Weaving in ends is often one of the more frustrating (or possibly just boring) parts of creating a beautiful knitting or crochet project. After the satisfaction of seeing your work grow with every stitch, sometimes it can feel like a chore to weave in the ends. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way.
At the very least, there are tips and strategies out there to make this finishing step less of a burden. I’ve put together my top four tips (which I tested and used extensively on one big crochet project recently) to hopefully benefit you and make this step more enjoyable. Taking a few minutes to consider each one and try it for yourself will hopefully save you time and frustration in the future.
My top strategies for weaving in ends are:
- Starting with all ends on one side of the work
- Using a tapestry needle
- Laying your ends a certain way to keep track of your work and save time
- Doing things slightly out of order if an end is too short
You can learn more about each strategy by watching the video and by reading my explanations below.
Tip #1: Get them all in one place
This may be obvious to some, but one thing that helps right away with weaving in ends is making sure that they are all pulled to the back of the work to begin with. It can be really deflating to think you are done weaving in all your ends, only to turn your work over and find that you missed a few.
To avoid this, I like to use a crochet hook to take any loose ends that are at the front of the work and pull them to the back(or wherever they need to be).
Tip #2: Use a tapestry needle
I used to use a crochet hook to weave in my ends, too, and that worked pretty well. But, then I learned how to do a russian join and my yarn game changed forever.
(If you are not familiar with a Russian join, I highly suggest you look up a tutorial for it. Basically, it’s a method of joining yarn pieces in which you use a tapestry needle to actually pull each piece of yarn inside the other. It’s almost magical.)
Using the Russian join whenever possible has meant that I have fewer ends to weave in in the first place. Sometimes it is impractical to do this, but I still carry over that strategy for weaving in ends afterwards. Instead of using a crochet hook or anything else to weave my yarn ends in and out of the stitches, I now use a tapestry needle and pull the yarn through a section of yarn of the same color.
Voila! It disappears completely.
Tip #3: Change direction
What I’m going to explain now is particularly helpful when weaving in a lot of yarn ends. It sure came as breakthrough for me when I had literally hundreds of ends to weave in on my last multi-colored, large crochet aphgan.
Picking up and setting down my scissors over and over became really laborious. I wanted to take care of a dozen or so ends at a time, but I found that it wasn’t always easy to tell which ends were already woven in and which ones weren’t.
To take care of this, I started “combing” all my yarn ends to one side. With all of them laying in the same direction, I would start weaving them in and when finished with one, I would simply lay it down facing the opposite way. This made it obvious which ones were finished and which one’s were not.
Then whenever I felt like it, I would grab the scissors and trim off the extra yarn from the ends I was done with. Often I would get a whole handful of yarn trimmed off at once. This was way more satisfying and as a bonus, it also saves time.
Tip #4: If your end is too short…
Finally, there is a little strategy I’d like to share for those times when, for one reason or another, your end is just too short. In my earlier days, I probably would have resorted to using a crochet hook if my yarn had ended too short to easily thread a needle with. But thinking outside the box just a little bit led me to another obvious-sounding strategy for weaving in these ends that are too short.
Insert the needle before it’s threaded.
That’s it. If you simply line up the eye with your yarn as you work the needle into your yarn, you can then thread it with your small bit of yarn and pull it through the work normally.
So to tie it all up…
I sure hope these strategies are able to help you as much as they’ve helped me. Starting with everything in one place, using that tapestry needle, and “batching” your weaving work when there’s a lot can all really add up so that you may find weaving in the ends isn’t the hassle it used to be. Even when an end is too short, it doesn’t have to be a pain.
Do you have any special “hacks” for weaving in ends? I’d love to hear about them in the comments. Plus, if you’d like to be the first to know about new content and news from me, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list.
Keep the crafting delightful!