PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Fastening Off

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/fastenoff

Fastening off neatly can make the difference between a really nice finish and a messy look. Most crochet patterns will just tell you to “fasten off”, “finish off” or even just to “FO”, with no explanation of what that actually means! There is no one definitive answer for how to finish the ends, so I’m going to cover a few options that you may find useful.

I’m going to cover three different scenarios in this tutorial:

  1. Closing up a piece
  2. Finishing an open edge that will be joined to another piece
  3. Finishing an open edge that will be visible (Invisible Finish)


Closing up a piece

crochet - fastening off by planetjune

When you’ve finished the last round, you’ll probably have about 6 sts left in a ring (this will vary depending on your pattern). There are several methods you can use to close up that last gap:

crochet - fastening off by planetjune Weave through front loops: Cut the yarn leaving a long yarn end, then draw the cut end through the last loop and pull tight. Thread the yarn end through a yarn needle and gather the final stitches by weaving the needle through the front loop of each st around the gap. Pull tight to close the gap, then knot the yarn around the post of a stitch.
crochet - fastening off by planetjune Sc2tog across the gap: (skip 1st st, insert hook into 2nd st and draw up a loop, skip 3rd st, insert hook into 4th st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook). Cut the yarn leaving a long yarn end, draw the cut end through the last loop and pull tight to fasten off.
crochet - fastening off by planetjune Spoke stitches through centre: Cut the yarn leaving a long yarn end, then draw the cut end through the last loop and pull tight. Thread the yarn end through a yarn needle and stitch up through a stitch, inserting the needle in the middle of the hole and coming up to the outside, under the ‘V’ of the stitch. Cross to the other side of the ring and repeat. Repeat for as many stitches as desired. Knot the yarn around the post of a stitch.

All methods: Pass the yarn through the inside of the piece and come out on the other side. Pull tight, then snip the end off close to the surface so it will draw back inside the piece.

Which method is best? As you can see from the photos, any of the above methods work, or you could invent one of your own. After careful examination I think the first method (weaving through all the front loops) is the neatest, but it’s a close call. Just experiment and see which finish you like best – the most important thing is that you don’t leave a large hole!

UPDATED: I’ve changed my opinion on closing up a piece! See my Ultimate Finish for Amigurumi for the neatest method, in my opinion.


Finishing an open piece that will be attached to another piece

crochet - fastening off by planetjune crochet - fastening off by planetjune

This is really quick and easy!

Join with a sl st to the next st (this will help to minimize the jog in height if you’ve been working in a spiral, and make it easier to join the piece without leaving a hole). Cut the yarn leaving a long yarn end, draw the cut end through the last loop and pull tight to fasten off.

Leave the yarn end for now – you can use it to stitch the join to the next piece.


Finishing an open piece that will be visible (Invisible Finish)

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/invjoin or www.planetjune.com/invfinish

If you look at the sl st join (marked with an arrow) above, it’s not the neatest join in the world. It doesn’t matter if it will be covered up, but what if you’re making something like a crocheted teacup and that top edge is going to be visible? Here’s a way to create an invisible finish!

Note: For this join to be truly invisible, you need to work in joined rounds, not a spiral (i.e. at the end of each round, join with sl st to next st, and ch 1 to begin the next round). But it also gives a much neater finish to regular spiral-crocheted amigurumi, as I will show below.

(Left handed? Jump down to the lefty version below – it’ll be clearer for you :))

Invisible Finish (right-handed)

crochet - fastening off by planetjune
L: Do not join at the end of the last round. Cut yarn, leaving a long yarn end.
R: Pull on the remaining loop on the hook, increasing its size until the cut end is drawn through to the top.

crochet - fastening off by planetjune
L: Thread cut end onto yarn needle. Insert needle from the back under both loops of the next stitch and pull through – do not draw too tightly.
R: Insert needle back into the middle of the previous stitch, between the two loops, and going down under the front vertical bar of the stitch.

crochet - fastening off by planetjune
L: The loop you have formed (exaggerated in size above so you can see it clearly)
R: Pull the yarn end gently until the loop is the same size as the ‘V’ at the top of all your other stitches.

