In an effort to help new knitters, and to ensure that we spread good knitting and crocheting habits, Adele’s Legacy provides proven best practices and advice for those who are interested. Don’t forget our Tips and Tricks, too! If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a message, and we will help you if we can!
When you start or finish a piece of handwork there is always a short length of yarn that is not actually a part of the item. We call these the “end” and they are very important. If the ends are not correctly woven into the piece you are making that wonderful hat or scarf that you have worked so hard on might unravel the first time it is washed! Here are some basic guidelines to dealing with yarn ends.
- Yarn ends should be at least 7 inches long. If they are too short you will have trouble weaving them in. If they are too long they get in the way as you are working.
- It is best to use a sharp needle when weaving in ends. A blunt needle is often useful to join pieces together (like sewing up a sleeve), but for sewing in ends a sharp needle is the most useful because you will want to split yarn as you weave.
- Thread your needle and then, using the sharp point of your needle skim across the fabric of your work. The needle should go through just about a third of the strand of yarn. It should be enough to anchor the yarn you are sewing in, but not enough to be seen through on the other side.
- Go back and forth, in the same way about three times, and then do it again, cutting across perpendicular to the three strands you just wove. (In the picture the yarn is blue just so you can see what it should look like.) This will help hold the end in place, and not allow it to unravel as easily. When you do the last pass of weaving in you should go through your work, but ALSO through the strands of yarn you just wove in. None of this should be obvious from the RIGHT side of the work (the outside of the hat, for example.)
- This is what it looks like when it’s complete. Of course, on your work you would have only one end because the other would be attached to your work.
- You do it the same way if the inside (or wrong side) of the item is the knit side, or if it’s crocheted. You do not want to pull it too tight, it should be the same tension as the rest of the fabric of the item, so it won’t show. When you are done cut off the excess yarn and you are done with that yarn end!
- If you are working on a scarf, or with yarn of a contrasting color, where there might be more change of the color showing through on the other side you can make it less obvious by splitting the yarn. Before you thread your yarn end onto the needle split the yarn into two pieces. For example, if you are working with 6-ply yarn, split the yarn end into two strands of 3-ply yarn. Then weave each yarn in separately. This will lessen the thickness of the weaving and will reduce the “footprint” of the weaving. It takes a little longer, but it makes a better product.