March 2008: At the edge
I just want to inform those of you who don’t read my blog because it’s in French, that you may now safely pay a visit to http://motsetmailles.canalblog.com . An English post now follows each French one – just scroll down.
At the edge:
Oh yes, edgings. Edgings have been on my mind lately. Do we need them? How should they look?
I think an ornate edging combined with some more humble stitch pattern can be a smashing design idea in itself – be it for a scarf or for a jacket. Lately, I was reading through one of the little edging gems in my library, Traditional Edgings to Crochet, edited by Rita Weiss. This book is full of delicate edgings worked in thread, originally designed to be used for tablecloths, doilies, curtains, pillows and so on. They would look wonderful in yarn, providing the starting point for many designs.
But what I want to discuss this time around is simple edgings. The edgings that are not a major design feature but are simply there to « round off » the project, giving it a finished look and also protecting it from wear and tear.
Since crochet produces a fairly flat fabric that stays nicely in place without curling (at least after blocking), it’s always an option to leave the project alone – no edging.
As in this case:
This is the bottom hem of my Gudrun jacket, and I really don’t think it needs any finishing. The starting chain provides a nice, smooth edging in itself.
Sometimes, it’s smart to leave the edging out, as in this case:
At the bottom hem of my Multistripes cardigan, an edging wouldn’t work well with the great elasticity of the fabric (sc in the back loop only). A too-tight edging would pull the fabric in, hindering it from spreading out horizontally as it’s supposed to do to fit the body of the wearer. Working more stitches in the edging to avoid this would lead to a flared, perhaps frilly edging, which wasn’t what I was looking for in this piece.
But sometimes an edging works wonders. Look here:
A « before » photo would have been great, but you’ll just have to believe me when I say that this used to be a raw, uneven edge where the decreases formed hideous « steps » in the neckline of the Gudrun jacket. A simple row of single crochet transformed this unsightly edge into something scallopy and romantic. Sometimes things work out just as planned!
Even a simple edging can assert its freedom in relation to the border of the fabric. This can actually be very functional, as in the case of the Josephine pullover (sorry, I don’t have a detailed picture to show you!). The neckline of the very stretchy and close-fitting bodice is bordered with simple chain arches, which will stretch as the wearer puts on her garment and add a simple romantic touch.
Here is a more recent example, in the Arrows stole, which will soon be available in the pattern shop:
This delicate lace stole really needed an edging to finish it off. The edging had to be flexible since the stole needs to be well blocked to open up the lace pattern. I also wanted the edging to reflect the overall theme of the piece, the pointy, arrowlike shapes which are found in all three stitch patterns in the body of the stole. These small chain arches topped with a picot were a simple and effective solution. They also help protect the body of the stole from snags – this piece is worked entirely in lace-weight yarn.
See you soon!