How do you join and weave yarn tails in?

Weaving yarn tail in can be really boring. I don’t like doing it either. But I have found a very easy way to do it "as you go": to crochet and to weave ends in at the same time!

Invisible Join in Crochet
Once on a craft forum I read a personal opinion of one woman. She wrote she does not like making mandalas because she is not fond of weaving yarn tails in… Yes, that’s true! When you practice overlay crochet with color changes on every round, you get hundreds of yarn tails which you have to weave in.

I learned Overlay Crochet nearly at the same time as Tapestry Crochet and from the very beginning I had a feeling I would like to combine two techniques in one project. But naturally I started to use tapestry method for weaving in yarn tails.

While doing tapestry crochet you should deal with yarns of few colors at the same time: the tail of one (or few) yarn is carried while another yarn is single crocheted in the ordinary way.

Let’s see it on example.

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Attaching new yarn

When you need to attach new yarn to crochet next round, simply pull a loop of new color in indicated stitch and make a ch, which will count as the first sc of the round. I love this way of joining yarn as it helps to avoid unstable knots. And additionally it helps to keep your stitch count perfect thanks to Needle Join method which will be described below.

1. So you pull a loop of new color in the indicated st and make a ch.

2. Now you should carry the “tail” of attached yarn and crochet it into single crochet stitches. So you just lay the tail over the stitches of previous round and single crochet across as usual, crocheting under and over the thread.

3. If done correctly, the carried thread will not be visible from the back or front of the work.

Now you can see that one tail is already woven in. If you still have a short tail visible on the wrong side, you can just cut it close to the work’s surface.

After the round is finished, you should join it. There are many ways of doing it but I like Needle Join (or Invisible Join) method most of all, as it helps to make joining sections invisible and to keep perfect stitch count. The only thing I don’t like is that you should use a needle to join. And it may also be so boring, at least for me. So I started to use the hook instead of needle.

1. When your round is finished, fasten yarn off leaving an approx. 10 cm (4 inches) long tail. Insert hook under “V” (both loops) of the indicated st from the back to front, yo the yarn tail and pull it through lps. Usually Needle Join is made is the first st of the round coming after first ch1.

2. Then insert hook under BL of the last stitch of the last rnd from back to front, yo the yarn tail and pull it through BL.

If you use this technique, you give the chain stitch at the beginning of the round its back and front loops, and now it will be just a normal sc of the round!

Use the hook to weave in yarn tail which was left after joining. I usually weave it through back loops of the stitches of the round just made. And this weaving will be over crocheted by the stitches of coming round.

All done! Two tails are woven, you did not have to use the needle, you saved lots of time and the wrong side of your work looks neat. I hope this post was useful for you. Please, feel free to comment and tell about your own ways of joining and weaving in yarn tails!

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18 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this tutorial, it is very well written and the photos are so handy. I think I will steal your technique going forward!

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  2. You are very welcome to steal it! :) I think it saves so much time for crochet itself (instead of weaving boring yarn tails).

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  3. Wow! It's not so difficult as it seems looking at your works!!! Thanks for sharing your experience! It's really inspiring!)) I'm totally in love with your mandalas!

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    1. Thank you! :) Yes, indeed. Once you understand how it is done - everything becomes very easy.

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  4. Thank you for your articles on Crochet Overlay. I am so interested in creating an crochet overlay creation of my own and am learning little by little. Thank you so much. Rebecca

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  5. Thank you!!! I love to learn new tricks! I'm doing your new mystery CAL! Waiting for yarn to come to me.

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  6. Thankyou I also love learning & have heard of such techniques but never found such a fabulous set of instructions. Cheers, my leftover yarn is waiting & I'm ready to have a go at your CAL 😊

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  7. So nicely explained....thank you,Lilla.

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  8. Thank you so much for the beautifully written and highly encouraging article! I'm so excited to learn more about this technique and give it a try myself.

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    1. Tammy you should definitely try it. In my opinion every crocheter should try overlay crochet. It is so beautiful and the possibilities are endless!

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  9. This works well... (Have to admit, I've done it for years, but thought I was cheating! LOL) BUT it isn't so effective when trying to hide ends with overlay chain stitches or with surface attached chain loops
    . How do you handle the pesky ends in those circumstances?

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  10. I love this method. I am almost finished with Joanna's Mandala and it is the first time I have used the needle join. It creates such a seamless finish. My only concern is blocking. What methods do you suggest for your mandalas? I have never had to block before and I don't want to mess it up! Thanks!

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    1. You can do either wet blocking or spray blocking. Both methods are almost the same, but the difference is in how you make your projest wet. The danger of spray blocking is that shades can start running into each other after being sprayed. Unfortunately I don't have any tutorials about blocking myself (maybe I should create one). But you can google "wet blocking" and you will for sure come up with many tips and trickes :)

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  11. Hi Tatsiana, to be on the safe side, how many stitches do you weave your yarn tail through? Thanks.

    "Use the hook to weave in yarn tail which was left after joining. I usually weave it through back loops of the stitches of the round just made."

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    1. To be on the safe side leave a 15cm tail and weave it in entirely.

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  12. I love this method, and once I learned how to do it, I use it anytime I need to finish a round and start a new color.
    I use another trick when I have to start a new color: Using my hook I pull a loop of the new color through the stitch (i.e., under the front and back loops) indicated for the join. I then use both strands of the new color to work the next few stitches, instead of only using the strand from the skein and leaving the other one to be woven in. While this creates a few thick stitches, I have found that these thicker stitches are generally hidden by the next row of stitches :)

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