Crochet Finish Technique: “Crochet Evenly Around”

By Corinne Munger – 44 Comments

Many crochet items appear unfinished due to the uneven look of the sides. There are little “bulges” and “indents” that just don’t look as even (pretty) as the first or last rows and it can make an item look unappealing. To fix this, many patterns simply say, “Crochet Evenly Around”. What does that mean and how do you accomplish this?

What it means is that you need to crochet all the way around your piece, and place the stitches evenly around the edges so that there is an equal amount of stitches on both sides, and, of course, an equal amount on the top and bottom of your piece. You may have taken a stab at doing this only to end up with a ruffled edge, or too tight of an edge that makes your edges pull. But “crocheting evenly around” is actually easier than it seems. There are just a few simple rules to remember, but first let’s look at the example.

Step 1: When your piece is complete, you want to turn your work to start the edging (you can change colors at this point if your edging is to be a different color). Please note that it is best to make the first row of edging in single crochet, and then if you want to make a fancier edging, you’ll have a smooth base to work from. So, turn your work and single crochet to the end of the row. When you reach the end of the row, make 3 single crochet stitches in the corner – this is the First Rule of Thumb for this technique. This will “turn” around the corner so that you can start crocheting down the first side. Always crochet 3 stitches in the corners.

3 sc in Corner

3 sc in the corner

Step 2: The second rule of thumb to remember when crocheting the sides: The size of the stitch you are crocheting over determines how many stitches to crochet. In other words, if you are crocheting down the side of a single crochet, you will crochet 1 stitch over that single crochet stitch. If it were a half-double or double crochet, then you will need to crochet 2 stitches over them. And of course, if it is a triple crochet, you will crochet 3 single crochet stitches. Get it?

So if you have 10 rows of double crochet in your piece, when you’re working down the side, you would end up with 20 single crochet along the edge (2 stitches for each double crochet = 20 stitches) If you were crocheting along the edge of a piece that had 15 rows of single crochet, you would end up with 15 single crocheted stitches along the edge, and so on.
Here’s a little test: If you had a piece that had 30 rows, 10 of which were single crochet and the other 20 were half-double crochet, how many stitches should you have along the edge? Did you come up with 50? 10scx1=10sc and 20hdcx2=40sc 10+40=50sc)

Step 3: When you get to the end of the side edge, you will again place 3 single crochet stitches in the corner. You will now be at the bottom of your piece and you are going to single crochet along the bottom.

Crocheted side edge

Crocheted Side Edge

The third rule of thumb: when crocheting along the bottom, you will only crochet in the remaining loop of your initial chain. One single crochet for each loop is all that is needed. Crochet across to the next corner and place 3 single crochet stitches in the corner. You will now be turned to start crocheting down the other side.

Bottom Edge

Crochet on the bottom edge

3/4 finished edge

A square with edging 3/4 around


Repeat step 2 for this side. When you reach the corner, add 2 single crochet stitches to the 1st single crochet made in your edging (so that there are 3 total) and slip stitch. If you are going to add a fancy, decorative border, or just want to add more rows to your edging, you will begin it here. Be sure to chain the correct amount for your next stitch for your next row as needed (1 for sc, 2 for dc, etc.). If you are just adding more “simple” crochet (sc, hdc, dc, tr), Always remember to place 3 stitches in the corner (this would be in the 2nd stitch of the 3 corner stitches).

And that is “Crochet Evenly Around”!

A completed square

A completed square with edging

Picot finished edge

A decorative edging

Need more help crocheting evenly around? Feel free to leave a comment below!

In response to our first posters comment: “Where do I insert the hook?”, here are some additional pictures and instructions. Hope this helps!

This sample was made with one row of double crochet and one row of half double crochet – the first row was made crocheting 5 dc (double crochet) and the second row was made crocheting 5 hdc (half double crochet). After the second row, ch 1 then turn and sc in each st across. 3 sc in corner stitch to turn.

3 sc in corner to turn

You will then turn your piece and will have a ch 2 (sideways) as your first stitch to crochet into. Make 2 sc around/under (same thing) the ch 2.

Insert hook under chain 2

2 sc under (around) ch 2

The next stitch you come to is a dc. Note that a double crochet has two “halves” if you will. You will be inserting your hook into the “top” half of that stitch so that you are basically crocheting AROUND it or UNDER it (again, same thing) and sc 1.

Insert hook under first 1/2 of dc

Do the same thing on the “bottom” half of the dc.

SC completed under (around) bottom half of dc


Now you may see that there’s a “hole” formed by making this stitch. It’s actually not as bad as it looks in this picture. But if you want to avoid this, you can take a different approach by crocheting into the outermost “loop” of the dc, as shown here:

Sc INTO side LOOP of bottom half of dc

You will then be at the end of the row, so you will ch 3 into the corner and your piece will again turn. The first stitch you are looking at now is a ch 2 (this is your turning chain from the dc row). You will simply make 2 sc around the ch 2.

Sc into bottom half of dc

And then 2 more sc into (around/under) the last hdc.

