Yarn Tails and Working in Ends
Those oh-so-pesky, oh-so-necessary yarn tails! What to do with them???
There are lots of options. This tutorial will show you how to work the beginning yarn tail into the square while you weave, and how to work in the final tail before or after you’ve taken the square off the loom. (See end of post for Additional Resources.)
Remember, you have the option to ignore the yarn tails for now. You can work them in later or use either or both of them for sewing the squares together. It’s common practice to work in the beginning tail and save the end tail for joining the squares. My current preference is to make both tails long enough for sewing the squares together (I leave a beginning tail of 1/2 to 3/4 length around the loom which is the same length I’ll end up with when I’m finished weaving.)
If you’ve decided to work in the yarn tails, you’ll need to NOT tie a knot at the beginning of your work.
(You’ll get a kick out of the demo photos. Same square, same time of night, same lighting, yet they all look different from each other. Enjoy the light show.)
WEAVING THE BEGINNING YARN TAIL IN AS YOU GO
NOTE: I like to work the tail in all the way across the whole row so it looks like part of the design.
For the next step, the trickiest one, I’ve included the same photo twice—the first is the plain photo; in the second I doctored it so you can see the action of the needle a little better. (It’s really hard to get photos of some of these procedures!) Weave row 1 (R1) as usual till the very end.
Continue weaving as usual. When you finish R2 and begin R3, you may have questions about whether the beard should go Over the covers or Under the covers (little joke). I mean, should the yarn tail be caught in the weft loop or left out? I usually leave it out, but for this demo’s sake, I let it get caught in the loop. Ultimately, it doesn’t seem to matter, so it’s your choice. (A photo later on in this post shows the difference between this square and a pink square whose end was left out of the loop.)
That’s how you take care of the beginning yarn tail.
Another option is to leave it hanging in place (without the figure 8 maneuver), then weave it in before you take the square off the loom. In such a case, you can follow the path of L4, R1 and weave along the lower outer edge OR follow the path of L2, R1 and weave horizontally above the lower edge OR follow the path of one of the vertical warps—when using two colors I work the L1 and L3 tails in vertically (see Additional Resources below).
The trick is to not weave the end in on either the horizontal or vertical outside edge by going opposite the strand you’re weaving next to. If you do this and then remove the square from the loom, you’ll find the tail isn’t worked in.
Also, if your work will only show on one side, you can weave the tail in loosely across the back of the square. This keeps it almost entirely invisible.
WORKING IN THE FINAL TAIL
Reminder: this is the end many people use for sewing their squares together. You can work the tail in vertically or horizontally. If working the tail in along the outer edge, don’t weave opposite to the outer strand, follow its same path or the worked-in end will pull right out when you remove the square from the loom.
This demo will show how to work the tail in horizontally while the square is 1) on the loom and 2) off the loom.
1) ON THE LOOM
You’ve finished weaving the square. The tail is at Cr4.
Bring the needle Over the last warp and weave it back into the square following the path of the last L2 weft. (I like the worked-in tails to match with each other, i.e. if I followed the first L2 weft when working in the beginning tail, I follow the last L2 weft when working in the ending tail.)
2) WORKING THE END IN VERTICALLY WITH THE SQUARE OFF THE LOOM
You can work ends in vertically or horizontally both on and off the loom.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES — Two of the blog posts and the second video are somewhat complicated, but you might find them helpful when you want to use more than one color. They’re my older work, so I still had a lot to learn when I wrote and filmed them.
BOOK WEAVE-ALONG: USING 2 COLORS — beginner friendly
Basic Pin Loom Weaving—Working In Yarn Ends — beginner friendly