Often times, the difference between a good-looking finished crochet project and a great-looking one is neat and clean finishing techniques. One finishing skill that will become invaluable once you master it is weaving in ends. Here are some tips and tricks to set you on the path to perfect finishing.
Beginning or Ending a Project
Make sure to leave at least a six inch yarn end for weaving when beginning or fastening off any project. To weave in ends during finishing, thread the end through a yarn needle. Take care to work on the wrong side of the work and whenever possible, work into seam allowances.
- Insert the needle behind the two loops of each stitch in a row until about half of the yarn has been used.
- Next, work back in the opposite direction by skipping the first loop of the last stitch you wove the needle under and work behind the loops to the end. Snip the yarn as close to the work as possible.
Tip: To save time weaving in ends when starting a motif, crochet over the yarn end in the beginning round or row, for about four inches. To finish off, use a darning needle and weave the yarn back in the opposite direction as described above.
Securing Ends in Color Changes
After a colorwork project is complete, I used to find myself groaning over the idea of all those ends, and it would sit unfinished, like the tell-tale heart, until I couldn't ignore it any longer and I dove grudgingly into the task of weaving them all in.
A great trick I now employ to avoid much of the groaning comes from a traditional tapestry crochet technique. Several inches before the color change, lay a strand of the new color across your work, and crochet over it as you go. Change colors as usual, by completing the last yarn over of the last stitch with the new color, and then begin to work the row as normal. To reduce bulk, work the old color in the same manner, by laying the end across the work as you continue in the new color, and crochet over it.
In rounds or motifs, an easy technique to join the last round smoothly and weave in ends as you go is the invisible fasten-off. It stabilizes the end and prevents unraveling, too. Here's how it's done:
- After the last stitch is complete, snip the yarn, leaving at least a six inch end. Thread the end through a yarn needle.
- Insert the needle through the top two strands of the first stitch to the left of the beginning chain in the last round worked, as you would normally insert a hook to make a stitch.
- Next, working from front to back, insert the needle through the back loop only on the last stitch completed in the round. Weave in ends as described above.
I hope this helps set you on the path to glorious finishing, every time! May all your ends be happy.
*For a video on weaving in ends and color changes as you go, take a look at this tutorial from Kim Werker.