Friday, October 28, 2011

How to weave in ends - bits of experience

Every pattern calls for weaving in ends. No matter what you knit you have at least 2 ends (at the beginning and end of your work) to weave in. This simple task can cause a lot of frustration at times. I'll give you some ideas I learned from experience.

So where the ends come from? First, when you start a new ball of yarn in the middle of your knitting. You attach the end of old ball to the beginning of a new one, and, ta-dam, you have two ends. Second, when you have to cut yarn and start working on another part of your knitting. For example, when you work on two sides of a neckline. And, of course, you get tons of ends when you work on color pattern (intarsia in the worst in this case). If you make something in horizontal stripes, check out my video on how to carry up yarns and avoid having lots of ends.

Figure A
Well, now we all agree that ends are there and we have to cope with them somehow. The rules are pretty simple. First of all, the ends should be on the wrong side of the work (I know, it's obvious, but I'd better mention it anyway). When you finish working on a piece and before you block it you should weave in ends. Usually it is recommended to use a wool needle for this task but my ends are often not long enough for the needle so I mostly use a crochet hook. No matter the instrument you use, if the closest to the place of join stitches on the wrong side of your work are purled, you weave in ends horizontally (see Figure A), if they are knit stitches, weave in ends vertically (see Figure B).

Figure B
Once you finish this step your piece is good to go to blocking if you used wool yarn to knit it. If you use cotton, bamboo, silk, rayon and especially acrylic yarn, the ends tend to unravel after several washes and you might need to weave them in again and again unless you are making a dolly that is washed once a decade. To avoid this unpleasant surprise I always secure ends with a sewing thread of matching color - two overcast stitches along the yarn and two overcast stitches across the yarn. Once you do this extra step you can be sure the ends will stay put and won't cause you any problems in future no matter how often you wash your knitted creation.

Happy knitting!

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