I am sooooo frustrated with adding a different color to crochet item. I try and try to do the loop thru stitch before-- but ALWAYS they are the 1st ones to com apart when i wash the item. N E advice to help??
-- Donna from Iowa
As a knitting and crochet instructor, I always make sure I cover the topic of weaving in loose ends as the proper way to finish all knit and crochet items. Unfortunately, so many knitters and crocheters are completely unaware of this finishing technique or were never really taught the right way to do it! It's too bad, because doing it right can make all the difference in how long your projects will last (especially if they are to be washed frequently).
So, to answer your specific question, you are correct in changing to the new color by using the new color for the final "yarn over and pull through" of your last stitch. However, I highly recommend that you leave a 6-8" tail of BOTH the new and old color. These 6-8" tails will be the loose ends that will hang from your work until you are ready for finishing. Then, they will be "woven" in at finishing to complete the project.
You can also tie the new and old colors together in a loose knot if you prefer (keep it loose so that you can undo the know when you are ready for finishing). Otherwise, just leave them loose and any stitches next to the joining that need to be tightened can be tightened when the loose ends get woven in.
How do you weave in the loose ends? Thread each of the 6-8" tails into a yarn/tapestry needle (a sewing needle that is made for yarn) and "weave" the needle into your knitted or crocheted fabric with the goal of hiding your needle (so that the loose strand will get hidden in your work). For instance, if your loose end is at the edge or your work, begin poking your tapestry needle into your work starting at the edge and working in or along the edge (depends on where it can best be hidden). As you poke your needle in the fabric, if you see large parts of your needle through your work, you should pull the needle out and try again.
The goal here is to really bury the yarn inside the fabric. For crochet fabrics, this is a bit easier due to the thickness of crochet. I often hide loose ends in the insides of a row of single crochet, or along the base of a row of double crochet stitches. For knitting, I often split the yarn and hide the loose end that way.
I recommend weaving in the loose end for about 2" in one direction, then changing directions and weaving in the loose end another 2". This sounds like a lot, but I believe it's necessary to ensure that that loose end will never worm itself out enough to cause anything to unravel. This is especially important if the yarn is a slipperly silk or rayon blend.
Be sure to hide each loose end in its same color area. And if you are hiding loose ends near a seam, just hide the end in the inside of the seam.
Hope that answers your questions!
Do you have a knitting or crochet question for SweaterBabe? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not post it as a comment here. Unfortunately, not all questions can be answered due to the large volume of questions, but many are chosen and answered here on the Blog and through the SweaterBabe.com newsletters. Thanks!