Surface Chains versus Braided Chains

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There are so many different ways to add crochet embellishments to a project. Techniques like crochet embroidery and surface embellishments can add color, texture, and interest to just about any crochet project. Two popular embellishments are surface chains and braided chains. While some of the mechanics of these techniques are similar, they do create a different look and feel on a project. In this video, crochet expert Mary Beth Temple explains the similarities and differences of surface chains and braided chains.

Mary Beth begins by showing a simple crocheted scarf that is worked entirely in single crochet stitches. Once the scarf was complete, both surface and braided chains were added to the scarf to add some color and texture. The surface chains create thin straight lines while the braided chains create thicker lines with more texture. She notes that adding these embellishments create a lot of extra visual and textural interest to the scarf. It makes the project easy – simple stitching for the entire scarf with various chains added to the end to make the crocheted scarf beautiful and unique!

Another way that surface and braided chains can be used in a project is that they can be used to create plaid and argyle fabrics. For plaid, the chains can be added over each other to give the effect of a plaid pattern. With argyle, the base fabric would be worked with intarsia to create diamonds with the chains being worked over the top at the end.

Finally, Mary Beth encourages you to think about the end goal. Are you looking for some added texture? Maybe add one of these crocheted embellishments in the same color as the project. Want a pop of color? Use a braided or surface chain in a different color to add interest. These techniques are fun to explore, no matter which one you choose.