Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Is it Ever Okay to Tie Knots in Crochet?


Okay, so I'm going to admit something to you. I have a pet peeve... I can't stand it when I'm asked to tie knots while working on a crochet project. Different folks have different ideas about when it is or is not a good idea to tie knots in your yarn, but my opinion is that it should be avoided if at all possible. Why avoid tying knots? They just aren't as stable and lasting as they look.

Consider shoelaces. How may times have you worn a pair of shoes only to have them continually come untied throughout the day? Ditto for pajama pant cinches, sweatshirt hood pulls, and bathing suit ties. The knots seem so secure when you've just tugged on them, but they inevitably wiggle undone. The same principal applies in crochet. It may seem like your tied yarn ends will never come apart, but they will, especially if the item is going to end up going through the wash. Whether you're changing colors or adding a new skein to your project, don't just tie a knot. Take the time to do a Russian join or a proper color change on the last step of your last stitch with the old color. Then crochet over or weave in your ends appropriately. If you're not sure how to do something, remember you can always search online for tutorials. There are lots of people out there who can help!

If you really feel that you must tie a knot, here are a few occasions where the consequences will be less disastrous:

- You are crocheting an amigurumi and the knots will be on the inside of the animal

- You are making some kind of decorative item that will not be touched often, like an ornament or garland

- You are employing the cut-and-tie method of color changing to make a complex tapestry crochet wall hanging

Here's one final note on knots. If you're going to tie one, alternate which end you lead with. So if you start your first knot with the right strand over the left strand, start your second reinforcer-knot by putting the left strand over the right. That will make a tighter and more stable set of knots than simply tying with the same end leading over and over.

How do you feel about tying knots in crochet?

8 comments:

  1. I don't like knots, either, but sometimes they are the most expedient method (yes, I'm sometimes lazy). On your final note, I don't see how alternating the top yarn will make any difference in stability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting! When you alternate leading ends in knot tying then the two knots come together to form an individual, more secure type of knot. If you lead with the same end then all of those knots are individual knots that are more likely to become undone one by one.

      Delete
  2. Totally agree - whenever I receive yarncrafted gifts and I find a loose thread, it is usually a knot that has come undone by itself or had its ends cut too close to the knot, causing it to come undone. Even when knots don't come undone, they have a habit of poking through between the stitches onto the right side of the work. Leaving long ends and weaving them in properly is much neater.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, one of the reasons I feel this way about knots is that I used to tie them when I first learned to crochet. Some of those early projects have come undone :/

      Delete
  3. I know that a lot of people feel this way but I always put knots in my crochet and have never had problems with it even though my items are well-worn and frequently used! I love your tip for alternating the lead end of the knot. I typically put 2-3 knots and leave a long end to weave end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll have to share the details of your technique, Kathryn, for those of us who suffer knots coming undone! :-)
      It was interesting to read about the situations where knots can be useful. Always something new to learn and discover with crochet!

      Delete
    2. Yes, no matter what my opinion is, people should definitely do what works for them! It sounds like if you're knot tying AND weaving in then your ends are likely quite secure :)

      Delete
  4. Sometimes it depends on the stitch. I'm working on a Solomon's Knot project right now and there really aren't stitches to weave ends under without being seen, so tying an invisible double knot is the best way to add a new yarn. Also, if you are working with lace weight and beads, a double knot is so fine that it isn't going to show in the project. I used to be all anti-knots, but as I try new things, sometimes I need to break my own rules to do what is best for the project and the yarn.

    ReplyDelete

Please share! Note that due to spam moderation there is a delay in comment posting.