Do you sometimes struggle with getting stiff edges in Crochet? You know, that time when you want the bunny ears to stand tall but they just flop over… Or you want your little girl’s hat to have a solid brim but it just keeps looking so lose; Or like when you have a doily and want to use it as a lamp shade but don’t know how to make it hold it’s shape. We see this problem while making crochet jewellery too. I have used many tricks over the years. I am sharing my experience today. Here are 8 ways to get your crochet to hold shape.
8 Ways to Get Your Crochet to Hold Shape
1.Use a Pipe Cleaner or Chenille Thread/brush: This is one of the easiest ways to get a basket to have stronger handles. You can use this in hats and children’s toys or amigurami too. All you have to do is hold the pipe cleaner at the base and keep on crocheting over it all around. I love this idea to make Bunny Ears!
2. Use Starch. One of the most common ways to stiffen a crochet object or block it is to use starch. You can use the powdered kind that is dissolved in water or you can use the pressurized starch sprays that are available in the laundry section. You will have to get the object totally wet with the starch and then pressed with a hot iron. There is a drawback to this method though. It isn’t recommended to use starch for white objects as it will yellow over time. You can, how ever, use it for coloured objects. Another drawback is that you cannot wash and use it again. This method is only suitable for say, things that you want to frame or keep as is. The above picture is from Suzann’s Textile Fusion where she explains the process.
3. White Glue: If you are not going to be wearing it consider equal parts of water and glue. This works great for doilies and centre pieces. I have used this method for some of my doilies and it is better than using starch. As you can see from this bowl or this lamp. Just mix equal parts of white glue/ Elmer’s Glue with water and spray it on to the object. Let it air dry. Don’t iron it! It will brown or burn if you iron it. 🙂
4.Crochet over a wire. This is another popular trick that most crocheters use. Any wire or even laundry line can be used. This works well for rugs and handles on baskets. You can see in the above pic how she made a rug.
5. Fishing line. I wrote a very popular post about using Fishing Line to Make Stiff Edges. Since fishing line is available in different sizes, you can adapt it to your project. Fishing line is transparent so it is less likely to be visible too. Examples: Hat brims, toys, crochet jewellery. The above picture is an example where I used Fishing line to make only the brim edges to flare out.
6. Use Hdc instead of sc in the brim. If you are not interested in adding any wire or starching the material then a simple way to make a hat hold it’s shape is to use hdc (half double crochet) in place of all the sc (single crochet). You can only do this with sc and I am afraid it won’t work for dc.
7. Use reverse sc at the edge. My favourite way to finish a Cloche hat or a Panama hat is to do revsc (reverse single crochet) on the edges. It looks more professionally done and the edges are more a crisp finish.
8. Use a smaller size needle. Using a smaller needle than recommended makes your crochet tighter and I have found that this makes the hat or basket a little stiff. I have found that this trick works really well for Tshirt yarn and hemp!
These are all the ways that I have experience with. Do you know any more? I’d love to include any that you know of. DO share.
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