2 sc under hdc

And here is your finished sample with a completed border

Completed round of edging

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44 Comments

  1. Leslie says:

    This is an area I struggle with… When doing an edging and crocheting on the side of a half double or double crochet where do I insert the hook?

  2. Hi Leslie, I’ve added lots of pictures and some additional instruction in hopes of explaining this better to you – give it a try and let me know how it works out! Thank you for your question. This is a difficult one to explain, but once you get it, it’s easy as pie! The key is to be consistent, no matter which route you take. As long as it looks even and lays flat when a round is complete, it’ll be fine – that’s the goal.

  3. Barbara Caudill says:

    Thanks so much for this great tutorial. I have always struggled with this, but not any more.

  4. Katy says:

    Thank you for this – I was thrilled to find it in your newsletter because I’ve always had a problem crocheting down the sides of finished piece.

  5. Sandra says:

    One of the best tuts I’ve seen. Thanks for the time & effort !!

  6. Debbie says:

    Thanks a lot for this article. It helped me quite a bit when I was trying to finish a borner around a baby blanket that was a combination of double crochet and single crochet stitches.

  7. Margaret Morgan says:

    This was a nice reminder for me since I ‘m working on a granny square afghan that I need to finish.

    • Hi Margaret – Thanks for pointing out the “granny square” regarding this tutorial. Granny squares are especially tough because you MUST end up with the same amount of stitches on all sides – on all pieces – so that when you sew them or crochet them together, they actually match up! lol I never really understood why so many crochet sites regard granny squares as “easy”. Maybe making 1 square is, but finishing and assembling can be complicated – made worse by not having even sides! I hope this tutorial helps bringing it all together a little easier!

  8. Nancy says:

    Finally after so many years of crocheting a system that sounds like a Winner!!!
    Thank~You so Much!!

    Nancy

    • Let us know when you use this tutorial and how it works out for you! Thanks for your comment!

      • Laura M says:

        That is awesome! Now I know what I have been doing wrong all this time. I am making a baby blanket for my sister and it has ruffles so everything has to be perfectly square. I just tried this and never would have figured it out myself. All the stitches are perfect. Thank you so much.

  9. Sandie says:

    What a great tutorial! Nice big pictures. Easy for these old eyes.

    Just to give another view, for myself I don’t always use 3 stitches in the corners. most times this will do, but there are occasions where the work will curl for me with 3 sc. This really annoys me too! LOL I feel like it should work. What does sometimes work for me is to use a taller stitch in the center (sc, hdc, sc) or sometimes I will need 5 sts or need to put chains between stitches. This is probably caused by the way I make my stitches and my personal tension.

    For the sides, and this might not work for everyone, but for myself I find that if I am working in dc, if I use a hook one size smaller for the sides my work lies perfectly flat. For sc I have to fiddle with it, sometimes skipping a stitch here and there to make it lie flat. For hdc I use the same size hook and put one stitch in each hdc post. As I said though, this is an individual thing.

    • Hi Sandie – These are some wonderful suggestions. Yes, we all crochet with different tensions. I, for one, am a very loose crocheter and have had to make adjustments by whole life. As one progresses in crochet and becomes more familiar with their own style, they too can use different stitches/techniques to get the same result in any pattern. There are no “true” hard and fast rules in crochet, so there’s always room for adjustments. These are really good points that you made. Thank you for your contribution!

  10. martha says:

    I have two questions. 1) I a having problems with the gauge on my crocheting patterns. I used the required hook for the wrist pattern and it was too big. I went down to a size I and it’s smaller but still not the required gauge. I have the correct number of stitches, but still too any rows. 2) On patterns, when I finish my chain and do the first row, after I turn for the second row, where do I take my first stitch? In the turning chain stitch or the first stitch after the turning chain? I usually end up with a space at the beginning of the rows after that. Thanks

    • Hi Martha, you seem to experiencing things I went through for a long time. WHENEVER I start a new pattern, I already know that I MUST use a hook 2 sizes smaller than the instructions call out. I crochet that loosely! So keep going down in size on your particular pattern until you get the same size as the gauge calls out. As you continue to crochet, over time, you may tighten up your work and then you can adjust again. It happens. For your second question….. If a pattern tells you to chain, let’s say. 30, it SHOULD then tell you “sc in third ch from hook” so you will count 3 chains (from the hook) and insert your hook into the next, or 4th chain. For the next rows, your pattern should say something like ch 3, turn. Once you’ve turned your piece, then your next (1st) stitch for that row will be the stitch AFTER the ch 3. If you count your stitches while crocheting, you will be able to tell if you’ve crocheted the correct number. Even after some 45 years, I still count – because when I don’t, “wonky” things happen! Hope this helps you!

  11. Collette says:

    May I make a suggestion for beginning a piece? When I make a beginning chain, and do not use the foundation sc or dc stitch, I make each stitch on row one in the “hump” of each chain. This looks like a finished stitch and makes an easy edge to put a border on. I hope I have explained it well enough! LOL

  12. Jade says:

    can anyone tell me please what a pattern means when it says (now crochet only over the outermost 18 sc/tr at right side)? I am making a dress and I have finished the front and back torso, and that is my next instruction and I have no idea what Im supposed to do. Thanks

  13. martha says:

    When the circumference is 12″ how big should the finished piece be?

