Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Fasten a Thread without Knots

It's cold and wet and cold. Bleeaah. I really prefer it when it's not cold and wet. This is why I decided, many years ago, that on March 1st winter is officially over, and any coldness or rain that happen after March 1st are merely accidental and completely out of context.

So as of today, there are exactly four (4!) more weeks to my official End of Winter. The countdown has begun!

I'm spending a lot of time indoors, crafting all kinds of creatures. I don't know if i mentioned it here, but i learned the basics of crochet mainly by watching youtube tutorials, and then just fooled around and played with it until i started making my own Things. As i don't have any formal or methodical education on the subject, i often run into Problems that require Solving, and just try to find solutions that are sometimes improvised. Along my way, i have picked and gathered several tricks that i like using in my work.

One of those problems was how to fasten my thread after sewing: what to do with my thread when i'm done sewing and want to secure it and cut off.

At first i used to knot it and hide the ends somehow. But i really dislike knotting. It always makes me feel like i'm cheating: it's just a tiny knot, what if it somehow comes apart? what if i don't hide it well enough? So i looked for other methods.

This is a trick i picked up from embroidery HowTo's (in the times when, ecstatic with my success at crochet, i developed grandeur illusions and thought i might give embroidery a try as well. Ha, very funny indeed). What i like about it is that it makes use of the natural resources that are already around, and at the same time relieves you from ugly and awkward knots. I find it to be a very elegant way to secure and finish your sewing.

It usually requires you have access to both sides of your work (right side and wrong side). You can do this right-side only if you have to, but only if the thread you're sewing with is of the same color as the fabric - otherwise it will show.

This is what you do:

Let's say you sewed some feature to your main work. Here is the wrong side of my work, after i finished sewing something yellow to it:

Now what do i do with this yellow thread? ah-ha! here it is:
I weave my yellow thread through any 3 stitches   -

But i use the needle to pick only through those loops on my side of the work, making sure the yellow thread does not show on the right side. see here:

This is my yellow thread going through those 3 stitches -

Now i thread back, but skip a stitch, so that i only thread through two stitches, and my yellow thread is anchored on that stitch i skipped:

See that red stitch on the right, holding down the yellow thread? This anchors the thread in place:

And now one last time, skipping one stitch and going through the next:

And that's it!

If the wrong side of your project is going to be hidden, you can leave it at that - those two yellow tails won't harm anyone. If this side will remain visible, you can just weave in those end, as you would normally do. 

No knots. No cheating.

No knots!!!

These pictures, by the way, are a part of my new bird tutorial - a very thorough and detailed step-by-step guide to make these - my silly birds.

But not everybody is against knots. Here's someone who seems to like them. In fact, seems to be trying to knot itself up:

What's on the right?!

And if we're at anemones, i have to show off the ones that were first to open this winter -

Keep warm and do fun stuff. And if you dislike the cold, you are welcome to join me in the spring countdown!

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