Weaving In Ends
Do you know anyone who enjoys this task? Neither do we. I have decided against a project or two just because the thought of all the ends I would have to weave in was simply overwhelming. It is a necessary evil though, so we might as well be good at it, right?
There isn't really a science to it....just do whatever looks the best. I do have a few different methods that I use depending on the project, so I'll share those here.
On a big field of stockinette fabric, I usually weave on the diagonal. That seems to be the least visible and the ends tend to stay woven in a bit better, probably because the ends are not being pulled along a path of low resistance.
I usually go along one direction and then head back down the opposite direction, another thing that helps prevent the ends wiggling back out.
Here is the outside....even with that bright orange yarn i demonstrated with you can hardly see where it was woven, so imagine how invisible it is when the same color is woven.
This is the method I would use on the inside of a seamed sweater when i was not able to add a new ball at the edge of my piece (not able = too much of a yarn scrooge to waste 8" of yarn), resulting in ends waiting in the middle of the fabric. You would use this diagonal method for a sweater or hat knit in the round as well, where seams are not part of the project. Ideally in seamed garment-making, your ends should be left at an edge so they can be woven into the seams and not the fabric. The same applies to a scarf or shawl which might be visible from both sides....this kind of project will look best if the ends are tucked away along the edges of the piece rather than the middle of the fabric field.
Weaving ends in to garter stitch is probably the easiest. I just tuck them neatly in to the "ditch" between each raised garter ridge. Weave your needle under every other stitch leg, skipping over one each time.
This works best when you are weaving same color into same color, as it is a bit visible from both sides. However, when the same color is woven with this method, you really have to look hard to see it because the little ridges kind of collapse down to cover it. You can reverse direction with this weave too, just move down to the ditch above or below the first one when putting it in reverse.
When working with fair-isle or stranded fabric, it can be a little challenging to weave right into the knitted fabric since you frequently only have one or two stitches of a given color to work into. And man, are there a million ends to worry about with colorwork! I usually utilize the floats in this case rather than the fabric. Just wiggle your needle in and out of the floats on the back side of the fabric and all those ends will disappear. You may also give knitting in your ends as you go a try......you can watch this video from Westknits to get an idea how that works. His demo is not on fair-isle fabric, but it's the same principle.
However you get those ends tucked away, it's totally fine. Like I said, there is not a science to it, it just needs to look good on the outside. It can be a hot mess on the inside. 🤪
Do you have any techniques or methods you use for this task? We'd love to hear about them in the comments!