Notes to a Novice Knotter – it’s all in the detail

09/12/2016 · 2 comments

in Crochet,Tutorial

crochet-meme-emma-varnamRight side, wrong side

I was looking at a well known crochet book the other day and I noticed that a very pretty blanket had been photographed with the wrong side showing. I thought to myself, ‘I bet the designer was really frustrated with that image’. Then it occurred to me that in many ways this was a compliment to the person who made the blanket, the right side and the wrong side were obviously difficult to tell apart.

Now I admit that you need to be a fairly seasoned crocheter to know the wrong side from the right side. The benefit of crochet is that usually the pattern is inter-changeable. This is only possible if you get all your ends neatly tucked away and you take as much care with the neatness of all aspects of your work.

Final touches

The very best craftspeople take proper care of the final touches. I once saw the Queen’s coronation dress displayed in Kensington Palace. What struck me was the detail of the embroidery. Such perfection. The very best haute courture dresses cost so very much because every detail, every stitch is finished by a seamstress of great mastery.

I am not wanting to burst your fun bubble with crochet or knitting. I know that loads of you just want to create and make…’Finishing – Pah!’, you cry, ‘What’s next on the hook baby?’

But after a while the WIP’s (works in progress) pile up and you will need to spend some serious time with the tapestry needle and a pair of scissors to ensure that pile of mid-made monstrosities make their way heavenly heirlooms.

wrongside1

Good things take time

My advice, for what is worth is to learn to love this last part of the making process. See it as the icing on the cake. I wrote about the ‘Blocking’ process a couple of weeks ago and it would be worth having a small look at this. But before you block it is always best to weave in your ends.

The equipment

I always have a pair of very sharp, small, pointed scissors to hand. These will give you accuracy when you cut. I have a range of tapestry needles, different size eyes for different thickness wool. But if I am honest I do like a sharp point so I can weave in the yarn through the fibres.

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Backwards and forwards

When you crochet it is possible to capture the last end you have cut in your next row. But weaving in as you stitch will never fully make your ends secure. I speak to you now from bitter experince. I have many unraveled projects. Crochet motifs that have begun to look a little worse for wear.

My recent conclusion based on some research and practice is to ensure it end is woven backwards and forwards three times. This will ensure the end will not budge. What it does mean is that if you have already captured your work once in the following crochet row, you can just weave in a following two times.

Handy Hints

When I add in a new yarn colour I have begun with placing the new yarn with a slip knot on my hook and then begin my first stitch. This seems to work for me and I have had fewer unraveling incidents.

I do take time to check how each side looks when I have finished weaving in the ends. I make sure that my yarn has not popped out and made an unwelcome appearance on the right side.

If you are wanting to be geeky – I love an in depth book or manual, then the book Finishing School (Master Class for Knitters) has some excellent tips which work both for knitting and crochet.

If you have a granny square that has begun to unravel then I would also suggest look at a fabulous article Granny Square Repair by Claire Montgomerie. She guides you through how to repair the centre of an unraveling motif, my worst crochet nightmare.

Once you have finished all the weaving in, then blocking will help bind the fibres together.

Look I have no desire to sound like a nagging crochet aunty. But really this blog is about providing you with encouragement to take a little time, have a little patience. Dance like there is no instagram – create as if it will last forever.

wrongside3

The images I have used in this post have been taken from the  ‘wrong side’. If you have any finishing top-tips you would be willing to share, then please leave a comment below. I would love to learn from you.

 

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