Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tuck Your Tail!!!

Are you ever frustrated when you crochet something and the tail of  your yarn end can be seen and it seems to get longer and longer and loonnnnngggeeerrrr??  Or it just works it's way out and waves at you!!! Or maybe those pesky joins when you run out of yarn in the middle of a row and crocheting over them just results  in an unpleasant site!!!  I'm here to tell you.....

Finishing your work properly is of utmost importance!

You can have the most beautiful stitches in the world, but if you don't finish it off correctly you will end up with your work coming undone on you or looking like you just threw it together.

The most important finishing tool in your stitch box is the large blunt needle.  You can find various sizes, some with bent ends, plastic or metal. It's mostly a personal preference.....I'm going to show you the ones that I use the most and show you the best method to bury your stitches in crochet.  You may say "I usually just weave my ends through the stitches with a crochet hook".  I'm here to tell you....there is a MUCH better way!

The golden bent end Chibi needle is my favorite!! It comes with
2 or 3 (I can't remember because I am down to 1 again) in a nice
little carrying case. On the far right is a yarn needle threader.
I will have pics later in the post showing how to use this beauty!

What KNOT to do!!  Yes I said knot.  

Never, Never, NEVER finish your work with multiple knots and then just clip the yarn.  The results??? A hard, scratchy piece of yarn that will inevitably come undone.  You want people to look at your work and not be able to tell where you started, finished, and joined pieces together. A knot is a tell tale sign of all.  

FIRST thing to remember is to leave a long enough tail for weaving as you do your stitches.  I typically leave 3-4 inches......sometimes more....sometimes less.  Less just means your needle threading must be done AFTER the needle is inserted.

This is a hat I made hubby for Christmas.  In my haste I forgot to weave in the ends where I started a new skein.  Thankfully it wasn't for a paying customer!!!  I would have been MORTIFIED!!
NEXT. You will want to bury your needle into the stitches and then come back on itself and bury the needle the other direction.





AND if that is too hard to see.....here are some pics with contrasting yarn.





FINALLY. Pull your final tail tightly (but not too tight) before clipping.  Then smooth your work out and the tail should be sufficiently hidden.

Can you see my ends????

BACK to the Yarn Needle Threader. This most wonderful little piece of thin metal saved me so much time when teaching the Children's Crochet class at my church a few years back.  Instead of just writing how to use it I have taken some pics....it's always easier to show you than tell you how :D

FIRST: put the threader through the eye of the needle.

SECOND: put the end of your yarn into the hole in your threader.

THIRD: pull your threader with yarn through the eye of the needle.
VOILA!!  your needle is threaded!!
I hope these little finishing tips help you to make the most of your stitching time!!

Be Blessed!!
Amy B

24 comments:

  1. Yes, I hate knots! I started finishing projects this way and it does have a more finished and professional look.

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  2. This is exactly how I have been weaving in my ends for the past few years. It really does look so much better. Another thing I like to do when I start a new colour, or just ran out of one colour, is to hide the ends as I do my stitches, then, I don't have to tuck them in later. :) I have always wondered how in the world those needle threaders worked. So, thanks so much for sharing how to do it! That will definitely come in handy for me.

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    1. Thanks!! I'm glad I was able to share some useful info!! When I found the yarn threaders it was a LIFE SAVER for me!! Imagine 10-12 3rd-6th graders....all needing help threading their needle at the same time! That is when I became hooked on them!

      I also will crochet over my tails from time to time, but sometimes the end will peek out. That is why I recommend burying the thread back over on itself. It sort of locks it in and helps prevent peekaboo tails.

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  3. I have seen people finish off by just tying the ends and then just snipping it off and I just cringe at the thought. As you said eventually it will come undone. Thank you for this topic because I know it is very important to make sure your items look great.

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    1. It's sooo important!!! When I teach crochet to children I make up a finishing kit that they earn by coming to class 3 times in a row. It's usually a small tin with needle, threader, folding scissors and a stitch marker. It was an enticing gift....and because they had to earn it they knew how important it was to use it!!

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  4. I try to work over my tails while I am making my items. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I brain cramp it, so this is good information to have stored in my brain!

    When I have to join yarn in the middle of the row, I LOVE the Russian join! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! http://youtu.be/gzMbrQSsm_c

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    1. Michelle THANK YOU for the video link!! I had heard of the Russian join, but never seen it done before. This will be especially helpful when it comes to loose stitching where there is not a good place to "bury" the tail.

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  5. I sure wish I could figure out this blogger stuff. Wordpress is so easy. I will make a link on my website to your awesome post! Excellent blog!

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    1. Thanks PT&T!! All I've ever done is blogger so Wordpress seems alien to me LOL Thanks for the link on your website!!!

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  6. Helpful tutorial ,thanks, but what is clipping how to ?

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    1. I'm sorry if the term was confusing. Clipping is the same as cutting. I hope this helps :D Thanks for stopping by!!

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  7. Hi- I'm a little confused about this- how have you got two ends on either side of the stitches in the photos? Also- when you put it through the same stitches the other way aren't you just pulling it back out again?

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    1. Hi Helen!! Good Questions!!! There are two ends together because I ran out of one skein of yarn in the middle of a row and added another. Because I do not KNOT them together I must weave them in separately or crochet over them. I prefer to weave them in because I feel they are more secure that way.

      The second question, when you go back over to lock your tail in, you are not going back in the exact same spot. You will go back in one strand over so that it doesn't pull back out again.

      Please let me know if this helps or if you have more questions!!
      Thanks!!
      Amy B

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    2. Thanks for the explanation, Amy- it really threw me seeing two ends in both the grey and red yarn photos, lol

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    3. LOL!!! I normally do not like to end a skein in the middle of something like that....but since this hat was worked in the round I had no choice!!! I'm glad the explanation helped.
      Blessings!!
      Amy B

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  8. It's Me MargaretMarch 2, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    This is very helpful, thank you for posting. Great idea for the kits for kids, I must make some of those up.
    Do you have any tips on repairing an afghan where the crocheter has knotted and cut off close to the knot? I am having trying to repair a very large afghan for my nephew and it has come undone in several places already. I am trying to "seal off" the many, many knots but haven't worked out a really good way yet. Any advice? Thank you. :)

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    1. Hi Margaret!! Sorry for the delay in my response as I have been traveling this week. Repairing an afghan that has come undone can be done can definitely be a challenge.

      I would suggest undoing the knots attaching a matching yarn with a "Russian join" and then weaving the end that you join securely. There are some really good tutorials on youtube showing how to do the Russian join.

      In areas that have come undone, you will need to (again) locate some closely matching yarn and "re-crochet" the missing section. This takes much maneuvering as you will probably be crocheting between rows and need to pull your loops through already existing stitches.

      If neither of these work, you can always use your closely matching thread and darn the place after undoing any knots. It's not nearly as pretty, but sometimes it is the only way to repair. I have done this when a branch was lodged through a bedspread of a friend when their home was destroyed by a tornado.

      Please feel free to ask more questions if my instruction was not clear.

      Thanks!!
      Amy B

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