We think knowing how to weave in ends is just as important as mastering the stitch in your project so we’re taking a deep dive here. Sure it seems straightforward enough – use a yarn needle to hide the tail. But when you sit down to finish a project you’ve just spent hours on, you take a second thought and wonder, how do I weave in ends the right way?
Well, the right way is kind of subjective really, so we’ll just show you what’s worked for us over the last decade. We’ll do this by sharing five rules of thumb…
#1 Always Leave a 6″ Tail.
In order weave in the end well enough that it won’t work itself back out over time, you have to start with a long enough tail in the first place. So when you’re making the slip knot, leave at least 6 inches. When you bind off, leave at least 6 inches. When you add a new skein of yarn, leave at least 6 inches. You get the idea.
#2 Weave through the base of a row of stitches (for crochet) or around the stitches (for knitting).
In crochet, the sturdiest part of a row is located at the base which is why it’s best to weave the end along this part of the row. Not only that, weaving the end along the base of the row will conceal the end even better.
Knitting is a little different. Since there isn’t a “row base” like there is for crochet, it’s best to weave the tail around each stitch, working in vertical motions.
#3 Run the tail back and forth at least 3 times.
This rule of thumb is why the first rule of thumb is so important. Running the tail back and forth at least three times will lower the chance of the tail peeking out with normal wear and use of the project. If your tail is long enough to weave more than three times, go for it! It’ll only make it more secure.
#4 Split the yarn as you weave the tail.
Get a little messy with it. As you run the yarn needle through the row or around the stitch, split the yarn and work the needle right through the middle of it. The split yarn will cling to the tail a little tighter so it’ll be a little harder for it to work back out with use.
#Use a bent tip needle.
A bent tip needle makes it quite a bit easier to position it exactly where you need to and it makes it considerably easier for weaving in ends for knitting projects. It’s not required but you’ll certainly find it helpful if you give them a try.
They’ll never stay completely hidden forever.
So those are our five rules of thumb for weaving in ends like a pro but there’s one incredibly important take away here. They’ll never stay completely hidden forever. No matter how well you weave them in, there’s always a chance they’ll poke out as the project stretches with use or wear.
If the project will stretch on a horizontal plane like a hat or a sweater for example, weave the end along a vertical plane.
If the project will stretch on a vertical plane like a pair of socks, weave the end along a horizontal plane.
This will cause you to break the second rule of thumb sometimes but it’ll be worth it in the long run. The bottom line is you should expect the tail to poke out at some point if the project is getting regular use. That’s why it’s so important to start with a long tail and weave it back and forth three or more times. If the end does poke out a bit you can always trim it up. Practice will make you more comfortable with all of this and over time, you’ll be weaving in ends like a pro.
see how it’s done
Video not displaying? Watch this tutorial on YouTube instead.
Right-Handed Tutorial on YouTube