Welcome to How to Crochet part 3! By now, you know how to make a slip knot, chain, form the foundation row, and crochet in the single crochet stitch. Today, we’re going to learn how to finish off a piece and weave in the ends.
If you’re new here and starting from scratch, please see:
So, you’ve crocheted up to your last stitch of the piece you’re working on, and you don’t know what happens next (or, if you’re following along with the single crochet dish cloth, you now have a roughly square crocheted dishcloth in front of you, with no idea of what to do next). There are a few ways to finish a piece, but I’m going to teach you how I do it, because I’m firmly convinced that this is the easiest (and, I would argue, best) way to go about it.
Note that this stage requires a new material: a yarn needle.
A yarn needle, also known as a tapestry needle, is basically a very large sewing needle. The eye is large enough to accommodate the thickness of yarn, and isn’t particularly sharp. You can get them in different sizes and colours, generally made of plastic or metal. They can be bought online, at fabric and craft stores, but if I’m being entirely honest here, I don’t think I’ve ever bought one outside a dollar store.
Well, “requires” is a strong word. You can do this with your crochet hook, but I find the woven in bits don’t blend in as well because you’re not able to get into the little nooks and crannies to keep the woven in strands subtle. I strongly recommend using a needle.
Crochet in whatever stitch you’re using (again, if you’re learning via my lessons, this will be the single crochet) up to the very last stitch of the row, and stop halfway through the last stitch (ie, insert hook, yarn over the top of the hook, and pull through). It should look much like this:
Cut the yarn, leaving yourself a decent length left over to weave in. I should have left a little more yarn than I did in the above photo, so consider that length an absolute bare minimum of “end” yarn.
Yarn over with that loose end, and pull it through.
And keep pulling. Pull it all the way through, leaving a tidy almost-finished stitch at the end of the row:
And here the “finishing” part ends and the “weaving in” part begins, though really it’s all part of the same thing.
Thread your yarn end onto your needle, and insert it below the stitch you’ve mostly-finished, thereby completing the stitch:
And from here, weave it in-and-out of the crochet stitches for several stitches in, doing your best to help it blend into the body of the fabric you’ve just made:
This next part is very important: turn the needle around and weave it back through the fabric, doing the opposite in-and out (out-and-in, then, I suppose) THROUGH AT LEAST SOME OF THOSE SAME STITCHES. Using the same stitches on your way back “locks in” the loose end so that it doesn’t work its way loose and unravel all of your hard work.
If you’re paranoid (as I am), you can back-and-forth a few times, to be extra sure that it’s not going anywhere. One back-and-forth is probably sufficient but, well. Extra caution is never a bad thing, right?
And that’s it! Cut the leftover bit of yarn that’s sticking out after you’ve woven the end in, return to the “tail” of yarn from the beginning of the project, do the very same thing, and you’re done!
Well done, friends!
If you’re following along with my suggested washcloth project, you’ve gone in three short weeks from zero to making-your-own-housewares! That’s pretty impressive, and you should be proud!
I was originally planning to go straight to double-crochet next week, but I’ve already had a request for a tutorial on changing colours to create stripes, so next Monday we’ll talk about the best way to change colours (or, should you run out of yarn mid-project, how to best introduce a fresh skein of yarn). In February we’ll learn double crochet and triple crochet (along with another suggested project in which you can practice your new-found skills), and then in March we can really start to have some fun: magic rings, granny squares, rounds, and all the amazing things you can do with those things!
In the interim, PLEASE get in touch if you find you’re having issues or if anything is unclear. I’m genuinely happy to help if you could use the assistance!
Be happy, healthy, and safe, my friends