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To begin the tale … What Good is a Tail of Yarn?

Finishing as an in-process activity: Good uses for yarn tails
by Jackie E-S

To begin your knitting project, there is always some kind of cast on. Whatever the type cast on you use – be it long tail, a knitted-on type such as cable cast on, a provisional (temporary) type, etc., do you consider what is eventually going to happen to the tail of yarn that is left over? Instead of it being an afterthought, why not put that tail to use!

  1. Sometimes it is helpful for later purposes, to consider how much of a tail to allow for. If you are knitting flat and will be seaming the piece, allow a long enough tail for seaming. You can even leave some extra to be loosely incorporated into the seam, and thus have a ready supply of repair yarn if needed later in the life of your sweater, etc.
  2. For knitting in the round, the tail can be used to mark the beginning/end of the round. Just carry the tail up with the knitting every few rounds and let it hang down in front between the first and last sts of the round.
  3. On samples, put as many overhand knots in the tail corresponding to the needle size in your sample. This works best for needle sizes given in whole numbers – be inventive if you have fractions. If you use progressively different needle sizes in your sample, this isn't totally relevant. But it can still be convenient to record your starting needle size in this way.

This is continuing article series about making the finishing steps of your knitting project easier and seem effortless. Check the Index of Jackie E-S Articles & Tips for more articles you may have missed.

Thank you for interest. I am here to serve you and help keep your knitting a pleasurable experience. If you have questions or need assistance with purchasing or knitting my HeartStrings patterns, let me know. Sincerely, Jackie E-S

Email address: jackie@heartstringsfiberarts.com
Phone: 678-262-6338 or 877-764-2747 (toll-free in US)
Postal address: HeartStrings, Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, 53 Parlange Drive, Destrehan LA 70047-2133 USA

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Last revised Wednesday, 23-Jan-2013 09:22:02 CST