Newbie Knitter question

Hey guys, I'm a really new knitter, having discovered a passion for knitting recently by using round looms. I haven't crossed over into actual needle territory, because I am having so much fun, and becoming severly addicted to this new passion.

So far I've knitted a tubular scarf with a matching hat, a flat scarf with a matching hat, and am on the last legs of a baby blanket. I'll post some pictures if anyone is interested.

Here's my question. When finishing a project, there are the strings hanging that are from adding colors, new skeins, or at the beginning and end of the project, etc. My instructions say to weave these strings, which could be anywhere from three to six inches long, into the piece. I've done this on the finished ones, but have not gotten a real satisfaction as to how the finished projects look. It seems to me that there are these loose strings, if found, could easily cause the piece to distruct instantly!

Any thoughts, suggestions, pointers, anything?

I'm anxious to hear from all of you, as I've admired your work, and have been quite intimidated by the skill involved.

Thanks, guys



akkamaddi's picture

In my experience before knitting, most people know not to tug the yarn. If you weave the yarn, it's usually possible to leave only a tiny bit showing. I've found that sometimes going lengthwise is better than width-wise for the last inch or so, and don't forget you can loop back. Additionally, if you are going to join, knit with a few inches (or at least a couple stitches if the bulk is too noticeable) of both yarns in each direction.

Baby blankets require more care, as babies will instinctively grab things and *everything* goes in the mouth.

Personally, I always join with a Fisherman's knot
Just make sure the yarns "point" in line with the yarn so it's a low profile. Also, don't tell anyone, but I've been known to add the tiniest drop of superglue in the middle of the knot if I know the piece will not be frogged (undone) for yarn. Hearing that makes many a knitter shriek in terror, though.

With the ends, if you weave it back across the cast-on/off, that tends to make it a bit thicker and curl a bit less.

Please keep in mind I'm also fairly new.


bobinthebul's picture

When it's the same skein, same color, then I just knit in the old tail for 5 or 6 stitches. If you want, on the next row (or next knit row if you're doing flat work) knit in the tail of the new yarn. it would take a lot of doing for that to slip out. Yes it does make a thicker point but it's not very noticeable, especially in tweedy/multicolored yarns. When it's a self-striping kind of yarn, and the pattern it's creating is important, I try to start the new ball in the same place on the colorway.

If you are putting in a new color, then you can still knit in the new yarn's tail, but the old one will stand out, so I take a needle and weave it in along the path of the yarn, or if there's enough of an selvedge, weave it in there. On the cuff of a sock, I'm not even all that careful; I'll just try to put it in where it's not too visible. On the toe end, I weave it in from the back, and once again I'm not all that meticulous about it - as long as it's anchored, then out of sight, out of mind.

Britannic's picture

Depending on what yarns you're using, you might even be able to join the yarns and have no ends to weave at all. When you use a join you're taking two pieces of yarn and literally joining them to become one new continuous yarn. Depending on the type of yarns being used and what you're doing in the design you can determine if you can use a join and what type of join might work for you.

BrentGC's picture

Thanks guys. I will certainly take all of these suggestions into account.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Kaffe Fassett's book Glorious Knitting has a really good tutorial about weaving in ends as you knit with the new color. So does Mary Thomas and Montse Stanley. I've started to do that and find it very secure and not very noticeable. It was a bit tricky for me to master but I'm slightly dyslexic and a Leftie so I figure that had a lot to do with it. You can also use a needle and weave in the yarn for the same effect but working it in as you knit really is better, IMHO. Good luck.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Kerry's picture

Welcome to MWK.

Simpawknits's picture

Everyone else seems to have answered your question well so I'll just say "welcome!"

Tallguy's picture

I usually just overlap the yarns, knit with both of them for a few stitches, and it holds very well. I've tried all the different kinds of joining yarns, and they all work in their own way. Depends on what kind of knitting you are doing. Try them all, see which you like.

There is never a worry about threads coming loose. I've been knitting for several years, and none have ever come apart. It's an unfounded fear. But then, I was a weaver before knitting, and we just overlap the yarns, and they have never come apart. I approach knitting in much the same way.

Someone told me long ago when I started to knit not to ever make a knot in your knitting for, no matter how careful you are to hide it, it will always work its way to the surface, and always right over your left boob --- even if you knit socks! So I never have put in a knot, and have never had anything appear over my right or left boob without me wanting it there! ymmv

If I can, i like to thread the loose end into as small a tapestry needle as possible and weave it INTO the other stitches----this is NOT clear---you are actually sewing one yarn into another yarn between the plys. Does this make sense? I have no way to send a picture that would clarify my description.