Draw the yarn end to the inside (or back) of the piece and weave the end through several stitches. Change the direction of your weaving to lock the end in place. Cut yarn end and admire your invisible join!

crochet - fastening off by planetjune

And again for the left handers…

Invisible Finish (left-handed)

crochet - fastening off by planetjune
L: Do not join at the end of the last round. Cut yarn, leaving a long yarn end.
R: Pull on the remaining loop on the hook, increasing its size until the cut end is drawn through to the top.

crochet - fastening off by planetjune
L: Thread cut end onto yarn needle. Insert needle from the back under both loops of the next stitch and pull through – do not draw too tightly.
R: Insert needle back into the middle of the previous stitch, between the two loops, and going down under the front vertical bar of the stitch.

crochet - fastening off by planetjune
L: The loop you have formed (exaggerated in size above so you can see it clearly)
R: Pull the yarn end gently until the loop is the same size as the ‘V’ at the top of all your other stitches.

Draw the yarn end to the inside (or back) of the piece and weave the end through several stitches. Change the direction of your weaving to lock the end in place. Cut yarn end and admire your invisible join!

crochet - fastening off by planetjune

16 Comments »

  1. Blue said

    Oooh! Totally bookmarked, June.

    Thank you!

  2. Bookworm said

    I would love to see this done in a video. I think I get what your saying, but it’s always more clear when you can see it live and happening.

  3. Wow…so simple yet…Wow!

  4. Joanne Davies said

    Hi everyone. This site is so helpful! I’m working on a doll, and the pattern calls for me to go from working in rounds to working in rows. I know in June’s Finishing Tutorial she says … For this join to be truly invisible, you need to work in joined rounds, not a spiral (i.e. at the end of each round, join with sl st to next st, and ch 1 to begin the next round). … but i’m having trouble starting to work in rows after i’ve got a raised up round. does this make sense? Can anyone help me with this? Thanks so much! Joanne

  5. June said

    Joanne: Not quite sure what you’re asking, but I’ll email you – I’m sure we can figure it out :)

  6. [...] Hos "Planet June" – Snygg avslutning (eng) [...]

  7. MELISSA KROLL said

    I love this one. I have been thinking about doing some crocheting of animals and with your site as a guide in the difficult times, I know that I am going to do well.

  8. Suma said

    Hello June!! I like ur blog very much. I am in beginner level but I am able to do well by following ur instructions. Now I started crocheting cute lil animals for my baby.

  9. Amy said

    These look like some very helpful pointers! I’m having trouble with the late one, though (finishing a visible row)… I’m not following what you mean in the second step where you say, “R: Pull on the remaining loop on the hook, increasing its size until the cut end is drawn through to the top.” Do you mean I should pull on the loop to make it bigger and then pull the cut end through the loop? If so, should I pull it tight? Thanks!

    • June said

      Amy, as you pull the loop it will get bigger and the cut end will get shorter. Just keep pulling on the loop until the cut end is pulled right through to the top and the loop becomes one long length of yarn. (It’s easier to do than to describe!) Don’t pull it tight after that: move straight onto the next step.

  10. Julie said

    This blog rocks!!!! I’m trying to learn and the lack of simple instructions to teach is terrible. You are a life saver! Thank you!!!!

  11. Mewsicat said

    This is the clearest ‘invisible fasten off’ I have seen yet! Thanks so much! It works on Granny Squares, too!
    >^,,^<~

  12. Desireepica said

    Hi June!
    Thank you so very much for the instructions. I am making a lalaloopsy doll and had a number of stitches left and did not want to leave a bump on top of her head. Working through the front loops and closing it off really worked! Thank you.

  13. Vickie said

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. This is very simple and makes the finish product beautiful.

  14. When it says to not finish off does it just mean to cut the yarn and
    leave a long end. It’s not clear. Thanks.

    • June said

      Are you talking about a specific pattern, Dorothy? I’m not sure I can answer that without some context… I don’t think I use that phrase in any of my patterns, but, if it is in one of mine, I’d be happy to clarify it for you! If it’s someone else’s pattern and the meaning isn’t clear, you should contact the designer for clarification of what they meant.

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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    June Gilbank
    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!
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