The end(s)

It never ceases to amaze me how often the Yarn Harlot is on topic – we sometimes appear to live in some state of simpatico. Seriously, I often open up my news reader to find that she is discussing something that is currently occupying myself. I have just read yesterday’s post from the harlot’s blog: Revealed. I’s about ends, and the sewing in of same, and how so many knitters dislike the task.

Yesterday evening I sat with my completed Leftie (26 leaves, since you are asking) and sewed in the remaining ends. I began the scarf in an intelligent way and sewed in the ends every few stripes but I seem to have relaxed my attitude towards it somewhere about the mid-point. As  I stitched and clipped I found myself wondering just what is so awful about the job that knitters avoid it. I find it almost Zen-like. It’s a calm and contained process, straightforward and finite. It is rewarding. I stopped every now and then to admire the emerging strip of work with no danglers.

I would not go so far as to say that I love the task, unlike Stephanie’s friend Denny. No, not at all… and this is because I believe that I do not do a very good job of it. I am not sure that anybody ever showed me how. I just fumble and do the best job that I can, though admit that my work is a long way from being invisible even if it is fairly neat. I have often thought that there must be a better way, a “proper” way to do the job.

Often I avoid the ends by joining my yarn mid-work. I have tried spit-felted joins (split and not-split) and Russian needle joins and even (don’t gasp) a knotted join that is quite remarkably effective:

I’m not at all sure that I could be bothered to go this far with every yarn change:

In the old days, when I knitted mostly garments, I swapped new yarn in at the end of the row and simply used it for seaming.

Every now and again though I simply snip the yarn and stop worrying about it. Sewing the ends in is no big deal and takes very little time. But, between my own thoughts and Stephanie’s comments, I was moved today to google up some instructions and now have to admit to you that after all these years of knitting and sewing ends in, I am only now aware that weaving the ends in is meant to be a form of duplicate stitch. From now on in, I expect my ends to be much neater!

During today’s exploration on the topic, I found a new-to-me join, which looks useful especially in fine lace work. The overlap join can be seen here, in TECHknitting.

The Leftie is scheduled for a soak this morning and for blocking this afternoon. I feel vaguely unwell today and have been sneezing my head off, so I am keeping any incipient bugs at home and skipping Spinning Group. That being so, I’ll finish colour-sorting my sock scraps while lunch cooks and the Leftie is soaking. I shall have a clear table to pin the scarf out on, and then I shall continue edging my Flambé while the Leftie dries. I can’t see Flambé being finished today, but should achieve that tomorrow –  if the bugs don’t bite too hard.

After that? I shall have to work hard at not casting  on another Leftie on order to improve my weaving in techniques. Mind you, there are Leftie-inspired mitts in production – I have the first cuff cast on and ready for a stripe. I really need to return to the Aestlight-with-the-yarn-shortage though. January is fast running out. I must do my tax form.

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