Zen and the art of Weaving in Tails

I used to hate weaving in tails when working on crochet projects. But over the years I’ve begun to regard this task as a nice break and meditative. I’m not sure what exactly changed my feelings toward this task that is dreaded by many of us yarny crafters.

I think part of my fondness came from teaching basic crochet to new hooksters.  Small flower and “yo-yo” projects are great for beginners, and it’s good practice weaving in the tails.

Afterall, the work we do on the finishing touches of our crochet can have a big impact on the final appearance of a project.

Weaving in ends doesn’t have to be that tedious. In fact it is a great way to change-up the tasks you are working on (different movements of the hands break up the repetition that leads to injury).

In 2010 I took a class at the Manchester Chain Link with Karen Ratto-Whooley where she showed us some neat tricks about end weaving. This was Karen’s Venetian Lace Class (which is well worth taking) and involved creating very open lacy motifs.  So the question became, how and where do you hide those darn tails.

Karen told us how her grandmother told her the “wrong side” of your work should look as nice as the “right side”. One of the tricks to making that happen is to hide your tail weaving so it blends with the stitches of your fabric.  Taking  your tail up and back along the tall stitches is a great way to disguise them.

Also weaving the tails so they go back over themselves helps to prevent them coming loose later.

A few months ago at the LambShoppe PJ Jam night my happiness with tail weaving was solidified.  I was very tired and didn’t have the brain cells for really crocheting anything ambitious. But I did have a pile of motifs that needed their ends woven in before I could start the next stage of the project. I sat there weaving in tails and focusing on visiting with my friends. By the end of the evening I had finished all the motifs in my bag and had enjoyed the company of my dear friends.

I recently sold a design that contained 52 3-colored motifs and an additional 36 1-color motifs. Trust me, that is a lot of tails to weave.  Fortunately my new found fondness for that task has served me well. I have found the Zen.

Hopefully all my dear readers will be able to approach this task with a bit less distaste in the future as well.

4 thoughts on “Zen and the art of Weaving in Tails

  1. Years ago i discovered that if I weave the ends as I go . . . many, many more projects will actually get ‘finished’ (as well as completed)! It does take discipline, but I am much happier with the task.

    1. Yes, weaving as you go can save time later on, as well as changing up the rythm of your work. Unfortunately, I have learnt when doing design samples to wait. If I suddenly realize I need to re-design I can pull out the work. I tend to weave tails so they are NEVER coming out. LOL!

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