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Open Shell Edging

This timeless edging was first published in the year 1899. Shown at left is a drawing of the edging from the 1899 publication. It's just as wonderful to use today. Along with many other uses, this is another thread edging that's great as a crocheted trimming, currently popular on clothing.

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Using As An Afghan Edging: You can also use this pattern as an afghan edging by making it in yarn of the same weight that you used to crochet the afghan and, instead of doing a starting chain, crochet a row of single crochet stitches directly into the afghan edges, then continue with row 1 of the pattern. Edgings can be many different widths, so gauge is not critical in this project. Just to give an idea of finished size: I crocheted a sample with worsted weight yarn and a US size G hook for an edging that was about 3 3/4 inches wide at widest point.

Crocheting the Edging Directly Into Fabric: If it's a type of fabric where the edges may fray, finish the edges with a narrow hem or with a serger finish before adding the crocheted edging. To achieve even spacing for the first row of crochet stitches, you may want to use a ruler to determine where the stitches will be placed. First, decide the width of a single crochet stitch for the size thread you will be using. Use that measurement to mark the stitch placement. One of the narrower steel crochet hooks, such as a size 10, works well for poking holes in the fabric for each crochet stitch. Make all the holes ahead of time or use a disappearing ink fabric marker to mark where the holes should be to guide you as you crochet the first row. Instead of doing a starting chain, as called for in the pattern, crochet a row of single crochet stitches, evenly spaced, crocheted directly into the edges of the fabric, then continue with row 1 of the pattern.

My Rewritten Pattern Directions
My edging version is slightly different than the 1899 original.
Materials: Use thread size of your choice. Just to give you an idea of finished size, the sample that I made with size 10 thread and a US size 8 steel hook is about 1 1/2 inches wide at widest point.
Abbreviations:
Click on underlined name of stitch to go to the how to for that stitch:
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch
sp = space
st = stitch
tr = treble
Starting Chain: Chain a multiple of 14, plus 1.
Row 1: Dc in 7th ch from hook, * ch 1, skip next ch, dc in next ch; repeat from * across row.
Row 2: Ch 5, * skip next 2 ch-1 spaces, work 6 tr in next ch-1 sp, ch 3, skip next ch-1 sp, sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 5, skip next 2 ch-1 spaces, sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 3; repeat from * across. On last repeat: skip next 2 ch-1 spaces, work 6 tr in next ch-1 sp, ch 3, skip next ch-1 sp, sc in next ch-1 sp.
Row 3: * Ch 5, tr in each of next 3 tr, ch 5, tr in each of next 3 tr, ch 5, skip ch-3, sc in next ch-5 sp, skip ch-3; repeat from * across. On last repeat: Ch 5, tr in each of next 3 tr, ch 5, tr in each of next 3 tr, ch 2, dc in last ch-5 sp.
Row 4: [ ch 5, * 2 dc in ch-5 sp (that's in between the groups of treble stitches), ch 5, sl st in top of dc just made (one picot made), repeat from * 4 more times (still working in same ch-5 sp), dc in same ch-5 sp, ch 5, dc in next ch-5 sp, then dc in next ch-5 sp ], repeat from [ to ] across. On last repeat: At the end of the last repeat, after the last ch 5, do not do the "(dc in next ch-5) twice" but, instead, skip next 2 trebles, slip stitch in next treble.
End off. Weave in ends.

On the printer-friendly page of these pattern directions, I've also included What The 1899 Directions Said.

Open Shell Edging was first published in the year 1899 in A Treatise on Embroidery, Crochet and Knitting, published by M. Heminway & Sons Silk Co. (statutory copyright period has expired, now fallen into the public domain). How long does copyright last? See US Government Copyright Law Office web site at http://www.loc.gov/copyright. Under "Publications" heading, click on "Information Circulars": Circular 15 (Renewal of Copyrights), Circular 15a (Duration of Copyrights) and Circular 15t (Extension of Copyright Terms)
My rewritten directions and image of pink edging copyright 2001 by Sandi Marshall, licensed to About.com, Inc. Free for your own personal use only. As per copyright law, if others would like to have the pattern, do not give them copies or scans, but instead, please give them the URL of this page, so that they may come here for themselves. Thank you. I appreciate it. Copyright Myths Explained

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