Invariably, when you come to the end of a crochet pattern you will read the words, "weave in ends," or "weave in the ends," or "weave in your ends." Regardless of the wording, this is referring to the action of cleaning up all the stray yarn tails left from the first slip knot, the last fasten off, and any places you have added a new skein. This is my least favorite part of any pattern! I am fine with the repetitive stitch making but when I'm finished I want it to be finished--I dislike this final tidying up.
In any event, I thought it might be helpful to have a little demonstration of the "weaving in" since it took me more than a couple years to get it right. It's the difference between a nicely finished project and one that in time has stray ends again, and even worse, fraying ends.
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I'm going to review a few different ways to weave in the ends: in the main body of your work, in the seam of your work, and I'll show a variation when using multiple strands.
FIRST: The Basic Weave-In
Start by threading the tail of your yarn through a tapestry needle (see this post on supplies) and inserting the needle back into your work by weaving it underneath the stitches to hide the yarn. I work into one of the loops on each stitch--turn your work over as you're doing this to be certain the needle is hidden on the other side of the work as well.
Pull the needle to pull the yarn all the way through. Then you'll weave the yarn back the other direction, skipping the first stitch (else you would undo your work), to secure it. You can turn and weave again to make this extra secure (truthfully I usual weave three times) but twice should do the trick--your yarn ends won't unravel.
You can then simply cut your yarn close to where it comes out of your last weaving. If the yarn I am using has a large fraying potential I often tie a tight and small knot at the end of my yarn before clipping it close. I also tug it out of the weave when I do this so that when it relaxes back into place the tail (knotted or not) is completely hidden under the stitches.
SECOND: Weaving into a Seam
If my project includes a seam, such as my Sedge Stitch Maxi Cowl, I choose to weave in the ends along this seam on the wrong side of the work. this way they are certain not to show and the seam is nice and tight so I feel the weaving will be even more secure.
As with the basic weave-in, you simply insert your tapestry needle under some stitches only this time insert them in the stitches along the seam.
Pull the yarn through, skip the first stitch under which you just pulled through your needle and weave back the opposite direction.
If you're feeling "perfectionistic," go ahead and weave back a third time.
THIRD: Weaving in with Multiple Strands
My pattern for an Easy Baby Afghan calls for working with three strands of yarn at once. To weave in this cluster of three together would create a rather bulky row so I think it's best to weave the strands one at a time. To do this, thread your tapestry needle with one of your strands and weave in according to the basic method in the body of the fabric, or if there is a seam nearby weave into that. Then do the same with the remaining tails of yarn, but pick a new row into which to weave them to avoid the bulk.
And there you have it! Not the most exciting of techniques, but one of most essential.
How-to tutorials, patterns, giveaways, reviews and interviews to make certain you are smitten.
Click on the "HOH in Crochet" label or button to view all the content in this series.
Here's a quick list of all the "How to Crochet" posts:
How to Crochet 1: The Slip Knot
How to Crochet 2: Holding the Yarn
How to Crochet 3: The Chain Stitch
How to Crochet 4: The Single Crochet
How to Crochet 5: Seaming Your Work
How to Crochet 6: The Double Crochet
How to Crochet 7: Weaving in the Ends
How to Crochet 8: The Half Double Crochet
How to Crochet 9: The Triple Crochet
How to Crochet 10: Working in the Round
How to Crochet 11: Understanding Gauge