There are, in my experience, always wool ends to tie in to a piece of work to make the finished item look neat and tidy. These ends can be created through casting on, casting off, joining on new balls of yarn and through the fastening on and off of the yarn used to sew a project together. I know that some knitters work the tail ends into the piece during the knitting process by catching the tail up with the length of yarn being worked and I have tried this approach and it can work quite well. For me, however, it is easier to sew the ends into the work once it is finished and I usually do this using my large wool needle but for shorter lengths, I will use a small crochet hook. For those of you new to knitting, or who don’t knit and haven’t a clue what I am talking about, below are some pictures taken during the finishing off process of Little Mudlets’ dress.
The tail end of the yarn used to join the left hand front and back shoulder seams together:
The tail end is threaded onto the needle and then I carefully slip the point of the needle under three or four stitches, taking care not to break through to the front (right side) of the work:
The yarn is then pulled through the stitches:
The needle is then passed back up another 2 or 3 stitches which are alongside the original ones and the yarn pulled through before the yarn is carefully snipped. The yarn end is now securely fastened into the work:
The series of pictures above shows how I finish off using a needle. The same principle applies to using a crochet hook but whereas the needle is threaded before passing through the stitches, the hook is threaded through the stitches and then catches the yarn and pulls it back through. Finishing the ends off can be a laborious and tedious affair but I was taught the importance of this step at a young age. It isn’t practical to leave long ends trailing as this could be both unsightly and irritating to the wearer but simply snipping the ends off where they are is asking for trouble, as it leaves far too short an end for a knot which could potentially work loose. By sewing an inch or two of an end into a piece of work, the integrity of the knot is preserved and a garment can be worn and washed with peace of mind.