Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay returns to share tips on finishing your crochet projects. Join her next month for tips on finishing your knitting project. Click here to see her previous blog post.
Weaving in well is so very important. If your ends are not woven in well, your ends could come loose and stick out making your piece look messy. Or worse, your work could come unraveled when the piece is used or laundered. There are two very important things to remember for successful weaving in; 1) Leave a long tail, 2) Always weave the tail in more than one direction.
Leave a LONG Tail
Always leave a long tail, at least 6". When cutting the yarn, it is no time to be stingy. Cutting your tails short will not save you much money and is likely to cause you a great deal of frustration.
It's a Cheap Thrill
Leaving a long tail is a cheap thrill. An average ball of acrylic yarn measures about 170 yds and costs about $4.39. There are 170 × 36 = 6,120 inches in this average ball. So, a 6" tail of yarn costs you about ($4.39 ÷ 6,120) × 6 = $0.0043, that's less than ½ of a penny. So, live a little, even splurge on an occasional 12" tail for less than a penny.
Sometimes Cheap Thrills Are the Best
A long tail has many, many advantages. Long tails make weaving in much easier. You have plenty of length to thread the tail onto the needle and weave back and forth under your stitches. Who hasn't struggled with threading the fraying end of a too short tail into a yarn needle, only to have it pop right back out of the needle the first time you try to insert the needle into your work? Long tails can be used to seam pieces together, and sew buttons or embellishments in place without having to introduce a separate piece of yarn. This reduces the number of ends to weave in. It is wise to never cut a tail short until you are certain you will not want it to help seam pieces together or attach embellishments.
Go in More than One Direction When Weaving In
When you weave in your tails, thread the tail onto a yarn needle and insert the needle underneath the stitches in the last row or round for several inches. Take a small stitch around the last stitch woven under, and weave the tail back in the opposite direction under the same stitches. Weaving in at least two directions significantly reduces the chances that the yarn tails will work loose when the piece is used and laundered. Many people use the time-saving technique of working stitches over the ends of yarn when a new ball or color is introduced. This is a great technique, but for best results, still leave a good length of the tail(s) uncovered and use a needle to weave them back in the opposite direction.
Despite your best efforts, you find yourself with a too short tail. What can you do?
- Do not thread the tail onto the yarn needle first. Instead, insert the needle under stitches of the last row, leaving the eye of the needle still visible. Carefully thread the too short tail into the eye of the needle and then draw the needle through. If there's still enough of the tail remaining, repeat this process to weave back in the other direction.
- Work as in #1, but apply a dab of fabric glue to the end of the tail just before drawing it under the stitches. Press down gently on the stitches covering the glue-dabbed tail and allow to dry.
- Unravel your work several inches. Join a new LONG strand of yarn as if adding another ball or color and complete the row/rnd with this new length of yarn. Weave in the new tails. You will have more yarn tails, but your work is likely to be more secure.
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