Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weaving In The Loose Ends

My friend’s daughter-in-law asked me yesterday to tell her how to weave in ends – over the phone. I was at a distinct disadvantage, having come home from work with a miserable headache. I had taken a couple of Tylenol PMs, extra strength, and was semi-conscious in the recliner when she called. I tried to describe to her what I do when I change colors or add a new skein of yarn to a project. Even as the words came out of my mouth, my brain was saying “What on earth are you trying to say?” I can only imagine the poor girl wondered the same thing, and wondered what I had been smoking… She gave up trying to decipher my utterances and said she’d call back again another time (politely omitted the phrase “when you’re not stoned out of your gourd”). Honestly, it was just Tylenol! The PM stuff in it got to me, I guess. I even slept through dinner time!

This morning, I came to work extra early and whipped up a small swatch using two different colors. I wove in two of the loose ends without pulling them taut and being sure to weave the brown yarn underneath white stitches, and vice versa, so that the girl could see what I did. I then started to weave in a third loose end, but left the needle in place under the stitches, and sent the swatch home with my friend. I’m sure that her daughter-in-law will be able to interpret from the swatch what I failed miserably to communicate the night before. Next time, I save the Tylenol PM for bedtime!

I’ve actually been trying out a no-weaving technique when changing colors or adding new yarn. I have made it a practice to work over the loose ends, but now have found a way to “weave” the loose end back on itself to lock it in place, simply by working over the yarn. Photos below – I hope they illustrate the technique. My apologies if someone already has this posted out there somewhere in cyberspace. This I stumbled across by trial and error, and thought I’d put it out there for your perusal.

Make sure you leave the tails long enough to do this. You will crochet over both ends after folding them back on themselves as shown in the photo.

Crocheting over all strands, work until you reach the point where you have two small loops formed by the doubled-over ends.

Insert your hook into the next stitch but also through the two small loops. Complete your stitch as usual.

At this point, all that is necessary is to pull the ends taut, but not so taut as to distort the stitches. No weaving necessary. This method ensures that your loose end has been threaded through in two directions and locked in place.

This method is best when adding a new skein of the same color yarn. To minimize any color show-through on the back side of the work, I will sometimes pick up the stray color on my hook when I insert the hook into the corresponding stitch on the next row of crochet and work over it again. Remember to leave long tails on the yarn and not to pull taut until you are finished working with the loose ends. If you have any questions or need more illustrations, please let me know.

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