Weaving in ends as you knit: Tips from the Zigzag Tank

I've been traveling a lot this summer, and the project that's been easiest for me to stow in my bag and work on in distracted spurts is the Zigzag Tank from knit.wear Spring. 

Simple mitered garter blocks are worked in three-color stripes. The tank is modular; subsequent blocks are picked up and worked down from the first four (top) ones.

I'm working with various stash yarns, all cottons and linens, and it's been a fun and fairly mindless project for airplanes, airports, and car rides this past month. 

One decision I had to make early on was how to handle the yarn ends between stripes. At first, I carried the unused colors along the selvedge, but then I realized that, along the outer edges of the top blocks, those carried ends would show, since there is no edging added in finishing. I liked the clean look of the garter fabric and didn't want to add an edging to cover those carried yarns, so I had to do something different with them. I decided to break each color when I changed stripes, and to weave those ends in as I worked the row. This will save me time in finishing; I won't need to weave in all those ends with a tapestry needle. You can see the ends worked in about an inch a half from the selvedge on the wrong side:

How do you weave in ends as you work? Well, I carry both ends—the old color and the newly joined one—along the back of the work as for stranded colorwork, catching both colors behind each knit stitch for about an inch and a half. Since this is a sport weight yarn, it doesn't add much bulk. You may want to knot the ends together before working them in, to further secure the ends of the rows. You can also knot them again at the end of the float on the wrong side, then trim them. With all the stripes in this project, breaking the colors each time will use more yarn than simply carrying them up the side of the work, from row to row, so keep that in mind if you're tight on yardage.

I hope you can use this knitting technique in your work. I think you'll like it.

Stay tuned for my progress on the Zigzag Tank and happy summer knitting to you!

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