Sunday, January 30, 2011


What is Finishing?

When you've slaved over your first project for hours or days and you've finally finished, but you've got all these strings hanging around and the edge looks all raggedy. Your work of art does not become art until you've 'Finished' it. That means sewing in all the strings and possibly adding a defining border.

Let's use the hot pad we made in our last post as an example. When we left off I told you to crochet a chain, make a loop, and tie the ends together. This is because we didn't know how to finish yet. So now you can go back to your work and maybe add a little bit of flourish to make it extra pretty.
So here's our raw material:
Here you can see the two ends that are left from our project, the beginning piece on the left and the ending piece at the top.

First lets clean up the edges. There are several methods for 'finishing' the edges. As we've just learned to SC we will use this method as a starter.

To start your edge you would first SC in the same location as your last SC. This will make the corner. You will need to play around to see what works best, but from my review a minimum of one extra SC for each corner is needed to make it look square. Following this first SC you will turn your piece and start on the first full side:

When finishing the sides of a piece where you do not have definite loops to use, try to ensure that you put the same number of SCs for each row as you would need to chain for that row. In this case we added one SC for each row because a SC in one chain tall.

Also, keep track of how many SCs you end up crocheting so that you can ensure that you put the exact same number on the other side.

When you reach the next corner you will put 2 SC in the last stitch than turn your piece. At this point you will be at the bottom of your piece. When looking at the bottom row your should see loops:

The loops represent your initial chain row and can be used to easily add your finishing row. Add a SC to each loop and two SCs to the last loop to make the corner.

Turn again and add SCs up the other side. You will notice that both sides do not look the same. Due to this you will need to have a plan to ensure that you add the same number of SCs as you did for the opposite side. Here I have chosen to SC in the open spaces, but you could also have chosen to SC in between the strings. 

 Once your reach your initial row, you would slip stitch to your first SC, cut your string and pull the remainder through the loop. What is a slip stitch, to add a slip stitch insert your hook and pull through a piece of yarn. Don't stop! Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook, leaving you with a single loop. Cut the string, leaving about 5-7 inches of extra string.
 Here you can see the slip stitch and the extra string. You will most likely use only 3-4 inches, but I find having the additional string saves you from constantly having to re-thread due to the string getting pulled loose and also allows you more arm room.
 To weave in your end strings you should follow the pattern of your work. Using a crochet or craft needle (these have blunted ends and larder eyes) insert behind and in between the yarn to intermix your string with the finished piece. In this way the string become part of the work and is indistinguishable. You will want to weave in rows or circles. Weaving a straight line will make the weaving weak and more likely to be pulled free through wear and tear. If you weave back and fourth or in circles, the turns add extra strength.

With multicolored yarns like the one used for this project you will want to try to stay within the colors, matching your string with what is in the pattern.

Once your ends are weaved in, cut off the remaining string and admire your finished work:

Tomorrow: Crocheting in the round!
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