How to fasten off yarn in crochet

When you finish a crochet piece, you’ll need to fasten it off so that the stitches won’t unravel. Depending on if you’re finishing a flat piece, open piece, or closed piece, there are different methods to fasten off and hide the extra yarn.

Regular fasten off

Most crochet work uses this method to secure the yarn. Once you’ve finished your last stitch, cut the yarn to make a tail.

How much yarn should you leave? It depends. If you’re planning to hide the yarn tail, which is called weaving in the yarn tail, leave enough so you can comfortably thread a needle and weave in the tail. If you’re going to join this piece to another, leave enough yarn to do that and weave in the remaining tail.

Yarn over hook

1. Finish your last stitch, and yarn over.

Pull yarn through loop on hook

2. Pull the yarn all the way through the loop on the hook.

Open piece with fastened off yarn tail

3. You’ll be left with a knot in the yarn

Finish an open piece

For amigurumi pieces that will be sewn onto another piece, there’s a slightly smoother way to finish the piece. Like the regular fasten off, once you’ve finished your last stitch, cut the yarn to make a tail. Remember to leave a tail long enough so that you can use it to sew this open piece onto another piece.

Yarn over

1. Insert the hook into the next stitch, and yarn over.

Pull yarn through loop

2. Pull the yarn through the stitch and the loop on the hook. This is called a slip stitch.

Fasten off close-up

3. Keep pulling the yarn until the yarn tail comes out the other end. This will be the yarn you use to attach this piece to another piece.

Finish a closed piece

Pull yarn through loop in center of closed piece

1. Cut the yarn to make a tail, and pull it completely through the remaining loops on your hook from the last stitch.

Insert needle from outside in of back loop

2. Thread a needle and insert it through the front loop of the next stitch, towards the center of the work. Pull the yarn tight.

Insert needle from outside in of back loop of each stitch in last round

3. Repeat step #2 in the stitch immediately to its left.

Fastened off closed piece close-up

4. Repeat step #2 in a clockwise order, in as many stitches in the round as necessary to make the gap disappear.

Insert needle through middle of last round and out the other side of the piece

5. Insert the needle in the center of where the gap used to be, and out on the other side of the piece.

Fastened-off yarn tail coming out of a closed piece

6. Pull the yarn tail tight, so that the area you just worked looks smooth. Weave in the yarn tail by inserting the needle into the same point the yarn came out, and out another point on the other side of the piece. Once you’re satisfied, cut the tail as close to the piece as possible, and massage your piece until the tail end disappears.

Finish a flat piece

There’s a different method to weave in the yarn tail of a flat piece. It involves hiding the yarn tail behind a row of stitches, and looping back behind another row of stitches. This will make it impossible for the yarn to move. If there’s a side that’ll be hidden from view, weave in the yarn tail on that side.

Pulling yarn through last loop

1. After your last stitch, cut the yarn. Yarn over, and pull it completely through the loop. This should make a knot.

Inserting needle through a few stitches from last row

2. Thread a tapestry needle with the yarn tail, and insert it behind a few stitches in the last row.

Insert needle into stitch perpendicular to last row

3. Insert the needle behind a vertical stitch, so that you can make your way to the row below.

Insert needle through a few stitches of the row below

4. Insert the needle behind a few stitches in the next row, going in the opposite direction. Trim the yarn tail, and massage your piece until it becomes invisible.