You might have heard the phrase “reading your knitting.” Perhaps you’ve even heard me use it. What does it mean and why is it important?
I prefer to think of reading my knitting as answering the question, “Where is my yarn at?” The idea is that if you understand the path your yarn takes to make a knit fabric, you can use that knowledge to fix mistakes, graft, weave in ends, and better understand charts. I think weaving in ends is a great way to see how yarn makes Stockinette stitch, because when you weave in an end you’re following the yarn’s path. Here’s the reverse side of some Stockinette stitch (because you’ll be weaving ends on the back in most cases). I’ve make some markings along a row that indicate where your yarn is at.
The solid lines show the yarn you see for the row; the dotted lines show where the yarn goes behind the strands from the row above and below it. This is the path you want to trace when you weave in ends.
Follow the curve of the stitches as drawn above with your needle. You’ll go around the top curve of one stitch, then back through the previous middle stitch.
Then you’ll go around the bottom curve of the next stitch, and then back through the previous middle stitch.
Repeat this, pulling the yarn tight but not too tight; you don’t want the knitting to pucker.
When you’ve woven in the ends for about 2 inches (I recommend more if your yarn is slippery, like silk or a silk blend), cut the ends short, but not too short. If you don’t leave a little tail, the ends will pop right through to the front of your work.
And here’s the front: Your ends are secure, and you can barely see the ends you’ve woven in, even with green yarn woven into pink knitting (which you likely won’t be doing).
Now, secure those ends and embrace finishing techniques! YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR YARN IS AT!