Tying Up Loose Ends

The first step in the finishing process is taking care of all the loose ends hanging about. If you've managed to make all the yarn changes at the side edges, that's where you'll find most of the ends. Otherwise, you'll have loose ends scattered here and there that require different techniques for successfully making them disappear.

Although various techniques exist for weaving in ends (and weave you must; there's no getting around it because knots will show on the right side of the work and may unravel over time), keep in mind that your goal is a nice smooth fabric without glitches or an unattractive ridge in the middle of your knitting. You can hide your loose ends by doing any of the following:

i Weaving them vertically up the side edges i Weaving them in sideways on the wrong side of the fabric i Weaving them in along a bound-off edge

Use whichever method safely tucks in your ends and results in a smooth, unblemished right side. Every situation (thickness of yarn, location of join) is different. Try the techniques in this section, and if you discover something that works better in a given circumstance, use it.

Weaving in the entire length of a 6-inch yarn end is unnecessary; you only need to weave the end over a few stitches. With wool yarn, running a yarn end in over 3 or 4 stitches is enough to secure it. The fuzzy nature of the fibers helps the woven ends "stick" to the back of the fabric. With slick yarns, such as rayon and polished cotton, you need to weave the ends in over 5 or 6 stitches to prevent them from working their way out. Then cut away the excess, leaving about 'A inch free.

If for some reason you left an end that's too short to comfortably thread through a needle, run your needle through the appropriate nearby loops as if it was threaded. With the eye of the needle at the short yarn end, finagle the yarn end through the eye of the tapestry needle and pull the needle through the loops. The end will be woven in and secured.

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