Crochet?? What?? I thought this was a loom knitting blog… Fear not. It is still a loom knitting blog. And yes. This is still a loom knitting article.
While I know that most people that loom knit do not know how to crochet, it has been brought to my attention recently that most loom knitters, especially beginners, find crochet borders on loom knit items as “deceptive” since it is a loom knit pattern. And while these borders can be left off, it will not look like the picture. Hmmm… Never really thought if it as deceptive to have a crochet border on a loom knit project, but I can see where she was going with it.
Most loom knit patterns do not have anything crochet at all. But occasionally there are. And not everyone was a fortunate enough to have a grandmother to teach them to crochet like I was.
Of course, this would be the reason I see all those questions about how to make convert a certain crochet project to loom knit. Which of course you can’t… Please refer to my previous article on converting for more about that. But even something like a crochet border is just as complicated as a complete crochet project to some.
On that note, I would like to do my best to help instruct loom knitters on how to crochet a border on a flat panel.
What do you mean by “flat panel”?
When you loom knit a blanket, dish cloth, or anything else that is not worked in the round like a hat, it is a flat panel.
Why would I need to crochet a border?
Borders are needed to keep pieces from curling if the project is all knit. Crocheting a border onto a finished flat panel will help keep it from curling. Not all flat panels need to have a crochet border though. Borders can be created by changing the stitch pattern while working the piece. You can find out more on that here.
Sometimes the edges are just ugly or do not match. While there are ways to work the project so that all the edges match, sometimes it is preferable to just crochet a border instead. You can learn more on making the edges match while knitting here.
How do I crochet a border?
While there are lots of ways to crochet a border, today I will only demonstrate how to work a single crochet border onto a flat panel in the interest of keeping it simple.
I have worked a simple small square in all knit or stockinette in pink. I will be using red for the border. This square was worked on the Hat Loom in small gauge using worsted/medium weight yarn. I am using a US 7/4.5mm hook for the border.
How do I know what size hook to use?
The easiest way to know what size hook to use if the pattern doesn’t specify is to use the hook recommended on the label of the yarn you are using. If you are using more than one strand of yarn to create a bulkier yarn, you can refer here to know what weight yarn it is equivalent to.
Here is a rough guide to what size hook to use with each yarn weight that is commonly used in loom knitting.
Yarn Weight Crochet Hook Size (US/metric)
3/light, dk, sport 7 t0 I-9 / 4.5 – 5.5mm
4/worsted, aran I-9 to K-10 1/2 / 5.5 – 6.5mm
5/bulky, chunky K-10 1/2 to M-13 / 6.5 – 9mm
6/super bulky M-13 to Q / 9 – 15mm
7/jumbo Q and larger / 15mm and larger
Or you can just use whatever size will easily fit in the stitches without forcing the hook through. That is usually what I do…
What if I am left handed?
Simply work everything I show in the other direction. I do realize that most left handed people can use their right hand just as well as the left. My sister is one of them. While she writes with her left hand, she loom knits and crochets with her right as well as lots of other everyday activities with her right hand instead of her left.
Where and how do I join the yarn onto the piece?
You can join the yarn anywhere you like. I prefer to join at the top right corner in the stitch next to the corner so that the last thing worked is the corner.
To do this, hold the project with the right side facing you. I have worked a small flat panel with an e-wrap cast on and a basic bind off. I am holding the bind off edge at the top. You can use the cast on edge if you prefer.
I am pointing to the first stitch at the corner with my hook.
First make a slip knot and place on the hook.
Insert the hook into the second stitch.
Join the yarn with a slip stitch by doing the following:
Yarn over by hooking the working yarn with the crochet hook.
Pull working yarn through the stitch.
Then pull it again through the slip knot.
Pull on the tail to snug up the joining slip stitch.
Now the yarn is joined to the piece, and you are ready to start your border.
How do I work the single crochet stitch?
Before starting, you can hide your tail from your panel by bringing it across the edge and working the crochet stitches over the tail. This is optional. Just one less tail to weave in if you do.
Now you are ready to chain 1. You must do this in order for the single crochet stitch to stand up.
Pull through the loop on the hook.
Chain 1 complete!
Now for the first single crochet stitch.
Insert hook in same stitch as the join.
Pull through the stitch so that there are now 2 loops on the hook.
Pull loop through both loops on the hook.
Single crochet stitch complete!
Now you are ready to insert the hook into the next stitch and repeat the instructions for the single crochet stitch until you get to the corner stitch.
Where do I insert the hook for each stitch?
On the cast on and bind off edges, each crochet stitch goes into each stitch as you go since the size of the crochet hook should match the gauge of the knitted piece. Those 2 edges are the easy ones.
The sides are a different story though. When you look at a swatch gauge, there are more rows in an inch than there are stitches. When working a crochet border, you need to take care that you do not work too many stitches or not enough stitches.
How will I know how where to put the stitches on the sides? To be honest, it’s a guessing a game for the most part.
What happens if I do not space my crochet stitches evenly?
While working across the cast on and bind off edges is stitch for stitch as mentioned before, the sides is where a person can mess up the border by not having the stitches spaced evenly.
If you work too many stitches, the edge will ruffle like this.
If you do not work enough stitches, the body of the project will gather with the edge being too tight like this.
If you use too many or not enough stitches on the edges, blocking will not fix it. You will need to take the stitches back out and try again.
What do I do at the corners?
Corners need extra stitches so that the border will lay flat. Each corner stitch requires 3 stitches of single crochet in the same stitch on each round.
When the corner is reached,
work the first single crochet in the corner.
Then work 2 more in the same place.
All 3 stitches in one stitch will look like this.
Then continue on with the next side.
Repeat the 3 stitches in one space at each corner. The last corner should be your last stitch. You will join the round after the last corner. How you join will depend on if you are only doing 1 round or continuing with another round.
What if I want to work more than one round?
If working more than one round of single crochet for the border, you will need to join the first round with a slip stitch.
When you reach the first stitch, place your hook through the top of that stitch.
Then pull the working yarn through the stitch as well as the loop on the hook to complete the slip stitch.
Then chain 1 and start the next round in the stitch where you joined.
Continue as before until you get to the corner.
Work a single crochet stitch in the first corner stitch in the row below.
Place the 3 single crochet stitches in the middle stitch of the 3 at the corner on the round below.
Then work a single crochet stitch in the last corner stitch of the row below.
Now you have worked your corner. Continue as before.
How do I finish so the join is not seen?
After completing the last stitch, do not join with the slip stitch.
Cut the working yarn with a tail long enough to weave in and thread it onto a tapestry needle.
Thread tail on tapestry needle.
Thread needle through the loop in the direction you were working. Since I was working right to left, I inserted the needle into the loop from the right side of the loop to the left. Pull the yarn through.
Run the needle through the stitch you are joining from the back of the work to the front making sure you catch the entire stitch so it will look like the needle is under 2 strands of yarn. Pull yarn through.
Run the needle back through the last loop in the opposite direction than you did the first time. For me, I went from left to right making sure the needle came out the back of the work.
Pull the yarn through.
Now you are ready to weave in that last end for a nice seamless join.
Crochet border complete!
While you can see the other color between the stitches on the sides, this will not happen when using the same color for the border.
Blocking will also help even out those stitches as well.
While the majority of loom knitting patterns do not require any crochet knowledge at all, some do. A person does not need to proficient in crochet in order to work a simple border in crochet. But once you learn, you may be hooked! I find a mixture of loom knitting and crochet a fun and satisfying project. Brings together 2 of my favorite things.
Hope this helps! Happy loom knitting as well as crocheting!