Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cleaning up the edges...

No finishes this week, but I have some in-process pictures, and a new-to-me technique I'm really excited to share.

A few days ago I started making A Simple Pineapple Top Bag.  It should be noted that there is an error in Round 13. Little did I know when I was working the pattern the designer's page on Ravelry contained the errata for this error.  When I was feeling stuck, I was thankful to have a chart I could refer to and and pleased with myself that I figured it out on my own.  I'm not terribly adept at chart-reading, but maybe I'll get there...

It will take me another day or so to finish it and figure out a drawstring, so for now here is a picture of the beginning of the pretty top:


And I nearly finished with my Kitty-Cat blanket.   Just as the end of it was nearing, a friend posted a video to Ravelry showing how to prepare an uneven edge for a border that is made of multiple colors of yarns.   Now, if you're adding a border to a solid color crocheted piece, the standard way to prepare the edge is to make a row of single crochet stitches all the way around the piece - using the same color yarn that is used in the blanket.

But for a piece that's made up of different yarns (and more importantly, different colors) doing the above can still result in a wobbly and messy "prep row" let's call it.  I didn't think there was any way around this, so up until now I've just carried on with crocheting sc's around anything I want to prep for a border - completely clueless that there might be a better way.  

Now, if you are familiar with Esther from It's all in a Nutshell, you'll know she has a wonderful way of explaining things and her video tutorials are terrific.  My first exposure to Esther's video tutorials was when I did the Mandala Madness CAL last year, where she made that project a piece of cake. 

This new-to-me video did not disappoint either.  Esther shows how to prepare an uneven edge using slip stitches instead of single crochets.    Here's the video in case you're interested:

If the video doesn't play for some reason, here is a link to it on YouTube.

Now, Esther uses a heathered or multi-toned yarn that blends well with the other yarns in the piece she's crocheting slip stitches around.   Using the color she did, her slip stitches pretty much disappear into the larger piece.

Mine don't disappear (yet), but they do make a neat row of stitches along the edge of the blanket:

Unfortunately, the first time I tried this, I found my slip stitches weren't so neat on the back.  Since all my colors contrast with each other, the back edge was still pretty sloppy.  (I wish I'd taken a picture, but just imagine a lot of uneven stitches visible on the back side of the above - the same as if I had just crocheted single crochets all around.)  A messy back kind of negates the whole point of using slip stitches - which are a tad more tedious to make than single crochets, I might add.  Hmmm... what to do?

Seeing that Esther sometimes slip-stitched under just one strand of yarn, I decided to try that all the way across and I noticed that the effect on the back was significantly neater.  It was still visible, but it was much, much better.  Rather than a bunch of uneven and jagged stitches, I got this cleaner "running stitch" effect:
And then, once the slip stitches were finished, I could begin crocheting single crochet stitches into the slip stitches, and that's when the magic happened...

My slip stitches virtually disappeared on the front of the blanket:
The edge is clean and straight - even where it runs along the contrasting colors.    Wow!  Is that cool or what?!?

When I'm all finished and can show a picture next week, we'll see if the back "stitched" lines bother me at all.  They don't bother me now, so I can't imagine they will bother me once a complete border is on this blanket.

Check out what other Yoppers are up to, by visiting our group on Ravelry.


  1. Thanks for that edging tip. It will come in very handy for me too. The Pineapple bag is adorable. Congrats on figuring out the mistake and how to correct it.

  2. Awesome! Thank you so much for that technique and Esther! I will have to save that video and your explanations are great. I am loving that pineapple bag too!

  3. Great bag! Thanks for sharing that video. It will come in handy while I'm putting a blanket together.

  4. That is a cool trick about the edging! I've always like you done single crochet and then worked off that but that looks so much neater! I'm going to remember this for the next blanket I need to edge, thanks for the links.

  5. That really is awesome - that edge! Well done!

    And we'll done to detect and correct the chart error on your own! That's confident chart reading!

  6. wow i am amazed with you kniting skills my friend!!!
    this bag looks stunning!
    tutorial is great though i could not see it but glad you shared .
    my mom used to knit a lot ,i did little back few years due to lack of free time for myself.

  7. Great timing on the notes about the edging. I've just finished a wave blanket and I was having issues with a border idea. I had decided on a crab stitch but it just wasn't looking right. I'll revisit it with the slip stitch and I think that will be a much better design. Thanks for passing it along!

  8. Hi Becki! :) That is a really nice technique, the blanket looks wonderful! I love the colours of your pineapple bag! :)

  9. Yay for learning new things and for finding awesome videos that truly help. It looks wonderful.

  10. I can see what you mean about the edging but all of yours look very neat. The bag looks brilliant.