Knitting Finishing Techniques

When we explore knitting finishing techniques, it is most helpful to understand how one defines "finishing".

Common understanding might include:

  • Sew seams
  • Weave in the ends
  • Block

If you have been knitting from patterns for any length of time, you have seen these references in patterns.

Most patterns will not specify how to sew the seams, how to weave in the ends, or how to block the work.

You may have heard knitters comment how much they hate knitting finishing. Once the needles are put down, all of the fun is over. Right?

Here is a secret...

When you learn which techniques work best for the project, each technique becomes another tool to show off your best work and really becomes fun to execute!

For example, do you remember the first time you did a 3 needle bind off. Were you not amazed with the result? Aren't you going to use it wherever you can even if the pattern does not specify it's use? And if you haven't tried this one, click here to learn how.

Seams

The knitting finishing techniques to "sew seams" are very dependent on the type of seam you are dealing with.

The most commonly used are:

Kitchener Stitch is a technique that actually adds a row of knitting between the stitches of two pieces. It is invisible and would best be used where strength is not an issue. It is a bit of a challenge to catch on to, but well worth learning. This one is a must to join (graft) the toe of cuff down socks.

Click here to learn kitchener stitch.

Mattress Stitch joins two pieces of fabric together where it appears seamless! This is often seen in side seams of stockinette stitch. This photo shows it's use in ribbing. The knitting appears contiguous and the seam has a bit of bulk as the selvage stitches end up on the wrong side.

Click here to learn the mattress stitch.

Weave in those dreaded ends!

This is the really final touch for the project you have invested your effort into. It is also dreaded by many knitters. Since the objective is to hide the ends, it seems tedious to some.

The most common method of hiding the ends is by weaving the ends through the seam in a zig-zag pattern.

You may want to try using the duplicate stitch. The duplicate stitch is commonly known for embellishment on the front side of work.

Using it to weave in ends on the wrong side of the fabric is not so well known. Here is another opportunity to impress by mastering this one. It takes a bit of practice to get comfortable with it, but so worth it!

I encourage you to practice this one. You will be quite pleased with yourself when you see the results!

Check it out here.

Block Your Work!

Have you heard "block your work"?

Have you heard block your work before seaming?

Have you heard block your work before weaving in ends?

For the best results, always block your work. For more about blocking, click here.

Blocking your pieces before seaming will really help the seaming process. Having the edges of the pieces flattened and even allows you to see between the edges for a smooth join.

When you see how beautiful the seams look, you will look forward to blocking even if you avoided it in the past.

So why weave in the ends after blocking?

The objective of weaving in the ends is to make sure the ends don't poke through to the front of the fabric. By weaving in the ends after the piece is blocked and seamed, you will easily see if any strays are trying to poke through.

Some of the aversion to the finishing knitting process may be attributed to the simple fact that you may not know about all of the different techniques or how or when to use them.

Try a few knitting finishing techniques that you haven't used before on swatches and see if you don't find it quite fun!

Keep On Knitting!

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