Sep 16, 2018


Two afghans are in the finishing stages. While I continue working on these tasks, it seemed like a good time to spend a moment talking about the backstory, or what things look like on the wrong side of my projects.

Lately, most projects have featured multiple colors, and numerous leftovers and partial skeins. This of course means there are always plenty of ends to weave. Now, it's a well-known fact finishing and end-weaving are not my greatest skill, and I've regularly confessed that with each project, I need to marshal all my patience and care to properly tackle this phase.

Most of the time, I choose to weave ends using a needle, because for me this gives the most polished and invisible results. Sometimes, I weave them as I go, but often, I simply wait until the end and handle them last, right before blocking.

Careful finishing is especially important, since I want scarves, shawls, afghans and home dec items to be tidy and attractive on both sides.

Because I'm slow, weaving ends takes a great deal of time and concentration. I've been experimenting, therefore, with other methods in an effort to reduce the number of ends and speed up the finishing process.

Herlacyn Heatwave is a good example. Each strip in this design produces 18 ends, for a total of 54 in the body, not counting seams and borders. Granted, there are many designs out there that produce far more, but facing that many ends in order to properly finish a project can be daunting.

To offset this, I've been trying to weave ends as I work. Above, you can see I'm picking up stitches for a seam, and at the same time, I'm weaving one of the yellow ends into the pickup (on the wrong side). 

I picked up the working yarn from behind the loose end, which traps the loose end between the working yarn and active stitch. The technique is quite simple, it just requires a bit of time and attention, and if you do it correctly, it's tidy on the back and invisible on the front.

Many knitters do this for just a few stitches which is easier, but I took a different approach. I left long tails, so the woven stitches would form a continuous (rather than interrupted) line along the edge of its matching triangle. This turns the necessity of weaving ends into a bit of a design feature, and on the wrong side, each triangle is bordered by wrapped stitches which imparts a look similar to applique.

Old habits die hard, so I'm still a bit sporadic and sometimes forget to integrate this basic step into my knitting. Other times, I simply choose to skip it, because in that instance, I prefer a more invisible approach. If your goal is to minimize the effort involved in finishing, however, weaving ends as you work is clearly the way to go.

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  1. Oh, I love the idea of making the ends a part of the design, rather then just leaving them messy on the wrong side! That's really smart!

    And yeah, finishing is not my greatest skill either. Oddly enough, I don't mind end-weaving, but with that many ends, absolutely, the task gets daunting. :)

    1. Thanks, Sarah Dawn, so glad you like this idea. I'm still experimenting, but so far ... fingers crossed ... it seems to work.


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