How to Fasten Off in Crochet
As you’re learning how to crochet, it’s all too easy to forget to practice how to finish a crochet project. Because the needlecraft of crochet actually creates a type of fabric, knowing how to end a crochet project is essential to creating a long-lasting project.
When starting new crochet projects, most crafters are full of energy and enthusiasm. It’s crucial to maintain your attention to detail as you finish a crochet project by properly securing your yarn tails.
Without securing your yarn, you run the risk of your hard work unraveling faster than you thought possible!
If you’re wondering how to complete a crochet project that you’ve got laying around, keep reading. This article will cover the following topics:
- How to tie off crochet ends in general terms
- How to fasten off crochet rounds
- How to fasten off a crochet chain
- “Fastening off” versus “finishing off”
- How to finish a crochet blanket
- How to finish a crochet scarf
How to Finish Crochet: The Standard Fastening Off Technique
As you are working through various crochet patterns, you may see the instruction to “fasten off.” Although this can be done in multiple ways (as discussed later in this article), the process of fastening off generally follows the same basic steps.
In simplest terms, fastening off means threading the yarn tail through the last stitch and pulling it tight.
Follow along with the steps below to learn how to end a crochet piece with the standard fastening off technique.
Note: This is frequently used as the method for how to end a crochet row. To learn how fastening off varies in the round and with pieces that require sewing together, read the sections below.
How to tie off crochet:
Image source: Yarnspirations
- Cut the yarn tail, leaving approximately six to eight inches remaining.
- Pull the yarn end through the (last remaining) loop on your crochet hook. This is the step that actually fastens the yarn.
- Pull the yarn gently to tighten. This step is important to keep your work from falling apart without the use of unsightly knots.
This technique works equally well for all the basic crochet stitches including the single crochet, double crochet, half double crochet, and triple crochet.
Learning how to fasten off is just the crocheter’s way of how to tie off crochet stitch. Even if a crochet pattern does not explicitly instruct you to fasten off, use your best judgement to determine whether the piece will be secure without it.
Fastening off is most frequently the technique taught for how to finish a crochet piece, there are other times you will need to fasten off your yarn.
- Changing colors by joining them together
- Adding a new skein of yarn to a project when your previous skein is almost finished
How to Fasten Off Crochet in the Round
Crocheting in the round (or crocheting circles) doesn’t use the standard fastening off technique. Choose from two different fastening off methods in the round: slip stitches and the needle join fasten off.
If you are following a pattern, always join a round according to the instructions. Most crochet pattern designers will indicate which technique to use and where to make the join.
If you’re creating your own project, feel free to choose the joining method depending on your preferences and the project you’re working on.
Image source: Wilmade
Method 1: Slip Stitches
If you already know how to work a slip stitch, then you already know how to close a crochet round. When you’ve finished a crochet round, join it with a slip stitch. Need a quick refresher on how to slip stitch in crochet? Just follow the steps below.
- Finish your crochet round.
- Remove the hook from the last loop.
- Thread the yarn tail through the loop.
- Pull the slip stitch tight until you’ve created a small knot.
Image source: Look At What I Made
The slip stitch method for joining rounds is extremely common and is favored for its convenience. It does create an “extra” stitch that is clearly visible in the finished project.
Method 2: Needle Join (Also Known as the “Invisible Join”)
The second and less commonly used technique for joining crochet rounds is the needle join fastening off technique. This technique doesn’t add an extra knot and is considered a more invisible finishing technique than the slip stitch.
If you’d like to experiment with this technique, check out the instructions below.
- Stop in the last stitch of your round.
- Trim the yarn.
- Thread your yarn tail through the yarn needle.
- With the needle, sew the first and last stitches of the round together. When finished, it should look like a regular crochet stitch.
The invisible join essentially creates a pseudo-stitch that lies over the top of your beginning chain or the first stitch of the round. It takes the place of your first stitch, avoiding the bulky extra stitch created in the slip stitch join.
Image source: Look At What I Made
Unsure which technique you’d prefer to use on your next project? The table below summarizes the main advantages and disadvantages of both methods. Remember to always use the fastening off method recommended by your pattern (if applicable).
Slip Stitch Join
Special Note: Securing Magic Rings
The magic ring (also known as a magic circle) technique is beloved for its ability to create tight rings, which is especially useful in hats, granny squares, and amigurumi projects.
A magic ring that isn’t adequately secured will unravel just like any other foundational crochet circle. Advanced crocheters recommend the triple tuck method to guarantee your magic ring stays put.
