2.05.2014

Ends, Beautiful Ends

Whenever I mention "weaving in ends" I get a wave of very strong opinions from most of my yarny friends. I asked the question of some of my Facebook followers and got a plethora of responses--that very strong opinion thing.



Comments like...


"I detest it!"

"How could anyone like it?"

"Sometimes I have piles of projects almost finished with all the ends poking out."

"Boring."

"I've got an afghan that's been waiting for over 10 years for me to finish it, all because of the ends."

"Hate, curse, postpone and loathe!" 

Ok. Ok. I get it. Most people don't love it. However, a few folks say things like this...

"I used to really dread it and put if off. But I've started to do them as I work on a project rather than wait until the end. It's also a great thing to do at my crochet group because there is no counting stitches--I can just chat and enjoy."

"I do it as I go, working over the ends and then weaving in the tail. When I finish I project I like to be FINISHED!"

"Weaving in the ends is my least favorite part of crochet, so I recruit my mother to weave in those stringy little devils. She thinks it's therapeutic." (Haha! You could pay someone, too!)

"Weave as I go. Makes it so much easier."

"Hate it. But the nicest work is multi-colored."

The fact of the matter is, if you ever want to finish a project, you must do it--at least for that final little tail. And if you are as obsessed with color as I am, you are destined to have to do it. 

Just think about it...this mandala would be quite boring in a single color!


And this...Flying Colors Blanket...well, it wouldn't be Flying Colors now, would it?

crochet blanket pattern

Or this...Mariposa Throw


Felted Button colorful crochet pattern

So how do I deal with ends? 

1. I decide to. In other words, I decide to deal with them and not pretend they are going to disappear on their own. Pick up that needle and weave in those puppies (otherwise known as stringy little devils).



2. Do it now. Don't wait until the end. (Sometimes I am good at this. Sometimes not.) There are two really good reasons for this. First, you don't end up feeling "finished" in your mind without actually being "finished" with your work. I learned as a child that when you have tasks ahead of you that are unpleasant, just get them done and out of the way first. (Smart mother I have, huh?) Secondly, having worked them as you go, you can see the "unstringy" beautiful progress of your project in all its glory, motivating you to continue working to completion.

Note: There is a little risk to weaving in your ends as you go if you made an error and need to frog. So check your work carefully before you do it.


3. Work over ends or carry yarn along, if you can. An entire blog post could be dedicated to this idea, but by working over some ends that you don't worry about popping out later, and carrying yarn up the side or along the back of the work--if that is an option--you can seriously reduce the number of ends you need to weave in later. Just be thoughtful about which ends you work over as those worked into a circle will stay put better than those worked along a row. And consider if the back of your work will be seen or your edges unsightly. Admittedly, I am all about finish work--so if it doesn't look neat and tidy to me, I would prefer to cut and weave then settle for less than beautiful (See # 5.)


4. Use variegated yarn. Sometimes when using variegated yarn--particularly with long color runs--you can get the look of color changes without so many ends. But, alas, since the scarf in the photo above is made with motifs, those rascally ends still need to be woven.This one...Watercolor Waves Cowl...is not, and would only be one little end--minus the flower, of course.

free crochet pattern

 And, honestly, there are some patterns that just would not achieve the same effect without a clean color change.

crochet pattern

5. Finish work makes all the difference. Can you imagine building the house of your dreams and telling the carpenters to not worry about the finish work? When I look at the quality of a home, the first thing I focus on is the finish work. How crisp are the seams of the trim and moldings? How straight are the lines of the paint? How clean are the lines where various floorings meet? How smooth are the seams of the dry wall? See, to me, if the project is beautiful, but the finish work is sloppy, the whole thing looks cheap and unfinished and poorly done. Why bother with a lovely project--the time, the yarn, the creativity, the energy--if you are not going to do the most important work of all? The finish work is the detail work that makes you say, "Wow!

Having said all of this, I think maybe we need to reframe our thinking about ends. Consider it "crocheting" and don't let it make the decision for you when selecting a project that you would otherwise really love to hold in your hands, all completed and gorgeous.

To me, it's part of the art. Hey, maybe that's what needs to be | On the Board| ... right now. (Now where's my chalk?)

Hugs and Happy Hooking!
Linking up with Hookin on Hump Day at Moogly and My Merry Messy Life

27 comments:

  1. Wise words indeed :-) I hate weaving in ends, but try to do it as I go so I'm not stuck at the end with those stringy little devils (love that phrase!) staring at me. I try to enjoy them more now that I'm saving them in a jar. They look pretty, so I've made a challenge of filling the jar every month. Thanks for the tips :-)

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    1. I have a bazillion happy little ends stashed in jars and cups and vases around my house! They make me happy, too! The idea of filling a jar every month would really encourage one to get to "weaving". Thanks for sharing!

