Starting a Border on Broomstick Lace
Reader Michelle asked how to make a border on a broomstick lace project, and here are a couple ideas to start. Because there are so many border patterns out there and because there are a ton of ways to do your broomstick lace, I decided to show how to make the base for your border. Once you get the knack of making a base, you can do just about any border you want! I highly recommend Around the Corner Crochet Borders – it will teach you all about multiples and the science of getting your borders right (as well as a bunch of great patterns, of course). I will not be delving into math and science here, so this book is an excellent resource. Also, here is a tutorial for making broomstick lace. Okay, let’s go.
Method 1: Making a Bridge
Both methods are shown with this starting sample. It has one row of single crochet between the lace rows.
Also, when making your border, you should use the same color yarn as your broomstick lace project. I’m using a different color here for clarity. With the right side of your project facing you, join your yarn anywhere at the top of your work. Joining here rather than at a corner will allow you more flexibility to add or subtract stitches to achieve the right multiple for your chosen border.
Start working one single crochet into each stitch.
When you get to the corners, you will have to add extra stitches to keep your corner flat. There are a myriad of ways to turn your corners, but here I made 3 single crochets into each corner.
Now, when you get to the loops of your lace you’ll make some chains. This will be your “bridge” over the loops. The amount of chains will depend on the size of your loops, so there is some trouble-shooting here. In this example, I chained four for my bridges. Then, you’ll anchor your bridge by making a single crochet into the side of the single crochet of the next row. If you have more rows of single crochet between your lace rows, make a single crochet into the side of each one.
Here it is close-up. Basically, you will have a single crochet (or more in the corners) in each single crochet of your main work, and a bridge of chains across each lace row.
And here it is in whole. Cut your yarn, finish off, and weave in your ends. Now you’re ready to add your border.
Method 2: Making the Base Into the Lace
For this method, you will start out as you did for the bridge method. But instead of making a bridge, you will work your single crochets right into the two outermost loops of your lace. Again, the amount of single crochets you’ll need to make will depend on the size of your loops. Here, I did four.
Just as in the bridge method, when you get to a single crochet row, make one single crochet into the side of it. At the end, finish off and you’re ready for borderfying. Here is what it looks like close-up:
That’s it, now you can change color and add a border into your nice, neat base. Here are some things to consider:
You might need to add extra stitches in your border base to accommodate the multiple of your border – sneak them in at the corners or here and there as you work the base.
Make your border base the same color as your main piece. This will hide any imperfections resulting from adding stitches to accommodate your multiple and will hide the general awkwardness of working into the sides of your stitches.
Making a border can be very trial-and-error at first. You’ll need to adjust for your multiple, adjust to keep your corners flat, and adjust to keep the piece flat in general. If your piece is puckering, you’ll have to add more stitches. If it’s all ruffly and wavy, you’ll need to decrease your stitches.
Your border base will not be perfectly straight, and that is normal. The work should get its act together once you start making the actual border, and everything will be just right at the end.