Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Crochet 7: Weaving In the Ends (Tutorial)

Yarn: Lily Sugar'n Cream in Hot Pink; Fabric: Windham Fabrics "Storybook VIII Toss"

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.

To view the tutorial click to read more.

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


Kimberly F said...

Thanks for this! Not at all how I've been doing it, and this way looks much cleaner.

Jane said...

Loving this series! The baby afghan is just delicious - as is your daughter with it :)
I never realised you should turn back the other way when you weave in ends. I'm very glad you are going through all the basics with such clear instructions and pictures.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

When changing yarn colors in the middle of a row, do you also weave the ends? I've been switching the color in the middle of say, a DC, and then kind of grab the old yarn tail and crochet it in. But I'm afraid it's still going to unravel.

Anneliese said...

@Kim: yes, weave in your ends after a yarn change too. Crocheting the tail in is great too. I would probably leave a decently long tail and crochet over part of it and weave in the rest...

Anonymous said...

I taught myself to crochet from a book, and it never explained how to weave in the ends. Thank you, it seems so easy now that I have seen it. Much better than what I have been doing.

Bari Jo said...

Thanks for the close ups!! I love your idea of a little knot at the end after weaving in - I always worry that they will eventually work their way free or leave a fuzzy end sticking out of a baby blanket after many washings... so this should do the trick! I also loved that you mentioned knotting when changing to new skein of yarn in middle of row - I think that would keep it from unraveling... the first baby blanket I made I didn't know how to add that new skein and so I just knotted and made sure it was hidden and wove in the ends... I was very relieved to read this post! I, too, don't enjoy the weaving in the ends process... doesn't take long, but I procrastinate and don't like it like I do the rest of the process! Thanks for this tutorial also! YOU ROCK!!! :O)

Hannah Jean said...

Thanks so much for the pictures! I've been crocheting for a few years but have always been lost when it comes to weaving in ends-- there's very little explanation of how to do it out there!

MaKenna Morgan said...

Hello Dear! Ummm, I was wondering if I missed something, or if you hadn't anounced the Crafter's Butler winner? Thanks!


Kelly said...

Pretty sure I must have missed this, but I can't figure out what to do when I come to the end of the skein and need to start a new skein -- do I weave in my ends and then start crocheting with the new yarn? If so, how do I start - do I make a new loop with the yarn and just start crocheting? Do I knot the two together? Help! I'm loving this series; it's fantastic! I just can't seem to find an answer to this question. . . Thanks!

Anneliese said...


I am planning to do a tutorial on changing yarns/adding a new skein. You can either knot and cut, or weave in. The more traditional method is to leave a tail for weaving in later, you then put the new yarn on your hook and make a slip stitch in the top of your last stitch to join it and continue crocheting. I hope that helps! Look for a tutorial in the next month or so.

I hope that helps! Thanks for asking.

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