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Should you block a crochet blanket before adding a border?

Adding a border is a great way to finish off a crochet blanket and give it a polished, professional look. But before you start crocheting that border, an important question to consider is – should you block your blanket first? Blocking can shape your stitches, even out any inconsistencies, and help the blanket lay flat.

So should you take that extra step? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of blocking a crochet blanket before adding a border.

Reasons to Block Before Adding a Border

Evens out stitches

Blocking helps even out the stitches and relaxes any excess yarn in each stitch. This helps give the blanket a uniform, flat appearance. If your blanket is curling on the edges or has inconsistent stitch sizes, blocking it first can help correct those issues. The border will then have a flat, straight edge to attach to.

Flattens seams

If the blanket was made up of individual squares or motifs that were seamed together, blocking helps flatten out the seams. This prevents bumps or ridges where the squares meet. The border will then lay smoother.

Opens up the lace pattern

For a lace crochet blanket, blocking really helps open up the lace holes and display the pattern. The more open look is usually the intended drape for lace. Blocking first allows you to see the lace pattern clearly, before attaching a border.

Sets the shape

Blocking sets the shape of the blanket – defining the length vs width measurements. This helps when picking the dimensions of the border pieces. For example, you can determine if you need to pick a border pattern with a longer vertical edge or longer horizontal edge.

Determines sizing

If your blanket needs to be a certain size, blocking will define the final measurements. You can then calculate how many border stitches are needed to reach the desired dimensions. This results in a more accurate border size.

Reasons to Add the Border First

Avoids multiple blockings

Blocking takes time and effort. If you block the blanket first, the border pieces will likely distort when worked and need blocking again. Blocking the entire blanket just once saves the extra work.

Borders help shape the blanket

For some projects, adding the border first helps block the blanket into shape. The tension from adding border stitches can pull the sides straight and square up the corners. The border acts as an edging guide.

No special blocking requirements

If the main blanket pattern does not include special stitches that require blocking (like lace), blocking beforehand is not as necessary. The border can be added first without any loss of pattern definition.

Faster to work continuously

It can be satisfying and faster to simply work the border immediately after finishing the blanket. While the project is fresh, all the yarn, tools and motivation are still out. Blocking in between adds an extra step that breaks up the rhythm.

Avoids procrastination

Be honest – how often does a finished blanket get abandoned, rather than blocked and finished with a border? Blocking takes time and gets put off. Adding the border first means completing the blanket in one go.

Tips for Adding Borders

Measure carefully

Take detailed measurements of the blanket width and length before starting the border. This gives the right counts to match the border length to the blanket. Include the height of any corner blocks in the measurements.

Pick the yarn first

Choose the yarn for the border before calculating the stitch counts. Make sure the yarn weight matches the blanket – fingering yarn for a fingering blanket, worsted for a worsted blanket, etc.

Swatch the border pattern

Crochet a swatch with the border pattern stitch to determine gauge. Calculate stitch counts based on the actual stitches per inch, not ball band gauge. This results in the most accurate fit.

Include 10-20% ease

When calculating border length stitches, add 10-20% ease so the edges stretch slightly. This prevents the edges from puckering. For example, if the blanket edge measures 50″, the border stitch count could be for 55-60″.

Work corner blocks first

Make any corner blocks in the border pattern first, then add the edge borders between the corner blocks. Having the corners established helps keep the edge borders aligned.

Join as you go

When possible, join the border to the blanket as you crochet, usually on every row or round. This prevents the border from curling and keeps it flat against the blanket.

Check length frequently

When working long edges, measure against the blanket every 6-12″ to ensure the border isn’t stretching or shrinking. Adjust hook size as needed to maintain the correct ease.

Work into the blanket stitches

For added stability, work through both the border stitch and 1-2 strands of the blanket edge stitches. This helps fully integrate the border with the blanket.

Crochet Border Patterns

Here are some classic crochet blanket border ideas to try:

Single Crochet

The most basic option is a row or round of single crochet. This gives a subtle finished edge and lets the blanket pattern stand out. Vary the hook size relative to the blanket to adjust the firmess of the edge.

