From seams to blocking: top finishing tips

Posted by on September 26, 2014, in crochet & knitting, ,

Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

Knit and crochet: top finishing tipsBelieve it or not, finishing is as important for sweaters as it is for blankets, toys, and anything else you knit or crochet! From weaving in the ends to blocking your finished project, we’ve got the know-how you need for success. