Today we're going to learn a few crochet stitches and use them to create a zigzag edging. You can put this edging on anything that has, well - that has an edge! Towels, sleeves, hemlines, baby blankets, pillowcases ... and if you made a pillowcase along with us with last Wednesday's post, you're ready to go!
If you've never tried crochet before, this is a good beginning project. If you've tried crochet and hated it because you never could get the knack of adding crochet stitches into that long chain you started out with, you're in luck - we're not crocheting from a chain, so give this a try!
*Size 10 crochet cotton
You can put edgings on with smaller thread, but I wouldn't want to learn on anything smaller than 10! Crochet thread is numbered on a gauge system - the larger the number, the thinner the thread and the smaller the number the thicker the thread
*Size 7 or 8 (1.5 to 1.25 mm) crochet hook - this will be the skinny, silver type
Size 20 thread - use a 9 or 10 (1.15 to 1.0 mm)
Size 30 thread - use an 11 or 12 (.8 to .7 mm)
* Large eyed embroidery needle
*Something to put an edging on
Blanket Stitch Edging
The first step in this project, is to put a blanket stitch edging on your pillowcase (I know you may be working on something else, but it's just easier for me to keep saying "pillowcase" not "whatever you are working on"). If you're not familiar with this stitch, we learned it in this post.
Use your size 10 crochet thread, doubled and make your stitches very shallow and very close together.
Crocheting the Edging
I've put together a video clip with narration, showing you how to crochet a zigzag edging onto your pillowcase. Following the video, I've written the instructions out in steps with pictures from the video for those of you who prefer a written out step-by-step.
For those who already crochet, our pattern is 1) join in a blanket stitch space with a slip stitch, 2) *sc in the next space, 3) sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc in the next space, 4) repeat from * to the end, 5) slip stitch to first sc and finish off.
1. First you need to know how to hold the thread and hook. There are lots of different ways - I'll show you how I learned, you can look at other "how to crochet" sources and use which ever way feels best to you. What you're trying to do with the thread in your non-hook hand is hold it in a way that allows you to easily pull additional thread through your fingers while still holding it tight enough to keep your stitches even and not too loose.
2. I will be holding the thread ends that resulted when I needed to add more thread during the blanket stitching up at the top of the blanket stitch on the back. This way I can crochet over them (insert my hook under the top edge of the blanket stitch and the thread ends), encasing them in my crochet stitches. This anchors them in. You can also just weave them back and forth through your crochet stitches with your crochet hook or a needle.
3. Pick up your pillowcase with the right side facing you and hold it between your forefinger and thumb.
4. Insert your crochet hook under the top of your blanket stitch, put the thread over your hook,
5. hook the thread with the little hook end, and pull the thread back through. You should have one loop on your hook.
6. Put the thread over your hook again (this is called "yarn over") and pull the thread through the loop on your hook. You should still have one loop on your hook. We have anchored the thread to our blanket stitching.
7. Move to the next section of blanket stitching. We are going to do a single crochet. I live in the US - depending on where you live, this stitch may be called something else. Crochetnmore has a chart giving the name conversions with brief descriptions of the stitch.
Insert your hook through this next section of blanket stitching, yarn over, pull the thread back through the blanket stitch opening, you should have two loops on your hook.
8. Yarn over, pull the thread through both loops. You have a single crochet stitch.
9. Move to the next section of blanket stitching. Make a single crochet stitch. In the same blanket stitch section, we are going to do four more stitches.
10. Make a half-double crochet stitch. Before you insert your hook through the blanket stitch section, yarn over. Now put your hook through the same blanket stitch section where you made your single crochet stitch, yarn over, and pull the thread through to the front. You should have three loops on your hook.
|yarn over before going through blanket stitch opening|
12. Make a double crochet stitch. Just like in the half-double, before you insert your hook through the blanket stitch section, yarn over. Put your hook through the same blanket stitch section where you made the half-double and single crochet stitches, yarn over, and pull the thread through to the front. You should have three loops on your hook. So far, this is just like the half-double. But this time, yarn over and pull the thread through only the first two loops on your hook. Yarn over again and pull the thread through the remaining two loops on your hook. That's a double.
|After you yarn over and pull through two loops, you have two loops left on your hook.|
|Yarn over and pull through the remaining two loops on your hook and you have completed the double.|
13. In the same blanket stitch, you're going to now make another half-double and then a single crochet stitch. You have the first point to your zigzag pattern.
14. Move to the next blanket stitch section and make a single crochet stitch.
15. Move to the next blanket stitch section and make another zigzag point.
Make a single crochet stitch.
Make a half-double crochet stitch.
Make a double crochet stitch.
Make another half-double crochet stitch.
Make another single crochet stitch.
16. Repeat steps 14 and 15 all the way around your pillowcase for your zigzag pattern.
17. When you reach the end, insert your crochet hook through the very first single crochet stitch you made, yarn over, and pull the thread through the loop on your hook.
18. Cut your thread, yarn over, and pull the end through the loop on your hook. Weave the loose thread end along the back with your hook to anchor it in.
Enjoy your new pillowcases!
You can play around with different combinations of single, half-double, and double crochet stitches to make other edgings. I like to put these on my granddaughter's clothing!
Next week, we start a month of T-shirt dye and design techniques that can be applied to any type of clothing.
Happy Creating! Deborah