Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And now, the end is near ...

Just how do we know, as we come to the end of our crochet projects, that the end is actually near?  Crochet and knit designer, author, host of  the former Getting Loopy show on Blog Talk Radio, Mary Beth Temple, inquired with her followers on Twitter yesterday: "I am curious, crocheters.  Do you end off, or do you fasten off?  :-)"

I  replied I like using "Ending Off" if the project is complete, meaning you can safely cut the yarn, pull it through the last loop and then begin weaving in the tail.  And more recently, I seem to like using "Fasten Off" if the project is done with the stitch work, but a long tail reserve is needed (for use in joining pieces, or adding finishing touches.)   This was really hard to state in 140 characters or less:

Mary Beth & I continued to exchange tweets yesterday, and that got me to wondering what do the publications from the 1800s, 1900s, and more recent publications state?

I'm still researching the 1800s, but in looking through my private stash of antique patterns from 1900 - 1970s, it seems "Break Off" -- or stating absolutely nothing were the norm.  Those patterns that did not indicate if you were at the end of a pattern put the responsibility of knowing the end is near solely on the crocheter.  Many of my pattern books published since 2000 state to "Fasten Off."

Other terms I've seen used are: "Bind off" (usually associated with the Tunisian technique; Tunisian is a hybrid because it blends the world of crochet & knit together thus the use of the knitting term of 'Bind off'); and then there is "Finish Off" (usually associated with independent patterns I've collected).

Based upon workshops I've taken on Irish crochet, the term "Break Off" refers to the double knotting at the conclusion of crocheting a motif, such as a rose, and then breaking off the thread near the double knot eliminating the need to later weave in ends.

While I continue to research this, readers, do tell, when the end is near, do you ...
  • Bind Off
  • Break Off
  • End Off
  • Fasten Off
  • Finish Off
  • Other (of course, if you select this, you should consider singing along with Frank Sinatra ♫ "...I did it my way!"


Richard Rose said...

Hmmm, an interesting question! I general cut my yarn so I rarely, if ever, "break off", and there always seems to be other things to do after cutting (sewing together, darning in ends, etc) so I would definitely say "finish off".

Anna Murphy said...

It seems that I learned to "finish off". However, I hang around with knitters who also crochet, and they usually say "bind off", out of habit I suppose.