Finish with a flourish September 21, 2013 • Robin Stroot
Finishing techniques can make or break the final step of a craft project. Going around a curved edge or making the corner takes a little practice along with a few tips to help you make the turn on your craft project. I will use a baby-sized blanket or afghan for the example below. There are some edgings that are made with extra stitches such as around a crochet doily, to make the last few rows purposely flair in a zig-zag pattern, but let’s focus on just the flat edgings for your project.
One of the main tips in making curves and corners is to allow enough fabric or knit/crochet stitches so that the corners will lie flat but not too much fabric or knit/crochet stitches to cause ruffling out or bunching fabric at the corners.
Sewing projects can be finished off with flat binding along the edges. Blanket binding is made to fold over the raw edges of the finished blanket. The material is a type of bias tape, which means it is cut along the bias (diagonally) of the fabric. This allows the binding to be flexible and easier to manipulate along curves and edges. The binding also gives a more durable finished edge on the blanket.
Crochet and knit items often include extra stitches to turn the corners on the afghan. The number of crochet stitches and turning chains depends on the type of stitch being used. Single crochet stitches are not as long as double or triple crochet stitches. So, on a single crochet stitch edge, you may only need two chain stitches between the groups of stitches for the corners of the afghan. For double crochet, you may need three to make the corner of the afghan lie flat.
For crochet or knit patterns that include a curved edge (such as a picot or curved, knitted edging) the stitch pattern will incorporate the needed sections to get around the corner of the afghan. Again, there should be enough stitches to make the corner lie flat.
Blocking the finished knit/crochet afghan helps give a better appearance along the edges of the afghan. You want to block the afghan so that all the stitches and the edging are evenly spaced around the entire afghan and none of the edges flair up or make a wavy line. When you are blocking the afghan, stand back and take a look along the edges of the afghan. The edges (and afghan pattern) should all be straight along the entire edge of the afghan. Think of it as looking at the road. If the road looks wavy, check your blocking to be sure the lines are not distorted due to blocking. Dampen the wavy sections and re-pin in place to make the lines straight.
Next week, more on making curves and corners on your craft projects.