When You Run Out Of Tail – Tricks For Casting On And Weaving In Short Ends

short silver fish tail
Oops! Your Tail Is Too Short!

It happens. Sometimes, you run out of tail! When casting on 180 stitches for a sweater, you run out of tail at stitch number 175. Aarrgh!

But don't worry - you do not have to start your long-tail cast-on over.

You can just use the backwards-loop cast-on for the last few stitches - save your knitting and your sanity!

Because a backwards-loop cast-on only uses the working yarn and not the tail, is the easiest way to add stitches in a pinch, whether you are casting on for a sweater or adding extra stitches for a buttonhole or picot bind-off.

Use The Backwards Loop Cast-On To Add Extra Stitches

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Casting On: Backwards Loop Cast-On
It happens. Sometimes, you run out of tail! When casting on 180 stitches for a sweater, you run out of tail at stitch number 175. Aarrgh! But don't worry - you do not have to start your long-tail cast-on over. You can just use the backwards-loop cast-on for the last few stitches - save your knitting

Now that you know the backwards-loop method for emergencies encountered when casting on, here's another sanity-saving trick for the other end of your project.

I know I always tell you to leave a six-inch tail after you bind off, but... Let's say you need to weave in your ends on your knitting but you accidentally have only two inches of tail left to weave in.

That's okay! I have another trick to pass on to you that I'm so glad I discovered.

To Weave A Short Tail, Weave The Tapestry Needle In First, Then Thread The Needle

The trick is to weave the tapestry needle through the stitches before you thread the yarn through - then pull. Here's a short video demonstrating the technique:

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KnitFreedom | Finishing | Weaving in Ends - How to Weave in a Very Short Tail
It happens. Sometimes, you run out of tail! When casting on 180 stitches for a sweater, you run out of tail at stitch number 175. Aarrgh! But don't worry - you do not have to start your long-tail cast-on over. You can just use the backwards-loop cast-on for the last few stitches - save your knitting

See? Now even if you have too short of a tail, you can still weave it in securely and correctly, just by inserting your tapestry needle before threading it.

Related Tutorials:

If you like these tips for casting on and weaving in short ends, let me know by leaving a comment.

Videos from this post:

BLCO – Backwards Loop Cast-On

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How to Weave in a Very Short Tail/Short Ends
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How to Weave in a Very Short Tail/Short Ends
How to Weave in a Very Short Tail/Short Ends - youtube Video

Resources referenced in this post:

Related Course: Guide to Cast-Ons

"If you're one of those knitters who likes to find out the best way to do things, this video series is definitely for you." -Sarah E. White, Editor of About.com Knitting

Learn 50 unique ways to start your knitted projects, using stretchy cast-ons, invisible cast-ons, center-start cast-ons, and more.




4 thoughts on “When You Run Out Of Tail – Tricks For Casting On And Weaving In Short Ends”

  1. Adding knitted on stitches when running out of yarn in a long-tail cast on is brilliant! Only a great mind can come up with a no-brainer idea like this. This could change my creative life. Thank you. Have you got any thoughts on how change glasses when you are driving?

    1. Hooray! I’m so glad you found me. I love your sense of humor. Thank you for making me laugh! I hope you sign up for the newsletter so you continue to get cool tips and tricks like this.

      Thanks so much for your comment and I hope to see you soon!

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