Finish Off and Weave in Ends in Crochet

By Rachel Choi – 40 Comments

I’m often asked, “What is the best way to finish off and weave in ends?”

My answer: When I finish off I like to make one chain then cut the yarn and pull the strand of yarn through the chain if I’m working in rows. This makes a small little knot. If I’m working in the round I like to slip stitch in the next stitch, then cut the yarn. Then I weave the ends into the back side of the work. If you’re really scared that it’s not secure, such as when you do a color change, then feel free to tie small knots. Yes, I make knots.

I have a feeling that every time someone asks me this question, they expect some magical answer. But hey, I’m human and I just tell you what I do.

How do you finish off and weave in ends? Feel free to share your technique in the comments section below!

P.S. You can view a photo tutorial of techniques that Erin uses to weave in ends in her post: Perfecting Your Craft: Finishing the Project

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  1. Sarah says:

    I finish off about the same way as you do, Rachel. The only difference is that after I weave in my ends, I like to weave it back in the opposite direction. If I want it really secure, I then weave it through again in the original direction. Hopefully that made sense. lol
    Fortunately, I have yet to have something come unraveled in the wash.

    By the way, I just finished crocheting a dog bandana. It’s great – it slips right on to his collar so it can’t come untied. 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    If it’s something 3d, I tend to slip stitch to finish off, make a neat knot, then poke my needle through the stuffing and out in a different place then pull the thread through hard and snip so that the thread is safely tucked somewhere in the belly of the item.

  3. Mona says:

    When I finish off a project, I slip stitch just like you do Rachel. The only thing that I do different is I leave the thread/Yarn extra long and I use a plastic canvas needle to thread it back through the project. I go in any direction , until i feel like it is woven in enough , so that it is secure. If it is a variegated yarn, I just try to stay within the same color. If it shows a little bit in a different color, no one even seems to notice. I have been crocheting dish cloths. This method is staying secure, even after being washed and dried, several times.

  4. Denisse says:

    Hello, I just wanted to ask…. what does wave in end means, I’m not really about what it means, you know i’m not from the united states, I live in Mexico, I do speak english but some times I don’t understand some expressions form the english, so could you help me? I’m a 13 year old crocheter and I love to do it an woul love to expand my knowledges.

    thank you!!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Denisse, weaving in the ends means to tuck in the extra yarn that stick out of your work. Normally there is a strand of yarn that sticks out of your work at the beginning and at the end of your work, and even when you change yarn colors. To weave in the ends refers to taking the strands of yarn that stick out and place them in such a way that they don’t show.

    • maryethal says:

      it means to just take your needle and pull your yarn that is left over after you finish a site and pull it into the already made stitched its easier done with like a large sewing needle but you can do it with your crochet hook also

  5. nancy says:

    i just read a pattern from 1977 and for finishing it says to run in yarn ends on the wrong side. this is the same as the tips here right? When I crochet the only end left that I have to weave in is the end.just checking to be sure.

  6. Kristin says:

    Thank you all so much for this article and feedback in the comments. I am a complete novice! I taught myself to crochet about a month ago from a book and was getting super frustrated that nothing was coming out “right”. Then I found this wonderful site and I’m learning so much from you all!

  7. Ginger in MD says:

    This site has helped me tremendously. I’ve been crocheting for years but cannot get past an Easy project because I seem to have difficulty processing the instructions for more challenging pieces. Does anyone know if there are videos of things like making a wave pattern, shells, and other textures in crochet? I’ve found that I seem to pick up things better through a demonstration than reading.

    • Joan says:

      Yes, there are so many videos that all you need to do is google your request. You can search in videos with google, or just search and you will get a mix of video and photo and written instructions from many web sites. I like to watch Brazillian instruction on YouTube–I don’t understand the language, but there are some wonderful instructors despite the barrier. I think Tripiano is one.

  8. Gloria Hensel says:

    Wow! I love it that you say you tie knots. Everything else (including tutorials) say just weave in the ends. I know that wouldn’t be secure after washing and drying. I tie a knot (small one) then weave in ends and either tie another knot or sew the ends with a needle through the knot made, then clip off the excess. I’ve read “Never tie knots!” But they don’t give you any advice how to really secure the ends. Thank you for being brave enough to say “I tie knots.”

  9. Dawn says:

    I am trying to teach myself how to crochet and I have gotten most of the stitches down but changing colors has me confused. When I was reading your hints I kind of understand but I dont understand what you mean by weaving the ends into your work. I have read books and can not find a explanation of that. Please help!

  10. wineplz says:

    I have been knitting for nearly 15yrs but I am new to crocheting and have been looking around to learn how to bind off, or I guess, “fasten off” as I’ve seen in a few patterns. I guess by nature, you don’t really need to bind off crochet stitches/projects the way you need to for knitting, but I wanted to be sure. It just seemed too easy to just tie a little knot and weave in the ends at the end of a pattern…so am I missing something?
    BTW, as a knitter, I often tie a little knot before weaving the ends…otherwise I’m afraid I might find a half-unraveled blanket in the washer. 🙂

    • Rachel says:

      Yes, it is that simple 🙂 If you have any worries, you can try weaving the end in on a small swatch and then toss it in the wash to see how it holds up. That way you can see what works for you and also have peace of mind when it comes out okay.

