It's possible to elevate basic crochet afghans into heirloom-quality keepsakes by adding decorative stitches along the edges. Some edgings serve a function, typically to prevent the edges of a project from curling. Other edgings are purely decorative. Edging patterns vary in difficulty just as much as the afghans themselves, so there are options for all ability levels.
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The easiest way to create an edge around an afghan is with single-crochet stitches. All you need to do to create this edging is to place single crochet stitches evenly spaced along all edges of the afghan. Another beginner-level crochet edging is rope stitch or crab stitch, which is a combination of single-crochet and slip stitches. While these beginner stitches are not as intricate as more advanced edging techniques, they will still add a decorative border to your afghan. One way to make the edging stand out even more is to crochet the edging in a colour that contrasts with the rest of the afghan.
Decorative crochet edgings such as arcade stitch, shell stitch and arches require the use of only a few techniques. To create arcade stitch and shell stitch, you will need to know how to make chain stitches, make more than one single-crochet stitch or double-crochet stitch in the same space and how to skip stitches. Arches require the ability to join stitches in the round with slip stitches and crocheting in the centre of the created ring.
Create a more formal and intricate look to your afghan by crochet a lace pattern along the afghan's edges. There are numerous types of lace edgings, many of which are variations of other basic and intermediate edging stitch patterns. Options for lace stitches include picot lace, scalloped lace and lacy V-stitch edging. Lace stitches may require more advanced crochet techniques such as yarning over or slipping stitches off of the hook at various points.
Decorative-shape stitch patterns are also available for afghan edges. An example is block edging, which looks like a series of slanted blocks along the edges of the afghan. Several other edgings are in nature motifs such as daisies, cherry sprays, buttercups and clovers. Ruffled edges and heart-shaped edging motifs are also possible for those with more advanced crocheting abilities or a willingness to experiment with learning new techniques.
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