How to Crochet a Straight Edge – Crochet Basics

When I first started crocheting, I couldn’t figure out how to keep my edges straight. I’d keep dropping stitches, or adding them on. The problem with teaching yourself how to do this stuff is that no one ever tells you what you’re doing wrong, unless you stop to look it up on your own.

Eventually, I did figure it out, and it was, of course, ridiculously simple. I’ll show you how to do both sc and hdc/dc.

SC
This basic stitch is one of the easiest. I chained on ten stitches and did two full rows before taking the pictures.

When you reach the end of your row, chain on an extra stitch before turning your work.

Next, skip that newly chained stitch, and crochet into the first stitch of your new row.

That extra stitch adds the height needed to keep a consistent shape throughout your piece. If you don’t do this, you’ll discover dropped stitches and end up with an oddly shaped project.

This is what it looks like after a few more stitches

HDC and DC
When working with hdc and dc, you’ll need to chain on two extra stitches at the end of your rows instead of one. This is because these stitches are taller than the sc, and that extra two stitches add the needed height for a consistently shaped piece.

Once you’ve chained on the two extra stitches, turn your work, yarn over and skip those two new stitches. Always skip the two new stitches, unless you’re trying to add another stitch to the row.

You’ll get something that looks like this:

While it’s not as smooth as some knitted pieces, it’s still even enough to offer a smooth edge. If you were to chain on only one stitch to the end of each hdc or dc row, you’d end up with a curled, messy edge. There just wouldn’t be enough yarn offered by that single chain to give the stitch the height it needs.

You can find the rest of my Crochet Basics entries on this master list.

As always, if you have a different way of doing things, I’d love to see your technique! Feel free to leave a comment if you’re interested in sharing.

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