Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pennies & Lace Border

(If you haven't yet seen the Pennies & Lace block, you can click here for the pattern, and here for instructions on connecting the blocks.)

We ended our last P&L post with this colourful object:

Pennies & Lace, 5 rows of 5 blocks each

(Blocking is recommended before adding a border.)

Since I planned this as a pillow topper, I wanted a sturdy border that could be attached by sewing machine to a fabric backing. I also wanted to tie all the colours together.

Here's the border I came up with (you can of course use any border you like):

This border is pretty straightforward: a round of double and single crochets to start. This is followed by 1 row of single crochet/chain 1 stitched normally, then 2 rows of single crochet/chain 1 in the back loop only to make the coloured stripes. Then we finish with a final row of half double crochets in the back loop only. (The stripes look stripier when rows are stitched in the back loop only.)

Ready to make a border? Here we go.

All rows are stitched with the right side facing you.

Border Round 1:

For the inner green border, I used the same starting stitch as for Round 2 of the block:

Insert hook only from back to front in any chain-7 space just to the left of a side cluster bump (the X in the photo below marks an appropriate place to start). Do not make a slip knot. Leaving a 2" tail, pull yarn to the back of work. Chain 1 with both strands together (working yarn and tail). Drop tail and chain 1 with working yarn only. (This makes a sort of false double crochet which is perfect for an invisible join later on. For photos of this stitch, see instructions for Round 2 of the P&L block.)

Make 2 more double crochets in the same chain-7 space,
then double crochet 1 in the upside-down V formed by the linked corners (this will be a kind of dropped or elongated double crochet - see photo below; it will also open up that space and enhance the secondary pattern of the blocks).
Double crochet 3 in the next chain-7 space.

Working right to left:
starter stitch & 2 double crochets in first space;
1 double crochet in upside-down V;
3 double crochets in next space.

Single crochet 3 in the side cluster space.

3 single crochets in side cluster space

Repeat this pattern across (double crochet 3 in a chain-7 space, double crochet 1 in the upside-down V, double crochet 3 in the next chain-7 space; single crochet 3 in the side cluster space) until you reach a corner. (The corner will come right after a side cluster space).

In the corner space:
double crochet 3,
chain 1,
double crochet 1 (this is the corner stitch - you may want to mark it with a scrap of yarn),
chain 1,
double crochet 3 again.

Double crochet 3,
chain 1, double crochet 1, chain 1,
double crochet 3

First corner done.

Continue in the same pattern around each side and corner until you get back to where you started. Close round with an invisible join just like the one we used in Round 2 of the block. (Don't forget to join to the first "real" double crochet of the round, not to the starting stitch.)

Border Round 2 (stitched through both top strands of previous round):

Attach your next colour with a single crochet in a stitch just to the left of one of the elongated double crochets.

Single crochet, chain 1 (skipping over a stitch for each chain 1) across until you reach the corner stitch.

In the corner stitch:
Single crochet,
chain 1 (this is the new corner stitch - a marker here is a good idea),
single crochet.

Chain 1 again, skipping over the chain 1 in the corner below, and make your next single crochet in the next double crochet below. Follow the pattern (single crochet, chain 1) around the block. Don't forget to do the extra stitches when you get to the corner.

When your round is complete, you can finish with a normal slip stitch OR skip the last chain-1 and connect with an invisible join to your first stitch (the invisible join will replace the chain-1).

(Need a refresher on the invisible join? Cut yarn about 2" from last stitch. Pull yarn end up and out of stitch. Insert hook, back to front, through stitch you're joining to. Pull yarn end through. Turn work over. Insert hook, bottom to top, through 2 horizontal bars at top of final stitch. Pull yarn end down and through. Weave in yarn end through stitches to the right of hook.)

Border Rounds 3-4 (stitched in the back loop only):

For some reason I didn't take pictures of the next two stripe rounds (sorry about that!), so you'll have to wing it. : )

Don't forget to stitch these rounds in the back loop only.

Attach your next colour with a single crochet in the back loop of any chain-1. (Do not attach to a single crochet. Why? If you do, your corners will get skewed out of shape. Trust me on this one.)

Follow the same pattern as for the previous row:
Single crochet, chain 1 around.

Your single crochets should all be made in a chain-1 from the row below. Don't forget to work in the back loop only, and don't forget to increase at each corner (single crochet, chain 1, single crochet in same stitch).

Add as many stripe rounds as you like. The pattern is the same for each round - you just need to remember to do 3 stitches in each corner stitch.

3 stripey rounds done

Final Border Round:

To finish, make a round of half-double crochets in the back loop only. Do not skip any stitches on your final round; stitch in every stitch of the row below. When you reach the corners, do 1 half-double crochet, 1 double crochet, and 1 half-double crochet in the corner stitch. (The double crochet makes for a nice square corner.)

And there it is: a simple stripey border for the Pennies & Lace blocks. In a later post I'll show you how I put my pillow together.

You may do whatever you like with the items you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern.

Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting!

P.S. Here are some quick links to the other posts for this project:

Part 1: The Pennies & Lace Block
Part 2: Joining the Blocks
Part 4: Putting It All Together

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  1. Oh no, I leave for a while and come back to find I have missed so much. This is a wonderful cushion and you know I love the colors. I hope to squeeze this in between catching up at work and home from being away.

    Great work, Sue!

  2. Oh dear...... I haven't done anything like this, in so long... Did I ever do any? Mmmmmmmmm, way back, maybe...

    But you know I am *craft-challenged*!!! LOL.

  3. I'm going backwards, so I don't know yet if this is your rainbows of color. I love the lacy look of the joined motifs, and that edging is just perfect for the pillow. Great colors!

  4. I know I may not sell the pattern but may I ask if my dear Aunt makes one for me? XO -Your F.N.


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