When you were learning to knit, you may have been told that you should never, ever tie a knot in your knitting. "But why?" you may have asked yourself. "By what other possible means will I begin a new strand of yarn? How will I ensure that it doesn't unravel and make me look foolish as I show it off to my knitting circle?" The reason behind the rule is that as your work is washed, blocked, and worn, knots make stiff nobbly bits in the otherwise uniform drape of your knitting.
You may also have wondered what to do with the tail ends of yarn hanging off the cast-on and bind-off rows. Here's what to do:
(1) When you begin and end your work, and when you add new yarn, make sure that the tails are about 6 inches long. Get yourself a yarn needle (also called a tapestry needle or a blunt needle) and thread the tail through it.
(2) You're going to make that tail invisible by actually following a row of stitches, weaving the yarn into the stitches in the rows above and below. (You're weaving in on the wrong side of the fabric - usually the bumpy purl side.) Have you ever looked closely at the stitch structure? It looks like this: Starting from the right, angle your needle so that it goes up through the bottom-row stitch and then up through the upper-row stitch to its right. Next, go down through the next stitch (the upper-row stitch to its left) and down through the bottom-row stitch to the right (the same one you started on). Go up through the bottom-row stitch to its left . . . and so on.
(3)Way to go, knitter! Now you've gained an understanding of stitch structure and made yourself a really professional-looking project. Give yourself a high-five!