One very popular edging technique is the slip stitch edging. It’s easy to do and creates a nice, finished edge without adding a lot of bulk or length. By adding a chain between the stitches, you can get an entirely different, stretchier edging.
Basic slip stitch edging
For this edging, just slip stitch into every stitch.The slip stitches form a 2nd layer of V shapes along the edge, matching the V shapes already there on top of your last row of stitches. You can get 2 different effects, depending on the direction of your work.
Here I have worked the yellow row of slip stitches in the same direction as the previous (orange) round. In other words, I didn’t turn, but continued to work around in the same direction. You can see that the Vs are all pointing the same way. The orange Vs from the previous row are pushed back so they are pointing straight up, and the new yellow Vs are now facing forward. This gives a nice bold edge on the right side, but doesn’t look like anything much on the wrong side. If both yarns were the same color, it would just look like the back side of normal single crochet, with an extra loop.
The other option is to work in the opposite direction, i.e. ch 1, turn, sl st in each st. You can see in this sample that the orange and yellow Vs are pointing in opposite directions. You may also notice that the bottom of the orange stitches looks different, because they’re now facing the other direction. The set of Vs from the previous row stays where it was, now facing the wrong side of the fabric. Meanwhile, the new Vs are facing the right side. You should end up with one row of Vs on each side, for a more reversible edge. The difference is subtle, particularly when worked in the same color as the previous row, but it’s still noticeable.
The problem with a basic slip stitch edging, is that it’s easy to make it too tight. If your slip stitches are too tight, your edge will be stiff and may even draw in or pucker. This means that you have to keep careful watch on your tension when working this edging. It’s also not a particularly good edging for ribbing, or for areas that need more stretch like necklines and cuffs.
Slip stitch, ch 1 edging
My favorite variation is to work (slip stitch, chain 1) in each stitch. Adding this extra chain between your slip stitches makes for a much stretchier edge. It adds enough “give” that it doesn’t particularly matter if your slip stitches come out a little too tight. For that reason, I think it’s a much easier edge to do well. It also has a completely different look to it. The extra chains fold in between the stitches to form almost a zig zag line.
When the fabric is stretched, those chains straighten out, allowing the edge to stretch as well. That makes this a great edging for ribbing or stretchy areas. However, this edging does add a little more bulk and doesn’t look like anything much on the wrong side. This is my current favorite edging for baby garments, particularly for boys or unisex items. It’s a nice simple, finished look without being frilly. Where would you use it?