Sanity Saver: Working Over Your Ends

Any time you have to change colors or join a new yarn to your work, you're creating ends-those pesky detriments to finishing your work quickly, and often the culprit of unfinished objects.

If you're participating in the Meadow Shawl crochet-along, you're staring in the face of 8 colors, 147 motifs, and about 643 yarn ends. In thread. It's almost enough to make even the most masochistic stitcher flee from such a beautiful project. But wait, come back! You don't need to weave in those ends—and I don't mean leaving the back side of the shawl fringed.

Learning how to crochet over your ends is a great way to hide and secure those tails as you go, leaving only light weaving and trimming at the end of your projects, instead of a time and work commitment that can rival the stitching itself. Here's a quick demo, using the motif pattern from the Meadow Shawl as an example.

When you've changed colors, gather the new and old tails, and hold them out in front of your work.
 
Lay the tails along the top of the stitches of the previous row. Insert your hook as you normally would, and pull up a loop. Instead of brushing your ends out of the way, leave them atop the stitches you are working into as you yarn over to make your stitch. This encloses the ends inside the working stitch.
 
Continue to carry the ends along your work, enclosing them in each stitch as you work your new row.
 
You can see that the ends are well hidden, and, when trimmed close to the work, are safe from reveling as well. I recommend working over at least a few inches of the tail, in order to ensure that it is secure inside the work.
 

It's also important to not pull the tails too tightly, or your work may pucker a bit. This technique might not always work for your project (working lacy patterns with teeny yarn and a larger hook complicates the end hiding process regardless of your method), but it should work quite well for most items.

Happy stitching!

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