Sunday, August 2, 2015

Splitting the Yarn

Experienced stitchers, including Elizabeth Zimmermann (from whom I read about this), have said there is no wrong technique, just techniques that may be misplaced.  That means that what I did may not be a bad thing, but I just should not have done it right here.  Case in point:  Splitting the yarn.  In stitching, splitting the yarn can make the fabric look sloppy and not-quite-right, while stitching carefully not to split the yarn makes clean, well-defined stitches.  So generally folks say not to split the yarn.

Loose end at end
Beginning tail
And yet:  Splitting the yarn is perfect for tucking in loose ends when the fabric has a loose gauge and the yarn itself is inclined to stay where it is blocked.  

Projects using lacy pattern stitches often have a solid border to give a place for the ends - being careful to have loose ends only along edges that will have that solid stitch border. 

But I have a scarfy thing stitched very loosely - Bernat Handicrafter crochet thread, #5, stitched with a size K/6.5 mm hook, using a chain-1 net stitch.  There are no solid places to tuck in the loose ends.  

So here's how I finished the ends:
Chenille needle

Use a chenille needle.  That's a hand-sewing needle with a sharp point and a big eye.  The eye has to be big enough for the yarn to go through.  The point has to be sharp to split through the yarn of the fabric.

First pass: Run tail through a few strands, splitting the yarn
Thread the needle with the tail - always always leave generous tails to make finishing so much easier.  Start by running the needle along the edge for an inch or two, going through the threads of the fabric.




Second pass back through the thread of the first pass.




Then, make a second pass, back through the thread to where you started.  This part is easier because the needle can just run in the middle of the thread of the first pass.

Trim any excess yarn/thread to finish.

Trim excess to finish.  Where's the end?
Caution:  Fiber content makes a difference.  Lacy things are fun to make out of rayon yarn/thread, which can be really really really slippery.  It may be best to secure the ends with some matching sewing thread, but that's a more complex process.








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