Learn how to weave in ends in crochet
One thing that all beginners need to learn is how to weave in ends in crochet. In a nutshell, this is done by using a tapestry, or yarn needle to run your yarn ends back and forth through the loops on the backs of your stitches.
When I learned to crochet at age 10, no one showed me the proper way to fasten off and weave in ends, so I did not do this correctly for years. Eventually, as a young adult, I decided to look for answers about how this should be done. Like a lot of beginners, I would tie a knot in my tail, and then cut it off right at the knot. Don’t be like me! Learn the correct way now and save yourself a lot of trouble.
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Table of Contents
How do you fasten off crochet?
Before we learn how to weave in ends in crochet, we need to learn how to fasten off. Fastening off is what you do when you have finished making all of the crochet stitches. What does that mean? Well, that’s how we arrange things so that our stitches won’t come undone once we’ve finished stitching. You know how you can pull on your yarn and undo your stitches to go back and fix mistakes? Well once we are finished stitching, we don’t want a pulled end to unravel our project, so we fasten off.
To fasten off you take a pair of scissors and cut the yarn, leaving a tail of yarn around 6 inches (15 cm) long. Use your crochet hook to pull that yarn end through the loop on your hook just like making a chain. Now keep pulling on your hook to pull that cut end all the way through the loop, then pull it snug.
That’s how you fasten off. Next, we weave in the ends. For a visual demonstration, see the video at the bottom of this post.
But first, we need a tapestry needle
To weave in your ends you will need a tapestry needle. A tapestry needle is quite a bit longer and thicker than a sewing needle. An average tapestry needle is around 2 3/4 inches (7 cm) long. The end has a slight point to it, but it is blunt rather than sharp.
The eye of the needle is also quite a bit larger than a sewing needle, so that you can thread yarn through it.
To thread your end through the eye of the tapestry needle, add a little extra twist to the end of the yarn and fold it in half, placing the fold between your non-dominant thumb and index finger. Hold the tapestry needle with your dominant hand, and push this folded bit of yarn through the eye just enough to grab it and pull it all the way through.
I demonstrate this in the video below, so if that written explanation leaves you confused, watch the video.
Below is a set of tapestry needles you can purchase from Amazon. You can also purchase these at any craft or yarn store.
Right side vs wrong side
You will weave in your ends on the wrong side of your work. What does that mean?
Some projects are truly reversible. If you are working in rows where both sides have the same look and texture, then you can just pick a side for weaving in ends. If your piece has one side with a really pleasing texture or appearance and one without, use the “ugly” side for weaving in your ends.
Think of it like a sweater that you wear. The side that goes against your body is the “wrong side” and that’s where you want your ends hidden. The side that you show to the world is the “right side” and you don’t want your ends woven in there where they might show.
Now, how to weave in ends in crochet
You have your tapestry needle threaded with your yarn end, you have the wrong side of your piece facing you, you are ready to weave in your ends.
You will be placing the needle under loops of yarn along the wrong side of your work. You don’t want to put the needle all the way through the fabric. The idea is to hide the woven in ends where they won’t be seen. Run it under a few loops going in one direction, then change directions and run it under a few more.
Zigzag back and forth a bit going side to side, then zigzag up and down a bit. This helps insure that no matter which way your piece gets pulled, or stretched, your end won’t come undone.
You might have an inch or two of yarn that you can finish weaving in with your needle. That’s fine. You can just cut that bit off close to the fabric.
A note about different fiber types
Not all fiber types are the same in how ends stay woven in.
Animal fibers naturally have overlapping scales on them just like any natural hair. This makes these fibers grabby, and ends usually stay well woven-in.
Plant fibers and synthetics are often not very grabby, and some are downright slippery. I have experienced well-woven ends coming unwoven many times with cotton, bamboo, and synthetic fibers. So, what to do?
I do not suggest tying knots. The thing about knots, is that they can, and do come undone. Also, they are unsightly and uncomfortable if they wind up in the wrong spot on your wearable piece.
Many crocheters would be aghast at this suggestion, but if you are working with a slick yarn and the ends just won’t stay woven in, I suggest a very small dab of a clear-drying fabric glue. It might not be super comfortable against your skin either, but it is much more trustworthy than a knot.
Weaving in crochet ends video tutorial
The video tutorial below demonstrates how to thread your tapestry needle and how to weave in your ends. Tap or click to watch it on YouTube.
What crochet pattern is featured in the video?
In this tutorial video about weaving in crochet ends, I was finishing up my own Chelsea Scarf. This is an easy crochet scarf that uses one skein of pretty hand-dyed sock yarn. You can get this free triangle scarf pattern here.
And that is how to weave in ends in crochet. I hope you found this video helpful. I suggest you subscribe to my YouTube channel and to my newsletter so that you’ll be sure to hear about all my new tutorials, patterns, events, and more.
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