Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Simple Crochet Braid Trim

Don't you love to sit down and simply mess about with yarn? Sometimes the most surprising things happen.

Here are some results of a recent yarny play session at the Micawber house:

Braided-looking Crochet Trim
(Yarn used is Planet Penny Cotton Club)

Each of the above trims is a variation on a very simple theme: chain 2, make a stitch in the back loop of the first chain, and go from there.

Trims are crocheted with the right side facing at all times. No turning necessary.

Let's start with the most basic. It's a simple row of linked single crochets, but it looks more like some kind of double chain.

Single Crochet Chain

Chain 2, then insert hook through the back loop only of the first chain:

Pull up a loop, then pull through both loops. First single crochet made.

Inserting hook through the back loop of the single crochet you just made...

...make another single crochet.

That's it - pretty simple, really. Just keep making single crochets, always inserting hook into the back loop of the previous single crochet. (In the photo below the back loop is marked with a dot. It really looks more like a middle loop because the work is turned towards you at all times.)

Here's what it looks like a few inches later:

This basic braid is a very handy replacement for the chain stitches used to start a flat oval (such as the sole of a baby bootie). If you work your rounds into the top loops of the single crochet, you will avoid the gaps which often appear with a standard chain stitch.

Now let's see what happens when we add a chain stitch between each single crochet.

Single Crochet Simple Braid

Chain 2, and single crochet in the back loop only of the first chain. Now chain 1...

...and single crochet in the back loop of the previous single crochet. (The back loop is marked by a dot in the photo above.) Do not turn your work.

Repeat these steps (ch 1, sc in back loop of previous sc).

This gives us a nice flat braid:

So what happens if we chain 2 between single crochets?

Single Crochet Bumpy Braid

Chain 2, single crochet in the back loop of first chain. *Chain 2, single crochet in back loop of previous single crochet*. Repeat from * to *.

Here's what it looks like (this is my favourite so far):

Okay, one last experiment. How about replacing the single crochets with half-double crochets?

Half-Double Crochet Bumpy Braid

Chain 2, half-double crochet in back loop of first chain...

 ...chain 2, and half-double crochet in back loop of previous hdc. (Back loop is marked with a white dot in photo above.)

Repeat these steps (ch 2, hdc in back loop of previous hdc)...

...and you'll get a braid that looks like this:

Here are my four crochet "braids" all in a row:

Note: These braids do have a tendency to twist - blocking is highly recommended. You can even press them with an iron if you like (if the fiber content allows). I think the three on the right would make a simple, pretty trim for towels, napkins, or clothing items.

Grab yourself a hook and some yarn, and start playing around with various stitch combinations. You never know what you might come up with.

Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting!

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  1. I am so glad you were playing around with yarn because now we have beautiful trims to make. Thanks,

  2. These are so fun! I will be pinning this for future reference. Thanks!

  3. I especially like the single crochet bumpy braid in orange! Thank you for sharing! I've just made single crochet ties for some curtains, but I think the bumpy braid would look even nicer!

    1. I'm using the bumpy braid in a project which I hope to post this week. It's nice and flexible which is handy in a trim. :)

  4. Simply lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Great idea, I like the blue one!

    1. Thanks Faith - you can just keep changing the stitch combos and get something a little different each time.

  6. Brilliant! Crochet is just so versatile. I absolutely have to learn to do it, yet so far it has defeated me. I'm beginning to think there's a crochet gene and I don't have it!

    1. But then you might have to change your blog name. Crochet-o-Facto just doesn't work. :)

  7. These are wonderful. You always have such excellent tutorials. Thanks so much.

  8. Very interesting! I've tried to do the crab stitch which is the reverse single crochet but got so dad gum confused. I'll have to play around with these at a more decent hour (it's midnite now). :) Hope your day is a good one. Tammy

    1. Thanks, Tammy - it helps if you kind of pinch the braid between your finger and thumb to keep the right side facing as you work. Good luck.

  9. I just love when you play with your cotton colors. Such beauty emits from your fingers!!!

    1. You are an expert on finger-emitted-beauty. Thanks very much, Deb!

  10. I have been looking for these types of cords. Thank you for sharing. Love them all. I can use them, right? Tania

  11. This is just great! Thank you so much for publishing this. I am a pattern designer ( just started publishing) and will refer to your blog in my pattern. I love networking over the internet so we all can learn from each other.

  12. Thanks! I'm so glad I went looking for a braid-like trim I could crochet ... I found ur blog! What great bits I've seen so far : ) I'd like t'show u my project when I'm done. But I'm very 'tech' illiterate :( Is there some easy way t'do it?


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