  11. sparkie925 says:

    I tie knots all the time too…theres nothin like spending all that time on a wonderful project & then have it all come apart in the washer or dryer…;(

  12. Rochelle says:

    I never tie knots! I fasten off by skipping a stitch, and slip stitching in the stich after the skipped stitch, cut thread and pull it through, tighten it, and ta daz you have a secured stitch, that will never come loose. You next weave in the excess thread. By skipping a stitch, you have a neat, invisible joined edge, that you can not tell where it began. Try it and you will never go back to knotting.

    I learned this little technique from Crochet Geek Theresa (tjw1963) on Youtube. Theresa is an excellent crochet instructor, Mikey is also good.

  13. Janet says:

    It helps to ‘go thru’ some of the yarn strand before snipping off. This locks in the tail strand. When the project would be pulled and stretched, such as a scarf, some of the end (even though it would be just a tiny bit) would stick out. This will prevent it.

  14. Sandy says:

    I finish off the same way and occasionally use knots. I have done two projects where the yarn is so soft that it slips out of the slip knot. Both were baby blankets. No matter how much I wove in the ends, they would fray when I cut them and slip out, leaving fuzzy little tails. Is there any way to prevent this?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Sandy, you can try to make an extra chain or two at the end of the yarn then pull that tight. If that still doesn’t work, maybe a very small touch of fabric glue will help.

  15. chris says:

    Yes you can just weave the end in if you use a wool or cotton blends
    because the fiber catches itself and holds nicely, however a lot of the newer yarns at the craft stores are acrylic and very slippery. I have found that they are more difficult to finish off securely. Many times I leave a longer end so that after the initial slipped stitch I weave it in along a finished edge or other solid section, then weave in reverse and if really slippery tie a little knot and run along in reverse again for good measure. Those acrylic yarns slip out to easy when washed!!

  16. Tanya says:

    I used to only just weave in the ends and then I began to notice that after use, say with an afghan, those loose yarn ends eventually work their way out and you have little yarn pieces sticking out all over. This is for multi colored work of course. So now I do what Rachel does…makes for a nice and tidy work.

  17. Anna says:

    Dealing with the ends and tails is the part that I always dread. Last time I made a cup cozy, I managed to tie the beginning and the ending tails. When I don’t have this option, my tails always stick out somewhere in the work, and I hate it. No matter how you weave them, there’s always an end that will stick out, no matter what.

  18. Carol Lindberg says:

    I have a little different situation I’d like help with……… I want to cut up an old crocheted afghan and make a cat bed for my great granddaughter. It will be round – bottom and top and then either crocheted or sewn together all around except where a hoop (covered with yarn is the opening so the cat can crawl in and be inside!
    How do I finish or protect the cut edges that I have made in the crocheted afghan from raveling??? I do have a serger sewing machine and that is the only solution I have thought of as yet — to maybe go around 2 or 3 times to be sure all is caught with it???

    If you have a suggestion, please email me [email protected]. This is to be a Christmas surprise and she will be delighted! Thanks for your help.

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Carol, a sewing machine or serger is a good idea! Make sure that all the strands are caught by your thread before you cut. You can also try practicing on a smaller piece of crochet to make sure you have the technique mastered before doing your blankets. Have fun with it and let me know how it goes!

  19. Michell says:

    Hi rachel, i’ve been working on crocheting an infinity scarf and sometimes when the yarn gets tangled in knots i have to cut it and tie the loose ends together but i leave about 6 in. at the ends. but then when i make the scarfs or blankets and etc. theres a bunch of ends in the project and i havent been able to find a way except for one which is you weave it inone direction and then back weave in the other for a few times but then theres a lump where that is done and then theres a bunch of them throughout the project and it looks really messy is there anyway to do the back weave and so forth without the lumps? or another way where it dosen’t come unraveled ?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Michell! There shouldn’t be any lumps when you are done. When you weave back and forth, you can go into different parts of the stitches so that it isn’t bunching up all in one spot, sort of like a zig zag. You don’t have to keep weaving in the same spot on your work, you can spread it out.

  20. Sharon says:

    This was very helpful , not like those other websites that do not explain any thing. Thankx again. Sharon

  21. Julie says:

    Do you have any hints or know about tutorials on which stitch to use when turning your work… I ALWAYS end up with too many stitches in the completed row…

  22. Suzy W. says:

    I have found several crochet afghan patterns I like but they are all too big. How do I figure out how many stitches to make to create a smaller pattern. Example afghan finished 50″ by 65 inches. I would like to make that 40 ” by 55 ” 154 stitches makes 39 sc and 38 ch-3 spaces. How do I figure many stitches to start with?

  23. Elaine says:

    Hello I think that is a very good way of weaving in ends. I am a beginner and I am practicing crocheting a rasta tam using 100 percent acrylic, for practice and I notice the material starts curling along the way. I don’t like working with acrylic but what is the best yarn to use for crocheting a rasta tam?

  24. Alysia says:

    I just finished a king size blanket where you hold two strands of yarn together, changing colors every four rows and use a large Q hook. I thought I had woven my ends where they would be secure but after washing they started coming out. I snipped the ends where it was unraveling. This is a gift for my son and now I’m worried that each time he washes it more will unravel. So, now I’m going back and pulling out enough of the ends to tie knots. However, there isn’t enough yarn to weave after the knot. Is it okay to snip the yarn close to the knot? It is a very bulky blanket so it shouldn’t show. Thanks in advance for your advice!

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