In part 1, I talked about blocking.
Here are 2 other things crocheters hate.
WEAVING ENDS IN…
At the end of a project, you get to finish off & weave ends in. If you’re lucking or working on a smallish item, you’ll only have 2 ends to weave in: at the starting chain and at the very last stitch. In all honesty though, that’s pretty rare. There are also those at the start & end of a motif, colour changes, new skein, etc. No matter the reason, there are ends waiting to be woven in.
There are some tips to make this step more bearable. You can’t always use them all, but whenever one is made useful, be glad!
Working over ends
If you’re working on a dense fabric (as opposed to lace), you can work over your ends when working the next row/round. Doing this as you go will make the finishing steps a lot more fun. I try to work over a good 4” of yarn.
See this link from LionBrand to read more about this.
Changing skein or colour at the end of a row/round
If you’re able to concentrate your changes at the end of the row/round, integrate the ends as you work the 1st st or starting chs in subsequent rows/rounds. Again, I try to do this over a reasonable number of rows/rounds – about 2-4”.
This tip is used mostly when working a project that will later be bordered by more crochet.
I can’t eliminate all yarn ends from your life. For those that remain, take a yarn needle, and weave a good 4-6” of yarn through your stitches, in more than one direction*. Before you cut the remaining length, pull a bit. After you cut, the end will go back to hide inside your project.
*This is important if you don’t want your ends to weasel their way back out! Make it hard for them!
One last thing: don’t wait til the very end to weave in your ends, especially if there are many. Take a few minutes every time you sit with your project to weave a few ends in. You’ll be happy you did.
The 3rd thing we all hate… and not enough of us do:
Yes yes yes, I hate wasting my time and yarn too – I do. WHICH IS WHY working a swatch is so important. How much more frustrating would it be to finish a sweater only to find it is much too big for me?
Whether you are using the exact same yarn as the designer, or substituting for any reason, you have to swatch. You don’t know how tight/loose the designer or her testers were. You don’t know how tight/loose you are in relation to them. You don’t know how your yarn will respond to the instructions/fabric/stitches/drape.
The swatch will allow you to see all of this, and adjust your hook up or down to make it all work the way it should.
In a pattern, you’ll often see instructions for a gauge swatch measuring 4” (sts) x 4” (rows/rounds). It’s the norm, but not the rule. You’ll generally block your swatch. In my own patterns, you can usually measure your gauge against the started project. If your hook & yarn choice were on point, you’re good to go. If not, you haven’t wasted much of your time.
When comparing your swatch to the pattern’s instructions, if you have less sts or rows than indicated, you need to go up a hook size or two. If you have more, you need to go down a size or two.
CAREFUL! I don’t recommend going further than 2 sizes. The drape will be much too affected. Maybe consider a new choice of yarn, or work a different size that accounts for your difference in gauge.
So what do you think? Let me know if I missed anything =)