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Save Time by Doing Finishing Work as You Knit or Crochet!

Home/CrochetingSave Time by Doing Finishing Work as You Knit or Crochet!

Save Time by Doing Finishing Work as You Knit or Crochet!

Save Time by Finishing As You Go!Finishing work is usually saved for the end of the project, but it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of easy ways that you can speed things up. Here are my favorite ways to add new colors or change skeins without weaving in ends.

The Russian Join: This is a fantastic way to add a new skein of yarn to your work without weaving in any ends. It creates a steady, secure join, so it’s great for most yarns.

The Felted Join: Working with wool or another feltable yarn? Try the felted join! This technique locks your two yarns together, creating a solid join without a darning needle.

Crochet over your ends: Why use a darning needle when you can use your hook? This quick strategy allows you to keep crocheting as you tuck your yarn ends into place.

Do you have a time-saving tip? Be sure to share it in the comments below!

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  • Thanks for sharing these tips! Finishing projects is my least favorite part, so it’s a good idea to get some of the work done along the way! 🙂

  • I always use the Kaffe Fassett method of weaving in the yarn as I go along – carry the new yarn along the back, weaving it behind the old colour for five or six stitches, then start with the new colour, and carry the old one weaving it in behind the new colour.  Or as I got from a Kaffe Fassett site:
    To make it simpler to layer in countless shades of colour, Kaffe developed a technique for knitting-in the ends of yarn as he goes along. “This saves knitters hours of laborious darning in when they’re done knitting”, he says. “When introducing a new colour, leave ends of about 3 inches (8cm) on the old and new yarns. Work the next two stitches with the new yarn, holding both ends in your left hand; lay them over the working yarn; and work the next stitch. Now insert the right-hand needle into the next stitch as usual, then bring the ends up over the point of the right-hand needle and work this stitch past the ends.
    If you can find a copy of one of Kaffe’s knitting books (I’ve got Glorious Colour), there are helpful photos.  I’ve made several garments with dozens of colours, all woven in without problem. 

    • Wish I had seen this 6 month ago!!! I am very nearly to the end of a Tumbling Blocks knitted afghan…and am REALLY put off by the task of weaving in the ends. If I can learn it, I will use it from now on.

  • I’m a knitter and have been using the Russian and felted joins for years. They are awesome and if you really need to use every inch of yarn, they allow for practically invisible joins if you must join before reaching the edge of your work. 

    I weave in the yarn ends every time I join new yarn so I’m not overwhelmed by having to deal with all those ends when I’m done knitting. It makes finishing a lot less painful for me.

  • I have been disappointed with crocheting over my ends…the first wash they start working their way back out.  I am going to start trying the Russian and felted joins.

    • I had the same challenge until I realized that the I wasn’t leaving my yarn ends long enough. By leaving an extra two-three inches, the ends are less likely to work their way out over time. When I feel like the yarn type is more likely to “wiggle”, I’ll still work over the ends as I go but leave about 1 1/2 inches to weave back in the other direction for extra security.

  • Alternatives to the Russian Join are: the Braided Join and Double Knot. 
    Neither of them need sewing needles – both joins are pretty much invisible in a finished piece. The Braided Join only works on plied yarns, though. You can find videos on YouTube for both.

    • I just used the braided join on a 2 ply Linen Tweed.  Perfect!  The join disappears into the garment.

  • I just learned about the braided join a few weeks ago.

  • I’ve heard of the Russian and Felted join, but haven’t used them yet.  I really need to take the time to learn.  Weaving in ends in my least favorite part. I always crochet over the ends, but feel like I need to give them a bit more security so I end up weaving them back in the other direction for a few stitches. Thanks for the tips!

  • I have recently started doing more work with different colors, and find that weaving my ends in before I start the new color allows me to know without doubt that I am weaving into the correct color now that I am blind. When I start a new yarn, I hold the new tail in my left hand for the first stitch. Then, I bring the tail back and hold it with the working yarn while I work five or ten more stitches. I also leave the rest of the end until after I wash it. Once it is washed, I can snip the ends very close because the machine has already been working the item and the stitches have been given that little bit of stretch so that when the item is used or worn, the ends stay where they belong and are hidden.

  • I’ve used all three of these methods with success.  But I also often use this method when joining two strands of the same color (which sounds similar to what the “guest” above me is suggesting):

    – leave a decent-sized tail of the old yarn
    – pick up the new yarn on the next stitch just how you normally would, also leaving a decent tail
    – on the subsequent three stitches, instead of working with one strand of yarn, work with BOTH strands of the new yarn (the working strand and the tail held together)
    – on the next row across, when you get to the OLD yarn’s tail, work three stitches with that tail held together with the new working yarn
    – on the next two rows, when you get to the relevant tails, again work them with the working yarn

    I use this method when the yarn or the type of stitches can hide the double-strands.  If I’m doing straight stitches in knitting with a uniform acrylic yarn, I’ll generally use a different method!  But if there’s already texture in the piece, it can generally handle the bulk.

  • I find that if I don’t try to do my finishing as I’m knitting or crocheting, but wait till I’m done, it becomes a UFO with only the finishing left to do. When I moved last year and had to pack up or sell my craft room items, I was shocked at the number of items (dishcloths especially) that were almost done except for getting rid of the ends. I try to make it more of a habit of finishing them when I finish then I used to. Can’t use it or give it if it is not finished. Thanks for the great tip.

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