How do you crochet around a blanket edge? Do you have to hand sew around it first? I just want to make a very light weight blanket. They are all so heavy. I'd just like to use a soft double piece of flannel or something similar.
By Phyllis from Fort Madison, IA
Yes, first hem your fabric (unless it doesn't fray like with fleece). To crochet around fabric, unless your fabric is woven very loosely (like monks-cloth) you'll have to first sew around the edge with the "blanket stitch" or "hem stitch" using either the same crochet cotton (if it's super thin) or use a color of embroidery thread that's matches the yarn you'll be using to crochet with. Sew the stitches fairly close together (at about 1/4 - 1/3 an inch apart and try to keep them at the same length apart if possible).
After you have this edging sewed into your work, you can then crochet into it. Buy a needle with an eye that's big enough to accommodate your yarn or thread. This can take a while if you use thin cotton, but don't be discouraged. Your lace work will be beautiful and worth every minute!
To make it extra-fancy (if it's not made for babies or young kids) you can also add beads to the crochet-work. You use what is called a "big-eye" needle (a long needle the opens in the center and not on the end). Add the beads to your yarn before crocheting then slip a bead down into your crochet work whenever you want one, then do a slip stitch around the bead to hold it in place. (10/15/2009)
I'm wanting to do the same thing. I saw something on YouTube that made me really want to do it! It's called a Skip Stitch blade for your rotary cutter, you use it like a rotary cutter, but it skips and place tiny cuts in measured increments! I saw it demonstrated on a fleece blanket, so cool! It's not in the mass market yet, you have to get it from the website, but if it's a matter of hand strength (which it is for me, injured hands) then this would be a great solution! (10/15/2009)
I forgot to mention in my previous post, that you can also do this edge-stitching with a sewing machine. You use a thick thread (like for button holes) and your machine's blanket stitch. (or button-hole stitch) If the thick thread won't go through the needle you can wind it around your bobbin and sew the project upside down. You need to use the biggest machine stitches possible (both width and length). Machine sewing isn't as sturdy as hand-stitching, but it can work if you're in a hurry. But if you're going to spend all the time doing a lacy crochet edging, you might as well do it the most durable way and sew it by hand with embroidery floss or thin yarn, but I thought I'd throw this additional idea into the pot.
If you use the "Skip-Stitch blade" You can only use it into a fabric that doesn't fray (like fleece or felt). It's a great fix for those who want to crochet around fleece. For fleece, you can also use a regular hold-punch make for paper to punch holes to crochet into, but as I said earlier, you have to realize that even knits can run or fray. If you're using flannel (which is woven) to begin crocheting, you'll need to sew (with your machine or by hand) around the edges so you have a starting point to crochet into.
A HINT: every 20 or so stitches, rub your needle on or near your scalp. The oils from you scalp lubricate the needle and make it easier to insert into the fabric. (10/17/2009)
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