Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Learn to Crochet - Lesson 6 - Yarn Changes

Learn to Crochet - Lesson 6 - Yarn Changes

So, now you are making long chains of Chain stitches, and going back to do Single Crochet stitches into the Chains.

What about when you are running out of yarn in your skein, and need to tie another skein on; or you want to change to a different color?

There are two ways of ending a skein or changing colors: Tie Off, or Weave In

Tie Off
This is the method I use, for one personal reason. When I was a kid (I hate to admit these horrible stories about myself, but this is how we grow and teach, right??) my Mother had an afghan in her linen closet that was made by my Grandmother (my Daddy's Stepmother, who was just a WONDERFUL, kind, warm and loving person). This afghan was lovingly placed over us when we were children and were sick and on the couch. Nice, right? Well, kids are creative. I had plenty of time to look CLOSELY at that afghan. To pick at it. To find the worked-in ends and WORK THEM OUT and create huge holes in the afghan. :-( Later in life, when I learned how to crochet, I determined that no future person would be able to work MY ends out of my projects. So, I tie little knots to secure any ending. When I change colors, I tie. When I end a skein, I tie. I basically do at least two square knots (sometimes, three) and I pull the ends tightly. Then, I cut the loose yarn ends about 2-3 millimeters from the knot. To my knowledge, none of my knots has ever been picked out or let loose. And, I have washed our afghans TONS of times in the washing machine and dried them in the dryer. They are USED and not treasured.

So, I tie things off and work the little knot under the surrounding stitches so they don't show and poke out all over.

The two little 6 inch ends from starting the project and ending the project get looped through the end stitches and tied in. Then, I separate the 4 ply yarn into two sets of 2 ply, and I make tiny square knots with that yarn. Then, I cut the ends off about 2-3 millimeters from the knots. I work the knots back into the near-by stitches so they don't show.

Weave In
When changing colors at the end of a row, with a color you WILL use in the future, you basically incorporate the long pulled-out strand of yarn into the end stitches of your project until you are ready to change colors back to the color you stopped. Make sense? Just keep the skein near you and try to keep it from tangling in the project and the color you switched to. GOOD LUCK! LOL!! Hmmmmmm ... I think I remember a second reason why I decided to use the "make little knots" method instead of dragging those "not using right now" colors along beside me.

Do we think I have an issue with TANGLES?? LOL!

Life is too short to be untangling yarn knots all the time. :-)

Crocheters who use the "weave in" method, also work in the ends when they END a skein. When you are finished with a color, or a skein is running out, leave a strand hanging loose about12-18 inches. Also, start your NEW skein (or new color) by leaving a strand of yarn hanging out about 12-18 inches from where you start using that skein. When you are finished with the project (or you could go back as you are working) you go back and weave the loose strands of yarn into the project alongside the color that they are. Bad grammar. Use your hook to pull the loose ends into the project so they are not noticeable.

And, not able to be found by naughty ... er ... CREATIVE children with time on their hands!


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