Friday, June 8, 2012

loose ends

I'm usually in the middle of several projects at once - depending on the season and how busy orders are flying in, I'll have a hat on a pair of needles, mittens stuck on double-points, and a kerchief or hairband in progress. As far as knitting and crocheting goes, I finish my projects. The thought of selling them is good incentive for this. :)

Don't ask me about sewing, though. And please don't ask my husband either - he will rat me out and tell you all about the pile of fabric, the half-finished quilt, the other half-finished quilt, and the newly started pillow covers (they are gorgeous, though! Can't wait to show you, someday...).

 Anyhoo, need help finishing up a project? Many people just have some loose ends to hide in their knitting or crocheting, and I want to help you out a little. Here you go. We'll talk about how to hide ends in I-cords, crocheted chains, and plain ol' crochet.

Here's an i-cord, made famous by the legendary Elizabeth Zimmerman, attached to a hair kerchief. I just love the fact that the "i" in i-cord stands for idiot. Truly.

Get a needle large enough to thread your yarn end through - but wait, don't thread the yarn through it yet. Instead, thread the needle through the middle of the i-cord, so it hides behind those horizontal stitches that look like a ladder. Here's the main rule when it comes to hiding ends - if you can't see the needle, then you won't be able to see the end that you're hiding. If the needle is exposed, though, your yarn will show through and it will look like your first grader did it. Pull out the needle and try again.

Got the needle in? This is much easier for an i-cord that is at least three stitches wide, but it's doable with a 2-stitch i-cord, like the one in these photos. (Please note the lovely faded denim backdrop of my knee. We use what we've got.) Once the needle is in far enough, the eye of it will be closer to the end you are trying to hide. Go ahead and thread the yarn through that bad boy.

Gently poke the other end of the needle out of the i-cord, and pull it all the way through. The end will disappear faster than the kids do when you announce chore time.

Ta da! If your yarn end was too long though and is now sticking out, just trim it and pull the i-cord a little to suck it back in. No biggie.

Here is regular crochet, at the tip of the same kerchief. This is a varied stitch pattern, but hiding ends in crochet is just a matter of weaving your needle through whatever pattern you used so that you can't see the needle. Find stitches that are close together and pull the end through. You can use a small crochet hook for this, too, but a large steel needle is much easier.

Can you find it? Me neither. This is a real bummer if you actually want to find your end (like when you make a mistake and need to rip out a few inches and re-do it) but generally it's exactly what you want to happen.

This is a crocheted chain from one of our button headbands. I love the look of the thin, tight chains as ties for hairbands and such, but what do you do with that pesky end? Similar to how you hide it for an i-cord, poke the needle in (before threading it) and weave the needle behind the loops of each stitch. The needle will be almost totally invisible. Thread it, pull it through, and it's never to be seen again. Vamoose, pesky ends.

Any questions? Need help with other loose ends? Leave me a note in the comments and I'll see what I can do. Happy project finishing!

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Very cool! That does make it much easier than using a crochet hook... especially a larger crochet hook. No, I don't want to discuss how I know this. And, trust me, I will NEVER ask you about your *shhhhh - sewing projects* because I know you will never ask me about mine.... *tip-toes quietly from the room*