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  2. ME ENCANTAN TODOS TUS TRABAJOS,
    GENIALES.
    SALUDITOS

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Alicia! That is very sweet!

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  3. Great post. I used to hate it, but it is a little moment to see your work coming to an end. Last year I made an afghan and I postponed weaving in those ends. I made it a tv activity, I did a few ends each day whilst watching tv and in two weeks it was done!

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    1. I agree that a little entertainment while working ends really helps!

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  4. Great projects all....but I'm drooling over the button throw!
    Sheila
    http://sheilazachariae.blogspot.com/2014/02/knit-socks-on-straight-needles-and.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sheila! That means a lot coming from you--I love your work! The button blanket is one of my all-time-favorite designs!

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  5. Gorgeous projects ! I am a procrastinator and wait til the end to weave in the ends ! Sometimes that takes longer to do than the crocheting !

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    1. Thank you, Priscilla! I've procrastinated weaving ends on way too many projects and always regret it at the end. If I take a minute after every little bit to work some ends, it never feels so time consuming!

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    2. This is what I try to do, because I do like colors. Even with one color there are ends to be dealt with. "Guess tht's the 'effort' that makes the 'gift', be it for myself or someone else.

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  6. If I do a project with a gazillion ends to weave, I will "reward" myself with crochet if I weave in ends. I will crochet until I have say 10 or a dozen ends to weave in. Then I stop and weave and then crochet some more. Or I will crochet and then put the project down. BUT, the next time I pick up that crochet I have to weave in the ends I created before I actually crochet some more. It works for me.

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  7. LOL! I think rewards are a perfect motivation--especially with crochet instead of chocolate, as I would hate the number on the scale with chocolate as a reward! This is a very disciplined method. I love it!!

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  8. I am a writer and a writing teacher and process is most always more important than product; although, there is great satisfaction in product. I suppose that's how I view weaving in ends...it's process that leads to satisfaction of product. I weave ends in as I go so I get a sense of completion nearly every time - the satisfaction of a job well done. Nice post and you are right...it's part of the art. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

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  9. To me the worst part is knowing how easily the ends come apart later on. The best laid knots, neatly woven ends,,, what's the best way to assure the ends in a project hold together? Say an afghan, or socks that have to be washed more often, but any craft project needs handling eventually... HELP

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    1. Inevitably ends will come loose. But that happens to store bought sweaters, too, it seems. I just accept it as a fact, try really hard to weave in all directions that the project will stretch, and move on. Oh, and yarns with sheen seem to cause the most trouble. If you use a yarn with a little "halo" of fuzz it all seems to stay together a bit better. Best of luck with those little guys! :)

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  10. Ooh. Love the green, gray, blue motif blanket. I have that same pattern on my chair here but made in diff colors. It was my first crochet project 4 years ago.

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  11. I hate when the ends find their way out, so I started using a stretchable fabric glue to glue them in place.

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  12. Do you have a post about how to weave them in? Thank you

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    1. http://www.mooglyblog.com/weaving-in-ends-crochet-video-tutorial/

      This is awesome. I've been doing it for years but the video makes it easier to understand.

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    2. Thanks, Maureen! It's a great demonstration--that going through and splitting the yarn really seems to help--plus going in a multitude of directions!

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    3. Thank you I did see that video. I've never learned how to change colors so I've always just knotted them together and I'd really like to learn the right way to change colors

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  13. Hi...I love this post and I actually don't mind the ends and I find it exciting to know I am almost done! The multi-coloured king-sized granny afghan tested this a bit...but it was worth every little end!!!
    I absolutely LOVE the variegated yarn you have on #3...the flowers...would you share which yarn this is...I would love to find some! Thanks so much!

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    1. Pretty yarn, huh? It's microfiber so uber soft, too. It's Premier Yarns Serenity Garden in Mountain Heather. I ended up frogging that sample and made a fabulous cowl out of it. You can see it here...http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/infinity-blossom-cowl

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  14. I do NOT like weaving in ends! I literally dodge projects with lots of stripes because I just hate dealing with yarn tails. It's not as bad in crochet as in knitting, though, because I just crochet right over yarn tails. But in knitting? Ugh.

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  15. I am drooling over the first uber colorful afghan, is this one of your patterns? Is it just a hexagonal granny square but with fab colors?
    I don't mind weaving in as it means I'm almost done, but I do try to find shortcuts to weave as I go.

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    Replies
    1. Amy, the first pic is of a hexie blanket--pattern from the web somewhere, but it has been too long and I don't recall now. I agree with you precisely!

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