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Beginners / Tips & Techniques

Tips for Straight Edges

Updated April 27, 2023

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We’ve all been a victim to wonky edges before, right? You know the feeling…you’ve been merrily hooking away, listening to music and working on a blanket…only to discover you’re misplaced a stitch or awkwardly hooked through a loop. Boom, wonky edges. What a nightmare! In fact, sometimes even if you’re crocheting perfectly, slightly wavy edges can happen. So…what can you do about it? I’m going to share some of my top tips for straight edges as well as introduce you to the foundation turning chain, a neat little technique that will tidy your edges. Ready to learn?

TECHNIQUE BOOST

This tutorial is part of my Summer series covered intermediate and advanced crochet techniques that are designed to boost your skills, teach you new tricks and increase your crochet nous. Want to catch up on some of the other techniques?

THE FOUNDATION TURNING CHAIN

This handy little trick works wonderfully with any stitch that is larger than a UK double crochet. All of the swatches use treble crochet (UK) and feature 10 stitches.

The swatch below features 9 treble crochet stitches and the turning chain in each row. The trouble with this method is that you get a gap at the sides as you’re working. This gap is caused by the turning chain and can be a little bit unslightly!

With the second swatch, I didn’t count the turning chain as one of the ten stitches. It was additional. You actually create your first stitch in the base of the chain 3 that creates your turning chain. It’s a much neater finish however the edges can be slightly bumpy! So, you’ve eliminated the gaps, but introduced a wavy edge to your work!

…and now we’re onto the foundation turning chain! This technique can be a bit tricky to master, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll never turn back.

See that neat little swatch? No gaps, bumps or lumps!

Ready to learn?

Create a slipknot and then chain 10 to create a foundation.

TIP: Make sure your foundation chain isn’t too tight so that you can work the stitches nice and easily. Need help with that? Try this: Tips for Tension.

Because I want my work to be 10 stitches wide, I added one extra stitch to make 11 in total. Turn your work.

TIP: If your work is going to use treble crochet, I suggest making a foundation row of double crochet. It creates a nice, stable and neat beginning to your work.

Double crochet into the 2nd chain from hook. Double crochet to end of row. You should have created 10 double crochet stitches. Turn your work.

TIP: If you are finding that your foundation chain is too tight, go up a crochet size or two for your foundation chain and first row.

*Double crochet into the first stitch. If you look at the stitch, you’ll notice there are two posts to it. We need to make this stitch higher. We do this by creating essentially another double crochet into this stitch. As I said, this stitch has two posts to it, if you go into the first post you’ll undo the stitch you’ve just made. So, pop your hook into the second post of the stitch.

This will create a stitch that looks just like a treble, but is bulkier so it fills up the gap. Magic, right?

This bulky stitch counts as the first stitch. Work into the second stitch and create your first treble of the row. Treble to the end of the row.

Count your stitches and make sure you still have ten, then turn your work.

Repeat the steps from *

Continue following this pattern until your work is complete.

VIDEO TUTORIAL

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2 Comments

  • Angela Altomare
    July 14, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    OMG!!!
    I’ve been crocheting for over 40 years and have struggled with “wonky” edges at times…well, most times! I’ve tried so many techniques and while they help a bit, I think because I get “on a roll” I fall into the “wonky-world” again. This technique is absolutely amazing!
    I frogged a project I started last week and used this technique and I am so thrilled with the results!
    After I got accustomed to doing the doubles at the beginning of the rows, I am able to crochet while listening to my audiobook or watching tv with edges that are staying straight!
    Thank you so much for everything you do! Not sure how you do it with two little ones around, but I greatly appreciate it!
    You have helped this old bird out with your other pointers and this one just really ices the “Bella Coco Cake”! 🙂

    Reply
    • BellaCocoTeam
      July 14, 2021 at 7:13 pm

      Ahh thank you so much that really does mean a lot to me 🙂

      Reply

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