“Weave in ends.” This instruction is in every knitting pattern, but do you know how to do it properly, so that the ends won’t show in the right side of the knitting (and those pesky cut ends don’t poke through to the front)? There are three knitting techniques to secure ends: the simple diagonal weave, knitting in ends, and serging.
Simple Diagonal Weave
Thread the tail of the yarn onto a tapestry needle (I quite like the plastic ones as they are more flexible) and thread the needle diagonally through reverse stocking stitch, or whatever your wrong side stitch pattern is (left picture). Go through at least an inch of stitches. It’s important to pick up stitches diagonally; this makes your weave invisible on the front of your work.
Change direction and go through about an inch of stitches in the reverse direction (right picture). Trim the tail to 1/4″ or a little more. Finally, use the tip of your tapestry needle to fray the end of the yarn . This will hold the yarn tip to the back of the work.
After finishing the steps above, stretch the area with the weave, just a little. This ensures that the tail isn’t woven too tightly. If it is, you’ll have a pucker on the right side of your work.
Knitting in Ends
This is a nifty way to work in ends as you knit striped projects, or when you join a new ball of yarn.
Insert the needle tip into the next stitch on the left-hand needle, place the old colour over the right needle (Figure 1; old colour is dark), knit the stitch with the new colour as usual, then lower the old colour (Figure 2) and knit the following stitch as usual.
Continue in this manner, repeating steps 1 and 2 and then knitting one stitch normally, for about and inch and a half to two inches. Cut the old colour, leaving an inch or so of tail. After blocking, you can trim the tails to a half-inch.
Note: This method works best on small-gauge yarns. It tends to elongate the stitches a bit in stocking stitch, so it’s best used with lace through DK-weight yarn.
And if you are lucky enough to have a sewing machine that has an interlocking sewing attachment, this is the simplest and fastest way to finish off garments with many yarn changes. Placing the sewing machine needle on the selvedge stitch on the right side of work, with the ends sticking out to the side. Sew the edge. What you end up with is an edge that’s seamed with an interlocking stitch, which traps the cut off ends of the tails. Suitable for the multi-talented only!
Photos and text curtesy of Interweave Knitting Daily blog.