Affiliate links may be included for your convenience. View our privacy and affiliates policy for details.
A big complaint a lot of crocheters have is that it’s really hard to crochet straight edges, especially as your stitches get taller. That’s because when we chain at the beginning of a row, it doesn’t look or stand up the same way as a normal stitch would, which makes the edge wavy and uneven.
The Problem of Uneven Edges in Crochet
If you look at this swatch of double crochet you can see the issue. The stitches look fine, but at the beginning of each row where the turning chain is, it kind of bumps out instead of standing up straight.
This makes the edge wavy and it can make it a little harder to decide where to put the last stitch in the row.
If you’re making a garment or something where the sides will be sewn or finished in some way, this doesn’t really matter, but if the edges are going to be visible in your project, you might want to know how to crochet straight edges easily.
Use Stacked Stitches to Crochet Straight Edges
I have always heard of this technique being called stacked stitches, but I’ve also seen it called starting stitches. Whatever you want to call it, this method to help you crochet straight edges involves starting each row with one or several single crochet stitches, which may be stacked on top of each other to achieve the height of the stitch you need.
Here’s that double crochet swatch again with the bowed edges from the chains at the bottom and straight edges from using stacked stitches at the top. It’s not totally perfect but it is a lot nicer looking because the stitches are more stable than a chain. Here’s how you do it.
Using Stacked Stitches for Straight Edges on Double Crochet
I feel like stacked stitches are most commonly used with double crochet, but you can use the technique with any stitch or stitch pattern you like that you need help to crochet straight edges on.
As mentioned above, we’re working single crochet stitches on top of each other to the height needed to make the next stitch. In the case of double crochet, we need to work two single crochets stacked.
When you’re ready to start your row, begin with a single crochet stitch in the first stitch.
If you look at what you just did you’ll see two loops right below your hook.
Insert the hook in the second loop (the one to the left, or farthest from your hook) and make another single crochet.
You now have two single crochets on top of each other and can double crochet in the next stitch as usual.
When you get to the end of a row with stacked stitches in the row below, remember to work a stitch in the single crochet stitch or your count will be off.
How to Crochet Straight Edges on Other Types of Crochet
I use this technique for even crochet edges most often with double crochet, but you can use it with any stitch or stitch pattern.
Here’s what it looks like with different stitches.
When working single crochet (at the bottom of the swatch), just work a single crochet stitch in the first stitch.
For half double, work one single crochet in the first stitch. As mentioned above, you’d work two stitches for double crochet, and here at the top you can see a row of treble crochet that started with three stacked stitches.
Of course this works with patterns, too, just work the same number of single crochets at the beginning of the row as you would chain at the end of the row to get the height you need.
Have you ever tried stacked stitches or starting stitches? Do you have other techniques to crochet straight edges? I’d love to hear about it!