Your choice of crochet edge can seriously make or break your design. Sure, you can leave it unfinished, but choose the right edging stitch... and let the oohs and ahhs roll in!
What qualifies as edging? You work the edge directly on a piece of crochet, unlike a trim, which is worked separately, then attached.
5 edges you've gotta try
You might want to memorize these (seriously!). That way when you get to the end of a project, you already have a few ideas about how to finish it off.
One more thing: I've included a suggested number of stitches these edges can be worked on. If you find your last row has fewer stitches than called for, make an evenly spaced increase row. Luckily, most of these are worked over a small number of stitches, so your increase row shouldn't warp the shape of your fabric.
Crocheting a row of single crochet is best before you start an edge pattern so you can work on an even line, especially if you're working a side.
1. Crab stitch
The crab stitch makes for a great corded edging. It's a subtle and sophisticated finish that'll be the easiest to memorize and use, so make friends with it now!
Worked over: any number of stitches
Finish it: Work an odd number of rows (at least one) of single crochet. At the end, do not turn — CH 1, skip the stitch directly to the RIGHT and reverse single crochet (rev SC*) into each SC, ending with a sl st in the turning chain of the previous row. Fasten off.
Worked in the round: sl st into first SC, Ch 1, then continue as for working flat, ending with a slst into first rev SC.
*rev SC (worked from left to right): Insert hook in next stitch to the right, yarn over, pull loop through, yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
2. Shell edging
Shells will give you a more dainty looking finish, and aren't those little scallops cute?! This one's lovely on blankets and garments.
Worked over: multiple of 4 stitches + 1. The sample above was worked after one row of contrasting SC.
Finish it: Ch 1, SC in first st, *skip 1 st, 5 DC in next st, skip 1 st, 1 SC in next st; Rep from * to end, SC in last st (or turning ch, if you work in the turning chains). Fasten off.
3. Picot edging
Use picots for a decorative edge that's not going to outshine the pattern. This really simple edge uses only single crochet and chains.
Worked over: any number of stitches, depending on how you want to space the bumps (picots)
Finish it: Treat this like a row of SC. After the first stitch, Ch 3, 4, or 5 and slst into first ch (picot made!). Work two, three, or four stitches, then make another picot. Continue working like that, ending with a picot over the second to last SC.
The edging above uses 3 chain picots with two stitches between each.
4. Block edging
I like to call these "leaning DC groups." I sometimes use them in my patterns, but they make a pretty interesting edge too. If you want to put them in a pattern, your next row can be made by crocheting into the corners of each little block and chaining to get to the next.
Worked over: Multiple of 4 stitches + 3
Finish it: Ch 3, skip first 3 stitches, *1 DC in next st, Ch 3, 3 DC around the post of the DC, skip next 3 stitches; Rep from * to last 3 stitches, Ch 3, slst in last stitch or turning chain of previous row.
Worked in the round: Ch 6, DC in 4th ch from hook, DC in next ch, 2 DC in first ch, skip next 3 stitches, * 1 DC in next st, Ch 3, 4 DC around the post of the DC, skip next 3 stitches; Rep from * around, slst into third chain of beg-ch.
This one gets its name because it resembles the blanket stitch in embroidery. It's a simple stitch that looks best in a contrasting color. You might also find it called the spike stitch .
Worked over: any number of stitches
Finish it: This stitch utilizes the spike SC. Space them to suit the number of stitches you have in the row or round.
For example (multiple of 4 stitches + 3):
Ch 1, SC in first 3 stitches, *1 SC in next stitch by inserting your hook about 1/4" below the edge, 1 SC in each of the next 3 stitches; Rep from * to end. Fasten off. You can make the spikes longer by inserting your hook lower in the main piece.