Crochet · Crochet Beginner · Learn to Stitch · Tutorial Tuesday · Uncategorized

Straight Crochet Edges

It’s the bane of every crocheter’s existence. You work hard on this project, and your edges are a little wavy and there are gaps at the beginning of a row and you have to spend hours blocking it out to *try* to straighten those edges out. And they’re still not quite right.

Here is my little secret for straight crochet edges – reduce your chain at the beginning of every row, and do not count the starting chain in your stitch count. Let me show you.
(none of the swatches used in these photos were blocked at all)

Reduced chain number - doesn't count as stitch

Single Crochet

Typically with single crochet, your starting chain each row is 1 – we’re going to reduce that to a 0 starting chain. Don’t worry…it’s not as confusing as that just sounded!

Start your project with one extra chain than your stitch count, just like you normally do (if you want 10 stitches, you chain 11 for your starting chain). Single crochet along your first row. When you get to the end, turn, but DO NOT chain. Single crochet into all 10 stitches across. Repeat in this manner for the whole project. Eliminating that starting chain in each row keeps your edges perfectly straight.

Admittedly, single crochet is not QUITE as noticeable a difference as half-double and double crochet, but take a look at this comparison. The pink swatch is the reduced chain method above; purple is chaining a normal number at the start of a row, but not counting that as a stitch (meaning you chain, then crochet directly into that first stitch your chain is coming out of); and the blue is chaining a normal number at the start of a row and counting your chain as a stitch.

Half-Double Crochet

Typically with half-double crochet, your starting chain each row is 2 – we’re going to reduce that to a 1 starting chain.

Start your project with 2 extra chains than your stitch count, just like you normally do (if you want 10 stitches, you chain 12 for your starting chain). Starting in 3rd chain from the hook, half-double crochet along your first row. When you get to the end, turn, chain 1. Half-double crochet into all 10 stitches across. Repeat in this manner for the whole project. Reducing that starting chain in each row keeps your edges perfectly straight.

Here with half-double crochet you can start to see the difference in the methods becoming a little more obvious. The pink swatch is the reduced chain method above; purple is chaining a normal number at the start of a row, but not counting that as a stitch (meaning you chain, then crochet directly into that first stitch your chain is coming out of); and the blue is chaining a normal number at the start of a row and counting your chain as a stitch. With the purple you see the edges getting a little wavy. With the blue you have some of that wave, but you can see a definitive gap at the start of the rows from counting your chain as a stitch.

Double Crochet

Typically with double crochet, your starting chain each row is 3 – we’re going to reduce that to a 1 starting chain.

Start your project with 2 extra chains than your stitch count, just like you normally do (if you want 10 stitches, you chain 12 for your starting chain). Starting in 4th chain from the hook, double crochet along your first row. When you get to the end, turn, chain 2. Double crochet into all 10 stitches across. Repeat in this manner for the whole project. Reducing that starting chain in each row keeps your edges perfectly straight.

And here is our moneymaker! The pink swatch is the reduced chain method above; purple is chaining a normal number at the start of a row, but not counting that as a stitch (meaning you chain, then crochet directly into that first stitch your chain is coming out of); and the blue is chaining a normal number at the start of a row and counting your chain as a stitch. With the purple you see the edges getting a lot wavy. With the blue you still have some of that wave, but you can see a definitive gap at the start of the rows from counting your chain as a stitch.

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful and now you can be on your way to straight crochet edges in all your projects!

As always, be sure to send me pictures of your projects!
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