Reverse Single Crochet

For a decorative touch, reverse single crochet gives a raised, braided effect. Keep the hook one size smaller than the blanket hook for best results. Reverse single crochet does add some firmess.

Crab Stitch

Crab stitch, also called reverse double crochet, produces a nice rounded, woven look. Work with the same size hook as the blanket for good drape. Crab stitch lies flatter than reverse single crochet.

Crossed Double Crochet

A simple crisscross pattern made by skipping 1 stitch and crossing the doubles. This adds subtle texture and dimension without being overly thick. Use the same size hook as the blanket.

Linked Double Crochet

Linked double crochet is made by working linked chains between the double crochet stitches. This makes an open, lace-like finish. Use a hook 1-2 sizes smaller than the blanket hook.

Shells and Picots

A delicate shell edging with picots is well-suited for baby blankets and lightweight shawls. The small shells add pretty shaping without bulk. Use the same size hook as the blanket.

Crossed Trebles

Longer crossed treble crochet stitches turn the edge into a zigzag. Work with a hook 1-2 sizes smaller than the blanket for defined stitches. This border works up quickly.

Tunisian Simple Stitch

A Tunisian simple stitch border has full, squared-off look. Keep the same size Tunisian crochet hook for a balanced drape. Work 2-4 rows for the desired thickness.

Choosing a Border for Specific Blanket Types

Baby Blanket Borders

For baby blankets, stick to soft, gentle borders. Simple edges like single crochet, reverse single crochet, crab stitch, or small shells are all good choices. Stay away from overly dense or rigid borders. Keep the edge flexible so the blanket can be folded and hugged.

Afghan Blanket Borders

Afghan blankets can handle borders with more texture and complexity. Linked stitches, crossed stitches, mesh patterns and post stitch borders will show off nicely and keep the afghan edges flat. Dense borders like double crochet or Tunisian crochet work well.

Lace Blanket Borders

Plan lace blanket borders carefully to extend the lace pattern without obscuring it. Simple single crochet or reverse single crochet are good choices. For a more intricate finish, add a lace edging pattern with simple picots or shell shapes. Avoid overly dense borders.

Tunisian Crochet Blanket Borders

Match the border to the same Tunisian crochet technique as the blanket for the best look. A Tunisian simple stitch border complements Tunisian simple stitch blankets. Or add a small Tunisian lace border. Keeping the same technique maintains drape and gauge.

Ripple Blanket Borders

Ripple blanket waves require a flexible border that won’t restrain the edges. Single crochet, reverse single crochet, or crab stitch give the best results. Tall stitches like trebles tend to interrupt the rippling peaks and valleys. Work into the valleys for stability.

Granny Square Blanket Borders

Granny square blanket borders should seamlessly integrate each square. Work the border right through both the square stitches and border stitches for stability. Denser stitches like linked double crochet or Tunisian crochet help mask square gaps.

Blanket Type Recommended Border Stitches
Baby Blanket Single crochet, reverse single crochet, crab stitch, small shells
Afghan Blanket Linked stitches, crossed stitches, mesh patterns, post stitches, double crochet, Tunisian crochet
Lace Blanket Single crochet, reverse single crochet, lace edging
Tunisian Crochet Blanket Tunisian simple stitch, Tunisian lace edging
Ripple Blanket Single crochet, reverse single crochet, crab stitch
Granny Square Blanket Linked double crochet, Tunisian crochet


Whether to block a crochet blanket before or after adding the border comes down to personal preference. Blocking first allows the stitches to relax and lie flat before attaching the finishing border. Working the border first can shape the blanket, speed up the process, and avoid multiple blocks.

In the end, choose the method that works best for the particular project and your own crochet style. Just be sure to take accurate measurements, pick a border that complements the blanket pattern, and adjust hook size to maintain drape. With some planning, your beautiful new crochet blanket will be ready for all the oohs and aahs in no time.