    • I’m not completely sure what you’re asking, but if you want to know what the diameter is, it would be about 3.82″ (12″ divided by pi 3.142). The diameter is the measurement across the piece and the circumference goes all the way around. Hope that helps!

      • martha says:

        Sorry, I didn’t word that correctly. I’m making boot cuffs and the person’s leg measures 12″ circumference. Do I make the cuff 12″ also, or a little larger so I can go on more easily?

        • Ok, I understand now…. If the person’s leg is 12″ around, I probably wouldn’t go any larger as yarn always stretches. If anything, I would consider making it a little smaller so that it stays put. Since it’s a boot cuff (I’m assuming for the top of the boot), it won’t make a big difference since it can’t really move with the boot on. A 12″ crocheted band will stretch considerably (unless it’s made of a non-stretchy yarn) so I’m sure that size will be fine.

  14. Beth says:

    AMAZING!!!! Thank you!! I’m not so intimidated in doing my next afghan :D

  15. Helen says:

    This is a great techniques for making an ‘eternal’ blanket.
    I came across it almost by mistake and I am using it with my young beginners (my own two sons and two girls to whom I teach English)
    We start with a chain and then rows to form a square.
    We then crochet around the edge exactly as described above – with 3 single stitches in each corner stitch.
    We then continue doing this ‘for ever!’ … with colour changes of course …
    My example piece is now more than ‘cushion size’ but the children’s ambitions of producing a blanket for their beds are some way off!
    If your ambition is a bedcover it is worth starting with an oblong in the middle before going around it, therefore producing an oblong blanket in the end.

  16. Linda says:

    Thank you for your great instructions.
    I am finished with a large afghan that was done in single crochet but I’m having problems how to go down the edges with a single crochet border. I have 350 rows and I started down the side putting a sc in each row but the stitches are a lot bigger than the top stitches. I have read to space sc’s evenly down the side but I was wondering if there was a formula to go by or some other solution.

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Linda! 1 sc for each row of sc is a good rule of thumb. But if it seems to be too many stitches, then you can try to do 1 sc for every other row of sc instead. Try working a few stitches along the side, then laying your piece down to see if it looks okay. That way you don’t have to do the entire side before you realize it looks funny :)

  17. Sandie says:

    I have found that if I use a hook one size smaller for the sc edging there is less trouble with bulging. I guess that would depend on your personal tension though. Something to try.

  18. Linda says:

    I have finally finished the first side, I sc in 7 rows then skipped one row. This seems to be the best.
    Now your third rule of thumb is to sc in one loop on the bottom end. When I do my first row of sc, I sc in the bump of the chain stitch, so would I still only sc in one loop or do I go ahead and sc in both loops that are left on my chain stitch??

  19. Linda says:

    Thank you so much for all your help.

  20. Carol Webb says:

    Hi Corinne,
    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I must admit to not having done any work on it for over a year now. In fact, I’m just starting to think about it again!

    Your crochet instructions are extremely clear, and the idea of stitching all the way round a piece does neaten it beautifully.

  21. Rosie says:

    thank you for your tutorial, im just wondering can you help me please, how do i crochet evenly over decreases ?! some of my stitches look longer than others, i know i must be putting the hook in the wrong place, but i just cant seem to figure it out ! any help would be really appreciated thanks :)

  22. Pat says:

    Thanks Corinne for the tutorial. How do you handle a border that is sc all around, then hdd all around and sc all around. I start off fine with the sc but once I change the stitch and then return to the sc, I always have extra stitches than I originally had. With a hdd row, I add 5 stitches to the corner which seems to work fine. But when I return to the sc, how do I handle that corner with the 5 stitches. Thank you for any comments you may have.

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Pat! After the hdc, when you go back to the sc, you would do the 3 sc in each corner. It’s just that the corner shifts a little bit because you had the 5 hdc in the previous row. So you’ll make the 3 sc into the center hdc of the 5 hdc.

      • Pat says:

        Thanks but do you skip over any part of the 5 stitches of the hdd? If not I would think that I end up with more stitches on each side. My afghans are beautiful but I ALWAYS seem to struggle with corners. Ugh.

  23. Andrea says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve been struggling with this for a while. Once I saw those last pictures, it all kind of snapped into place!

  24. Marilyn M says:

    THANK YOU so much for this tutorial. I only started learning crochet in February and this tutorial has helped me so much. It all makes sense now. Again, THANK YOU!!!!

  25. Cathleen Reese says:

    I love this I love this!! Finally, and I love all the comments and suggestions too,
    the only way it could be better? Do a live tutorial on you tube!! Now that would
    be even greater!! TY so much for taking the time to do this for us, I know
    that I’m thrilled and seems a lot of other crocheter’s are also! Cat

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