All That Yarn - Crochet Edgings
What to do with a leftover Crochet Thread
You might have some washcloths or hand towels that could use a new edge, or something to keep the edge from fraying. If you own a sewing machine you can always stitch a zig-zag stitch around the edges. But a more colorful way is to cover the edges with Crochet Thread in size #10 or #20.
Make an Edging on a Washcloth
You might have some washcloths that need a new edge, or something to keep the edge from fraying. A crochet thread edge lasts a lot longer, and sometimes outlasts the washcloth.
Pick up a ball of crochet thread in size #10 or #20 (#3 is too thick and #30 is too thin). Use a steel crochet hook in size 5 to crochet a single crochet edge around the washcloth. Too tight and it will pucker after it is washed (cotton can shrink), so keep a loose tension and keep the stitches close together (no more than 1/16" apart) as you crochet around the washcloth.
Here's how I do it.
I found that a simple crochet edge can last a long time, even longer than the cloth might last. The first time I tried this I had to determine how to get the edging crocheted onto the washcloth. I came up with this simple yet effective edging design.
I had leftover Crochet Thread from my doily making days. All sorts of colors in solid shades as well as variegated and the ever popular white or off-white. I also had several sizes, but for this edging the size 10 Crochet Thread seems to work well. I have also used size 20 and 30 as well as Tatting Thread which only comes in size 70 and 80, but size 10 or 20 seems to work the best.
You will need a Steel Crochet Hook, probably size 5 or 4. Steel Hooks are different from the lettered hooks that now sport a metric measurement on the shaft or handle. For example, a letter K hook is also size 10 ½ or 6.5 mm. Steel Hooks come in sizes 00 (double zero) which is the largest and go down to size 14 which is the smallest (and a great hook for pulling in snags on fabric).
A small ball or several yards of crochet thread in your choice of colors…or leftover Crochet Thread you might have on hand.
Start with a chain loop (make a slip knot) around the Steel Crochet Hook. Then go along the edge by poking the hook into the washcloth, near the edge about 1/8” to 1/16", and pulling through a loop of Crochet Thread. Next, yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook (the slip knot and the one just pulled through the washcloth). Just like making a Single Crochet stitch but without using a Chain as the foundation…the washcloth is the base to build your edge instead of the usual foundation chain. If the fabric of the washcloth is dense, and there are a few of those, you might also use a Yarn Needle or Darning needle (dull point) to poke holes as you go along the edge. Poking holes first and then stitching won't work as well as the holes will close up as you work. Try doing it just one or two holes at a time.
Continue around the edge making Single Crochet stitches. When you get to the corner, put a few more Single Crochet stitches there by keeping the parts in the cloth closer while spacing the top loops apart a little more than on the sides. Slip stitch back into the first stitch you made when you get all the way around the washcloth.
If you want a bigger edge, you can now go around on this foundation of Single Crochet stitches and add more Single Crochet stitches. Another method is to do a Single Crochet, chain 2, Skip 2 stitches, Single Crochet in the next stitch. This makes for a lacy open-work edging. Also, if you are more advanced in your crochet you can do shells or other edgings as desired around the washcloth. I leave it more to the Single Crochet around the edge (the first round) to keep the cloth from fraying during washing and general usage.
Jazz up your plain washcloth by using a colorful Crochet Thread edging. The design choice is all yours!
Washcloth with Crochet Thread EdgeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Other thoughts on Crochet Thread
I have a lot of balls of Crochet Thread in my yarn stash. I have one large box of all the colors and another box of the same size with just the white and off-white balls. I went through a phase where I was making doilies and purchased several balls of Crochet Thread to use. Also, I had attended a Home Economics Convention where one of the vendors there was giving out a three-pack of Christmas colors (red, white, and green) full sized balls of Crochet Thread in shrink wrap with a pattern attached in front.
Some of the other Home Ec people that I met were not crocheters so they traded me their 3-pack of Crochet Thread for something I had gotten from a vendor and that I didn’t need or want. I ended up taking home three complete sets of the 3-packs of Crochet Thread and I still have two of them (and they are still unopened) in my stash. This was probably 20 or so years ago, which means I have an older collection of threads. The manufacturers must not make any of those colors since I have not seen any of them for sale in the past few years.
During my doily making phase, I gave away a few to the church’s bake sale/crafts sale. One lady bought a fancy rainbow colored one that I had made, but she asked that I make a second one exactly like it. She wanted to use them on two end tables and it had to be a pair or she didn’t want the first one. Well, I didn’t get very much in lieu of pay for all my hours of effort as she expected to pay the same for the second one as she had paid for the one she got at the church sale.
I must have mentioned that I was crocheting doilies or took some doilies to show off at my workplace as I ended up with “orders” for some more of the same, but in other colors. I was accommodating and made several. Then I had demands for more but they didn’t want to pay the price I was asking (and which was still cheap at an hourly rate). I finally quit doing it when one lady described an intricate doily with roses around the edges and a lot of details that I had no pattern to make it. I asked an outrageous price for it before I would start it (I found that getting the money up front first was a better idea when some people backed out of their order after it was done). She declined to pay it, so I went out of the doily business.
I think about doing doilies again, but they do take a lot of time to make unless I do the coaster size ones. Working with crochet thread in other ways helps use some of it up without making lots of doilies or coasters.
My sister has used Crochet Thread to make doll clothes for Barbies. She has no pattern so makes it up as she goes along and fits it to the doll as she crochets it. She rips out and starts over if it is not working out.
She came up with some gorgeous dresses, but they went with the dolls that we donated to children so I have just a few pictures of her creations. The yellow dress has an added (purchased) ribbon rose trim to fancy it up a bit.
That’s another use for crochet thread for those who are creative and have some leftover threads to use up.