Weaving in ends in knitting is always a necessary step at the end of a knitting project. Even the smallest project has at least two ends: one at the cast on edge and one at the bind off edge. Larger and more complex projects can have many, many ends to weave in. Weaving in ends is essential to give your project a finished look and to keep those ends from getting loose and causing your knitting to unravel. It's not difficult to weave in ends, but it can be time-consuming if you have a lot of them.
Before You Start Weaving in Ends
Make sure that you leave between four and six inches (10 to 15 cm) of yarn wherever you will need to weave in ends. You can just eyeball this; it doesn't have to be perfect. You'll want to use a tapestry or yarn needle to weave in your ends.
If possible, plan where your ends will go for ease of weaving and comfort in the finished garment. Start a new ball of yarn at the edge of the work whenever possible. Try to avoid placing a thread that needs to be woven in a conspicuous or uncomfortable place, such as the bottom of the foot of a sock or the middle back of a shawl.
Yarn ends can be woven in anywhere in a garment, but you'll want to avoid tying the ends together because that will leave a bump. (You can temporarily tie the ends together while you are knitting if you want, but untie any knots you make before you weave in the ends.)
Watch Now: How to Weave in Your Knitting Ends
Weaving Methods and Goals
It seems like every knitter has her or his way to weave in ends. There is no right or wrong way to do it. As long as your process accomplishes the goals of weaving in the ends, you've done it the right way.
The goals of weaving the ends in are:
- To hide the ends of the yarn, making it invisible on the right or front side.
- To prevent the yarn from unraveling, potentially taking your project with it.
- To make the project look nicer and wear more comfortably than it would with excess yarn lurking about.
- Thread your needle and work the yarn through some of the stitches on the wrong side of the piece. Working through purl loops is the most popular, as the loops hide the extra yarn well.
- If your yarn ends are on the edge of the work, stitching along the edge works well.
- It's easy to hide the yarn ends in the seams (or even use the yarn ends to sew up the seams).
- Use duplicate stitching. This is an embroidery technique that is often used as a way to decorate a finished knitted project. The yarn is stitched onto the work in the same pattern that was used to knit the project, literally duplicating the knit or purl stitches in the finished fabric. This process doesn't work well with all patterns and is best with worsted weight or thinner yarn. Otherwise, the duplicated stitches will look bulky.
- If you're working on a big project or a project with a lot of stripes that will have a lot of ends to weave in, don't leave them all until you are finished with the project.
- Check your progress on the right side of the garment as you work. Make sure that the ends are not peeking through to the right side.
- If you're working on a project like a scarf or throw that doesn't have an obvious front and back, do your best to make the woven in ends as inconspicuous as possible.
- Be patient. Weaving in ends can be a time-consuming process, but remember that with every stitch you are making your garment stronger and longer lasting.