Thread the yarn tail end through your yarn needle and secure your magic ring tightly. Create the following three “tucks”:
- Place the first tuck in row one, stitching in the opposite direction of the yarn end. Skip one stitch and thread the needle through the next few stitches.
Image source: Morines Shop
- Work the second tuck in row two, threading the yarn in the opposite direction as in step one. Skip one stitch and run the yarn tail under a few of the next stitches.
Image source: Morines Shop
- The third tuck is also worked into row two but goes in the opposite direction as in step two. Skip one stitch and insert your needle through a few of the next stitches. Pull your yarn tail through.
Image source: Morines Shop
In short, tuck your yarn tail three times, always working in the opposite direction as your previous tuck.
How to End a Crochet Chain
The humble crochet chain is used for more than just the foundational chain. Crochet chains can become baby shoe laces, drawstrings, shirt straps, and much more. With so many versatile uses, it’s essential to fasten off your crochet chains properly.
Image source: Crochet Leaf
- Trim the yarn to approximately three to five inches in length.
- Make another chain stitch and pull the yarn through.
- Keep pulling until the entire yarn tail is through the loop you’ve just created.
- Grab the tail and gently pull to tighten the knot and end your chain.
How to Finish Off a Crochet Project
After you’ve secured your project by fastening off, you will be left with yarn tails dangling from your project. In order for your crochet project to be totally complete, you must also “finish off” the piece by hiding your yarn tails.
Image source: Cherry Heart Crochet Co UK
Despite how similar these two steps sound, they are quite distinct. You will always fasten off your yarn before weaving in your ends. Read the table below for a brief summary of the two processes and how they are related.
|Fastening Off||Finishing Off|
Crocheters can select from several finishing off techniques, ranging from basic (weaving in ends) to advanced (blocking). Different project types generally lend themselves to one method or another.
Not sure how to end a crochet blanket or how to finish a crochet scarf? Read the guides below to discover what advanced crocheters recommend.
How to Finish a Crochet Blanket: Weave in Ends
After determining your preferred method of how to tie off a crochet blanket (using one of the fastenings off techniques, you are ready to finish your blanket.
Image source: Kind of Knit
Because they’re simpler projects, learning how to finish off a crochet blanket only requires the basic technique of weaving in ends.
To weave in your ends, you will need the following items:
- Darning or yarn needle
- Flexible fabric glue (optional, to further secure ends after weaving in)
- You’re (almost) finished crochet project
Before weaving in your ends, tighten any knots you make while fastening off your yarn. Then follow the steps below to weave in your ends for a smooth finished look.
- Thread your yarn end through your yarn needle.
- Using the needle, sew the yarn end through your work in one direction. Tip: move the needle in the same direction as the stitches in that area. This helps make the ends less noticeable.
- After stitching for approximately an inch in one direction, move the yarn tail back through the work in the opposite direction.
- (Optional) Place a small drop of flexible fabric glue to the very end of the yarn tail to provide extra security.
You can also use these steps if you’re wondering how to finish a crochet square.
Tip: Whenever possible, stitch into the “wrong side” of your crochet work. You can also add another element, such as an applique or a custom care label over any areas you’d prefer to hide.
How to End a Crochet Scarf: Weave in Ends at the Edge
Since scarves are another fairly basic crochet project, experienced crocheters recommend weaving in ends to finish off scarves. Often finishing off a scarf will involve weaving in ends towards the edge of the project.
Image source: All Free Crochet
You can follow the exact same steps as weaving in edges in a blanket, but the crochet community has discovered special tips and tricks for weaving in yarn ends near a project edge. Following this advice will improve the finished look of your scarf.
The instructions below teach you how to hide the yarn ends of two different colors. We will keep the yarn tails under the yarn of the same color for a better-finished look.
- Tighten up the joins holding the two yarn colors together.
- Identify where you want to hide each yarn end. It’s recommended to hide each tail under the same (or similar) color to keep the finish invisible.
- Pass the yarn end through the first and second stitch closest to the knot or join.
- Thread one end through the yarn needle. Sew the end into the side of the project you identified in step two. Weave between existing stitches, switching to opposite directions.
- Trim remaining ends once you feel that that yarn end is sufficiently secure.
- Repeat steps four and five with the other yarn end.
Tips: Whenever possible, weave in the yarn ends on the “wrong” side of the project. You can also add a woven label or a hang tag where you finished off.