Tuesday Tip: Weaving In Ends — Skimming

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We all know finishing can make a project look “homemade” or “handmade.” I’ve written several Tuesday Tips on seaming. We’ve looked as seaming garter stitch, shoulders, and even tackled the dreaded topic of selvedge edge and mattress stitch. No matter how wonderful your seaming, if your ends are not woven in well, your piece will look homemande. So the question is: how do you weave in ends? The answer is, there is more than one answer . . . so, I am going to devote a few Tuesday tips to the topic of

When Weaving in Ends: Skimming the Yarn

A lot of knitter’s get stuck in a rut of weaving in their ends the same way every time. Most knitters I know were taught only one method, usually weaving in and out of the purl bumps. This will work in a lot of cases, but not all. One case where this can look less than ideal is with a heavier yarn.

Skimming for Heavier Yarns

Here we have a front view of a garter stitch edge knit in an aran weight yarn.

Weaving in Ends skimming

Distorted edge, woven ends stick out.

Here, not only does this method distort the edge, but because the end was woven in right at the edge you can actually see the woven in end poking out the bottom.

Here’s what it looks like on the wrong side of the fabric:

Weaving in Ends skimming

The first thing I did was unpicked the woven in ends. I have two ends that I have to deal with. The tail from the cast on, and the tail from where the red yarn was cut.

Weaving in Ends skimming

Once I picked out the ends, notice how there distortion on the edge is gone


Meet Skimming:

1) Get a sharp needle.

The needle in the picture is a bit too blunt (couldn’t find my sharp needle), but the cotton was a loose ply, so it worked, but a sharp needle is best.

Skimming is done by splitting the plys of the purl bumps.

Weaving in Ends skimming

Split the plys of the purl bumps

2) Change directions, and skim through the stitches on the row below.

Weaving in Ends skimming

Change directions.

3) Clip the tail and repeat for the next tail

Notice by skimming the heads of the stitches, rather then going up and down into the purl bumps, I ams staying away from the very edge
Weaving in Ends skimming

Here’s how it looks on the WS row, notice no distorted edge.

Weaving in Ends skimming

Because the tail is skimming through the back of the work it adds no bulk to the front of the work

Weaving in Ends skimming

Ta Da. No distorted edge or tail peeking out!

For more ways to weave in your ends (and join new balls, and tons more), check out

How to Read Your Knit Stitches

CLICK here for digital download or DVD

To read past Tuesday tips, just click on the Tutorial category of the blog (or here I did it for you!)

If you have a “is there a better way to do that”, or “how do you do that” question, leave me a comment, and I’ll add it to the Tuesday Tip list!

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  • Lorene Frischknecht November 18, 2016   Reply →

    This tip on weaving in ends was very informative and clear. I’ve been having problems with doing just that in my projects, now with this tip of yours, I think I’ll be able to manage it much easier. Thanks so much, Lorie

  • Vickie May 23, 2019   Reply →

    This really helps, thank you. I do have a question though. When I do weave in the ends sometimes those little ends like to poke through the right side even though I do the weaving properly. When I can I try to weave in ends on a seam which is a little thicker but sometimes that’s just not possible. Do you know how I can prevent this from happening? Thanks so much Patty. Vickie D.

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