As you approach the end of your knitting project, your brain might start to come back to the 'normal' things you normally do of an evening. What’s actually been going on in this Netflix programme I’m meant to be watching? Why is my piece of cake sitting uneaten next to me? Why is my wine glass still half full? These latter two may never have happened to you before, and so be some cause for concern.
Knitting is distracting. When you're learning, it takes a bit more concentration than when you're more confident and can whizz up and down your needles while learning about black holes with Brian Cox. As you get to the end of your project, you'll feel a sense of achievement, relief and excitement that soon, you'll be able to start wearing your fantastic project (if, of course, you're not giving it away to a loved one). You've cast off and finished making your hat / snood / scarf / blanket, but... there seem to be naughty little yarn ends poking out in a few places. No-one told me what to do with these!
Worry not. It's a simple task and, if you’re like me, you might even enjoy it. You need to weave in your ends. Let’s take a look at how you do it.
WHAT ARE THOSE LOOSE ENDS?
FINISHING OFF YOUR MASTERPIECE.
Weaving in ends is just a posh way of saying: hide all the loose bits of yarn hanging out of your knitting. Weaving them in means they get hidden forever in your knitting.
- Start off by cutting them to a reasonable length. You want them to be long enough to sew, but not so short you can't use a needle to weave them in - I have found that you should err on the longer side as there’s nothing more annoying than trying to weave in an end which is smaller than your needle*! I’d say, just to give a figure, go for about 15cm/6 inches. (* NB. If you do have a bit that's a bit too short, feed the needle through your knitting first as per (4) below, then thread the yarn into it before pulling it through.)
- Get a tapestry needle, and thread your yarn through it. If you bought one of our kits, you'll have a tapestry needle already, and if you don't have a tapestry needle, just buy one of our kits.
- Turn your work inside out (unless your pattern specifies something different), so you’re weaving in ends on the inside/back/side no one is going to see.
- Carefully weave the yarn into the back of your work, taking care not to let it show on the outside. We've got a whole help page just dedicated to weaving in ends, so take a look at this for some photos that might help you. If you've got a kit, you'll also have some help in your knitstructables booklet too.
- Once you've woven in as much as you think you need (usually just a few cm is fine), snip the leftover yarn and discard it, being careful not to cut your knitting.
- Turn your item inside out and... ta-da! You're done.
- Don’t stress it. There are a few different methods to weave in ends, and it can seem very technical! You don't have to follow the method we use on our tips page. My advice is just to be as neat as you can and you’ll be fine. In most cases, this bit is the bit no one is going to see. And if you're really neat, later on you might not be able to find where you did it!
- Depending on the stitch pattern you’ve done, sometimes it can be tricky to follow a stitch and weave in the remaining yarn. Instead, just try and be neat, sew it round a few stitches on the back (check on the front side to check you're not showing on that side) and finish off as usual.
- Don’t stress it. Try and be as neat as you can but even if you fluff it, the chances of it being noticed by anyone other than you is pretty slim. And after finishing your glass of wine as left neglected at the beginning, you won't care anyway, because you'll be whooping round the room showing off your work and demanding a top up.
- Do use a tapestry needle if you can (rather than a sewing needle), the blunt end and large hole makes things a lot easier than trying to squeeze yarn through a normal sewing needle. Plus - less risk of stabbing yourself.
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Inspired? Go Knitting :)