If you plan to frame your crochet photo pattern piece, you need to include a border that surrounds the image. Otherwise, you will have the outer edges of the image stretched across the sides and back of the frame, and you won’t be able to see them. Adding a border ensures that the full image is on display.
To create your border, you’ll be using the single crochet stitch, the same stitch used to crochet the piece. Also use the same hook size and weight of yarn (#4, worsted weight). The yarn color you select for your border is up to you. It can be a contrasting color or match one of the colors in the finished piece.
There are two ways to add a border – after you’ve finished the piece and while you are crocheting it.
ADDING A BORDER AFTER THE PIECE IS FINISHED
“Rough” versus “Smooth” Edges
Your crochet photo pattern piece will have two “rough” and two “smooth” edges. The smooth edges allow you to single crochet into tops of each stitch, like you normally do when crocheting across a row. Crocheting across the rough edges involves crocheting into the sides of the stitches that begin and end each row.
In the vertically crocheted piece above, the smooth edges are on the sides and the rough edges are on the top and bottom of the image.
NOTE: This article explains the difference between crocheting your piece horizontally and vertically.
To create a smooth edge at the beginning of your piece, crochet into the back bump of the foundation chains. This will create an edge that looks exactly like the edge of the last row of the piece. This makes it a lot easier to crochet into the stitches on that edge as you create the border.
Because crochet stitches are slightly wider than crocheted rows, DO NOT place a stitch in EVERY row along the rough edge. This will create an edge that is slightly wavy. Instead, skip ever fourth or fifth row to create a nice, even edge (see step 3 below).
Crocheting the Border
To add the border, you will be crocheting in rounds.
Step 1: With the right side of the image facing you, attach the yarn to the center of a smooth edge. Single crochet (sc) in each stitch to the first corner.
Step 2: Sc 3 stitches in the corner.
Step 3: Sc across the first rough edge, skipping every 4th or 5th row. In other words, sc 1 stitch (st) into the sides of 4 to 5 rows, skip the next row, sc into the sides of the next 4 to 5 rows, skip the next row. Continue in this manner to the next corner.
Step 4: Repeat step 2 (second corner).
Ste[ 5: Sc in each stitch across the second smooth edge.
Step 6: Repeat step 2 (third corner).
Step 7: Repeat step 3 (second rough edge).
Step 8: Repeat step 2 (fourth corner).
Step 9: Sc in the remaining stitches of the first smooth edge. Join to 1st sc with a slip st (sl st). Chain (Ch) 1, turn.
Step 10: Sc in each st around the entire border. Sc 3 sts in the middle st of each corner. At the end of the round, join with a sl st to the 1st sc. Ch 1, turn.
Step 11: Repeat step 10 for a total of 5 to 7 rounds. Fasten off and weave in ends.
INCORPORATING A BORDER AS YOU CROCHET
The above photo shows a border that was crocheted as the piece was being worked. I prefer to use this method because the border blends in smoothly with the main image.
Adding Extra Stitches and Rows Creates the Border
Whether you are crocheting your piece horizontally or vertically, you will need to add extra stitches to your foundation chain and extra rows before the first and after the last pattern row. The diagram below illustrates what this looks like.
You’ll be adding 10 to 14 chains to the foundation chain and five to seven rows before the first and after the last pattern row.
Crocheting the Border
Follow these steps to incorporate the border as you crochet.
Step 1: Select a yarn color for your border.
Step 2: With the border color, create your foundation chain according to the pattern instructions. To this number, add an EVEN number of chains (i.e, 10 to 14). You’ll need to divide them in half to create two sides of the border.
Step 3: Sc 5 to 7 rows in the border color, depending on how many extra chains you added to the foundation chain. For example, if you added 10 chains to the foundation chain, crochet 5 rows; if you added 12 chains, crochet 6 rows; if you added 14 chains, crochet 7 rows.
Step 4: To begin the first pattern row, sc 5, 6, or 7 stitches (see step 2) in the border color. Place a stitch marker in the last stitch. This marks the end of the border and the beginning of the pattern row.
Step 5: Crochet the pattern row according to the instructions. After the last stitch of the pattern row, sc 5, 6, or 7 stitches in the border color. Place a stitch marker in the first of the border stitches you just crocheted. Ch 1, turn.
Step 6: Begin the second pattern row by crocheting the border stitches up to the stitch marker. Then crochet the pattern row stitches. After the last stitch of the pattern row, crochet the border stitches in the border color.
You will be moving the stitch markers up to the appropriate stitch as you crochet each row. Also, keep in mind that you may be required to change colors between the border stitches and the pattern row stitches, depending on what the pattern calls for.
Step 7: After the last pattern row, crochet the same number of border rows as you did in step 3.
No matter which method you choose, adding a border to your crochet photo pattern piece will ensure that the full image is displayed when you frame it. Let me know if you have questions in the comments section below.
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