Hot Tip: Bury your ends

Hot Tip: Bury your ends

I don’t weave in ends — I bury them. Among the many arguments over why seamed garments are better than seamless, or vice versa, the one that comes up possibly the least often is how useful those seams are when it comes to weaving in ends! Seamless lovers often say they hate mattress stitch or don’t want to take the time, but in my view mattress stitch is way less time and bother than trying to weave in ends invisibly on a seamless garment. Mind you, I am a devout spit-splicer, really only use splice-able yarns, and so my projects have as few ends as possible. But every knitted item has at least two ends, and a garment will have several more, by the time you join new balls at underarms, pick up stitches at necklines, etc. (And this gossamer striped sweater would never have happened if I hadn’t known I’d have basted seams to bury all those ends in.) If you’ve got seams to work with, and always join new yarn at an edge (where a seam will be), all you have to do after the seaming is done is run your tapestry needle up through the seam allowance, then back down again, and voilà! Fast, secure and simple.

See also: Q for You: How do you weave in your ends?


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23 thoughts on “Hot Tip: Bury your ends

  1. Many years ago, when I was a new knitter, our guild hosted a mother/daughter teacher. The only thing I got out of it was how to weave in your ends. Their technique was to split the yarn with your needle and pull through the split instead of going under the stitch. That way you do not see it on the right side of the garment. I’ve been doing it this way these many years and it works out very well

  2. Going through the split also makes the end more secure and less likely to pop out to the front. Like everything, the best approach varies with the yarn and the sweater. A bulky yarn which is buried in the seam will make a huge lump, a fine and slippery yarn may need to be intricately woven in a U-shape to keep it secure. Years ago I began weaving in my ends as I knit, Kaffe Fassett style, and whenever possible i use this method…when the knitting is finished, all that needs to be done is snip. If you learned only one thing in the class, but it was a good technique, it was probably worth your while!

  3. I’m a fan of seamless garments and split splicing. But I consider weaving in ends invisibly to be something of an art form. My trick is to do it in an unpredictable way and closely follow the existing stitches. A couple stitches to the left, then go up, go right, come down, backtrack etc. Keep checking the front of the garment to make sure nothing is visible. I also split the yarn here and there. But you absolutely can’t tell where the ends are on something I make!

    I think overall it’s less work and hassle compared to mattress stitching seams. Vive la difference! :)

  4. A little caveat to this discussion is to wait until the end to do the split stitch end weaving. If you need to rip out the sweater, or a part, it is impossible if you use this method. It is very secure and the ends really stay in.

  5. Ahhhh, this makes sense. Now I understand why so many knitters start a new ball of yarn at the beginning of the row (as opposed to starting mid-row). The ends are all dangling at the edges and can then be buried in the nearby seams…! Lightbulb moment. Thanks so much, Karen!

  6. I knit a lot of socks, hats, and scarves, so there are no seams. I frequently use a Russian join to avoid having to weave in ends at all. For stockinette and garter, I usually use duplicate stitch.

  7. I use this method wherever I can! I’ve found that where I have to weave in ends on the main fabric of the knit, sometimes I get inconsistencies in the fabric. It might only be perceptible to me, but it drives me nuts! So if spit splicing isn’t an option, I’ll often tink back so the ends are where the seam will go.

  8. Spit splicing rules! When the yarn is appropriate. I did discover sewn joins last year. I hate weaving in and will rewrite a pattern to give it seams to bury ends in.

  9. Oh, my gosh. I was just worrying about this the other day. I bury my ends in a seam, too. I’m ALWAYS worried about the ends coming out. Right now I am working on a super bulky garter stitch shawl, so there are no seams, but there are ends. I’ve never tried any of the splicing methods, but I was just thinking about that while working on it. (The spit-splice would work on this 100% wool yarn.) Okay, now I am determined to try this next time!

  10. If the inside of the knitting is never going to show, I don’t weave in ends. I learned this from a Scandinavian knitter who’s been knitting since she was a child in Finland. Tie a secure knot, cut the ends shorter if they’re as long as spaghetti strands, then go about your business. She’s shown me sweaters she knit years ago using this method, and they’re still intact and look just fine.

    She’s also shared that the only knitting she blocks is lace. She doesn’t block garments (or anything else that’s worn). She swears wearing the garment a couple of times will block it to the wearer’s body. She feels that people who block everything they knit were either too lazy to check gauge before starting or periodically while knitting. Seriously, she doesn’t block textured stitch patterns or cabling either. Her knitting always look gorgeous.

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