Fine Finishing — Making Choices

Filed in Uncategorized by on April 30, 2010 0 Comments

I once heard said (and I quote it often), that really good sweater finishing starts at the beginning of the project, not just at the end.  I loved this, because it is so true and unfortunately, many knitters miss that critical point.  Although we call it finishing, because it is the processes and activities around the last steps of the project, the choices we make much earlier really have a huge impact.

It starts with the cast on.  Are you going to use your standard utilitarian one that you use for most projects, or is there another choice that might be better in this case?  (Yes — there are lots of choices here and if that is news, you need to see about taking a class on cast on options or do some research in a detailed reference book).  If your cast on looks different on each side, which side will be the public side for this project (and make sure you are consistent throughout the project)?

Then there are choices within the knitting itself.  Are you going to use a selvage edge and if so, which one and why?  If you are mirroring your decreases (which I VERY HIGHLY recommend) are they leaning in toward the bulk of the fabric or out toward the edge of the fabric?  If the garment has shoulder shaping, are you using stair step bind offs or short rows and does it make a difference in some critical way?

And then there is all of the stuff we actually think of as finishing.  How are the edges going to be done and attached? What is your seaming method of choice?  (Yes — there are choices here too).  How is the garment being blocked?  And in fact, all of these last things are often directed by the choices we made above.

So if you want your finishing to be good, pay careful attention during the last phase of the project.  If you want your finishing to be GREAT (and honestly much easier to deal with), pay attention to the choices you make throughout the entire project and know that they will probably change from one project to the next!

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