The Best Ways to End Your Crochet Projects
Okay so you’ve followed all the steps in my ebook, How to Crochet: A Quick-Start Guide for Beginners and you’ve just finished your crochet project. Congratulations! You’ve made the last stitch and you’re ready to show off your hard work and move on to another project. Then suddenly your smile of satisfaction quickly turns into a frown of exasperation. Why? Because you’ve just realized that the project isn’t actually done. Nope, it’s not. Because you still have to bind off and weave in the ends (also called tails).
I’m not going to lie, weaving in ends can be a pain. But don’t be discouraged! It’s not a pain because it’s hard. It’s simply that it can be tedious and it takes time. If you only have one or two ends, this isn’t a big deal. However, if you’ve had to change colors a lot you could have many ends that need to be hidden. This is the reason that I have not one, but two granny square afghans that have yet to be joined. One of which I started over four years ago!
I told you that I am not going to lie. I hate weaving in ends. But… it is a necessary evil. It must be done. If you don’t weave in the tails your project will most likely unravel and all your hard work will be for nothing. Also, it is necessary to make your project look neat and tidy. And despite my bickering, it is easier than you think.
The only crochet tool you will need to weave in the tails is a tapestry needle (also called a yarn needle). This needle is usually larger than other needles and has a larger eye. It is usually made of plastic, but I prefer the metal ones. You can find them here or at your local Walmart/craft store for about $3.00.
If you don’t have a tapestry needle and don’t want to wait until you buy one, you can do these techniques with a crochet hook. However, in my experience, it often doesn’t hold up as well.
Before you weave in the ends you will first need to bind off or fasten off. There are two common ways to do this.
First, cut your yarn leaving a minimum of a 6-inch tail. I often leave mine longer.
1. Pull the tail through the last stitch and pull to tighten.
2. Make 1-2 chain stitches. Pull the tail through the chain stitch(es) and pull to tighten.
After you have bound off, it is time to weave in the ends. This is essentially like sewing and there are several methods for doing this. I am going share two with you.
First, thread your yarn into the tapestry needle. You can use a needle threader if you need help with this, but I usually just wet and twist the end of my yarn to thread it.
1. Vertical/horizontal weaving. In this technique, you run the tapestry needle either horizontally or vertically through your crochet project until you reach the end of your tail. Then you repeat the technique running in the opposite direction. You can do this once or several times before switching horizontal or vertical directions. For instance, if you started out weaving horizontally, you will need to switch to vertical weaving at some point.
2. Whipstitch. This is shown in pink in the pictures just for contrast. When you do it in the matching color, it blends in and you can’t see how the stitch is made.
Tips for weaving in ends
- If your project has a right and wrong side, make sure you weave the ends into the wrong side of the project.
- Make sure that your yarn tail is completely hidden in the project and does not come over the top of your work.
- Be careful not to split the yarn while weaving in the ends, this can be messy and does not look professional.
To knot or not? That is the question.
Some crocheters tie knots in base of the yarn after they bind off or finish weaving in a tail. I don’t do this. That’s not because creating knots is wrong, it’s just not my personal preference.
One of the first things I read when teaching myself how to crochet is that if your crochet is done properly there should be no need to make any knots. Although I can no longer remember where I read this, it has stuck with me. That being said, many crocheters that have more experience and are more skilled than me, like my grandmother, make knots.
I find knots to be less stable and lasting than you would think. Also, if not properly hidden, knots can be an eyesore. I have never once had a project unravel or an end come out even without tying knots. These are my personal experiences. If tying knots works for you, then by all means, go for it!
What other weaving in and binding off methods do you know? What’s your take on knots in crochet?
Until next time… Happy Crocheting!
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