping a stitch if you need to decrease the number of stitches.
Start with a slip stitch (sl st)
Hold the yarn in your left hand and the hook in your right. Push the hook into a stitch( from front to back) wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through to the front to create a loop. Wrap the yarn around your hook again and pull it through the loop you just created. You know have one loop on the needle. This was your first stitch.
Creating the first single crochet (sc)
Continue working by pushing the hook into the next stitch at the left, wrapping the yarn around the hook and pulling it back. Now you have two loops on your hook.
Wrap it with the yarn again and pull the yarn through the loops on the hook. (Now you have one loop on the hook)
This was your first sc, short for single crochet.
Adding stitches at the corner
Continue working in single crochet in the remaining stitches on the row. When you reach the corner you need to add some stitches. This is otherwise the edge will be too tight and pull the fabric so it crumples up in the corner.
Too add stitches, work three single crochet stitches in the last stitch of the row and the continue down the side of your work.
Crocheting in uneven sides
The sides of a knitting project can be a little wonky and uneven. And they aslo look different depending on how you work your turns.
I like to purl my last stitch of a row, turn and then slip the first stitch as if I were to knit. This creates a uniform and neat chain of V:s along the side, looking like bigger knit stitches.
You can learn more about how to knit neat sides in this post: 4 ways to knit neater edges
I alternated making 1 and 2 single crochet (sc) in each “V” on my stockinette swatch. (See the left pic under “Adding stitches at the corner”) If you have knitted another stitch pattern or loser/tighter than me you may have to make more or fewer stitches.
Try it out and see what works for you!
How to finish a single crochet edging
When you have crocheted your way around your piece you will end up where you started. Now you can choose between finishing off or continue working any of these edges for a little more flair!
To finish off:
- Make a slip stitch (sl st). Insert your hook into the first stitch you made, wrap with yarn, pull to the front of the work and through the loop on your hook.
- Cut the yarn, leaving a tail for weaving in, and pull the tail through the last loop just as you do when finishing off knitting.
- Weave in the ends as you do when knitting.
How to add crochet edging to part of a project
If you want to add a crochet edge to one, two, or three sides of a project it’s done almost the same way as described above.
The differences is that you should start where you want the edging to start and stop where you want it to stop.
To finish this type of edging off you just stop crocheting, cut the yarn, pull the tail through the last loop and weave in the ends. Like you do when knitting.
If you like to use the single crochet row as a foundation for another edging like one of these, for example, you don’t cut your yarn. Instead, you turn the work over and follow the instructions for that edging.
How to double crochet an edge on knitting
Adding a double crochet edge to a knitting project creates a wider edge than the singel crochet edge alone, but it’s still a solid, no fuzz kind of edge.
You could ad the double crochet edge straight to the knitting, but it will look much nicer if you use the single crochet edge as a foundation.
Start by crocheting a single crochet edge, you can do this in the same yarn as your project if you don’t want it to show.
Want to change color?
If you want to change color before adding the double crochet cut your yarn and leave the tail hanging and just keep working with the new yarn.
Double crochet (dc) around a project
Close the round of single crochet by making a slip stitch (sl) into the first stitch of the round. If you want to change color it’s best to do this before the slip stitch.
Chain two. This is done by wrapping yarn around the hook and pulling it through the loop on your needle. Do this twice to build up the height for the double crochet stitch. This chain does not count as a stitch if you’re pattern doesn’t say so.
Wrap yarn around the hook, push it into the first stitch, wrap it again and pull it back. (You have three loops on the hook)
Wrap again and pull the yarn through the first two loops on your hook. (two loops on hook)
Wrap another time and pull through the two remaining stitches on your hook. (one loop on hook) And your first double crochet stitch is done!
Double crochet one time in each single crochet, adding three stitches in the middle of the three corner stitches from last row.
When your row is finished slip stitch (sl st) into the second of the chains at the beginning of the row.
Double crochet (dc) back and forth
Follow the instructions above but start by turning your work over if you’re using the same yarn as for the single crochet.
If you have cut your yarn to change the color you could also keep working on the right side, starting at the same point as the previous row.
When the row is done, you just cut your yarn and finish off by pulling the tail through the loop and weaving in the ends.
To add another row, turn your work, chain two and keep going.
What type of knitting projects can benefit from adding a crochet border?
Knitted blankets and afghans look more finished and put together with a border.
A basic knit top or sweater can look cute with lace edging in the same yarn or white lace for a more romantic touch. Or maybe just a narrow picot edge in a contrasting color.
All the possibilities, I get totally overwhelmed by all the ideas filling my head at the moment!
Happy crocheting guys, I’m off for some experimenting with my hooks… 🙂
(Are you as intrigued by the idea to add crochet to your knits as I am? Take a look at these cute edgings over at the SpruceCrafts! If you start by making the single crochet foundation row these will be great embellishments for your knitting projects)