Friday, December 18, 2009

Are you a Runner or Naughty Knotter?

...or perhaps you are a Weaver?

The hardest thing for me to learn was to weave in my ends.  I remember my nephew's afghan that looked like ribbons weaving in and out with a black background...I had ends every five rows and the strips were ten stitches I had a million. I went around tying things down, weaving in one inch, etc., and it was a mess.  A real mess.  You know, I could not drag that out of my nephew's hands....I offered to make him another one when I realized just how goofy the weaving really was and he told me no, that it was made with love by the hands of his Auntie, and there was no way he would give it up or want another one. Made me cry.

Doesn't negate the fact that the ends were STILL a mess....although made for a softer landing for Auntie, believe me.

So, what do you do?  I have learned to weave, and weave well.  I harkened back to my embroidery days, the one needlework that my mother taught me.  I weave back into the yarn, using about 1" going one way, 1 1/2" coming back, and then going back 1" where it ends in the middle of the weave. That way it is tight. I tug it on each pass so that it is tight - but hold the fabric so it doesn't bunch or pull.  All the books have something on weaving in the ends. In garments they generally say to weave if you do a lot of garments, please leave a long tail so you can work it in correctly.  Contrary to popular thought, it is better to have more than you need and cut it off than to think you have just the right amount and find out you cut it too short.

When making afghan squares I make sure that I start and stop by a corner. Nothing better than a corner where you have a nice little area to hide your yarn! If you read the pattern in advance (each row) you can tell what the pattern calls for repeat wise. That way you can start in the corner area (and if you use my Air Crochet the joins won't show a ch3!) and no one will be the wiser.  Some patterns call for you to slip stitch over to a corner after finishing your row...but if you start in the corner you also don't have to add those extra bunchy stitches. One particular designer has nearly all of her patterns slip stitching to a corner & then starting the next row.  After reviewing her patterns there seems to be no good reason for it, so I would start the rows in the corner each time and they came out just fine.

If you are a Naughty Knotter, QUIT!!!!  It isn't professional looking and it is distracting to your work.  It can also look like you have added a stitch as it makes a gaping area in the work.  No need to tie off your work - just do an invisible join, and weave in the ends as above.

If you are a Runner, QUIT!!!!!  It comes out 90% of the time. Has to be woven back in by you or the recipient. What if the recipient isn't handy in needlework?  It just hangs out.

Weaving is so much better! More secure and therefore protects your handiwork.  Don't you put a lot of love and effort on what you make? Why would you do that and then use an inferior finishing technique? Finish it with the same love you put into all those stitches. Practice finishing it so that no one can tell where you did finish it off -  you will feel so proud of your work and proud to give it away or sell it.

A job worth doing is worth doing well.......

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a very enlightening and entertaining message. I try my hardest to weave in ends as I go, but sometimes I just get so darned excited about finishing, I end up leaving them 'til the end. I've found that it's somewhat relaxing to sit with a big, warm, almost-completed afghan on my lap, with a cup of coffee nearby and some music playing in the background, and just weave away while daydreaming about how much the recipient of the afghan is going to LOVE IT when it's done! :) I know, you're thinking coffee and almost-finished crochet work don't sound too smart. I agree, but so far, no accidents.

    Anyway, love reading your stuff!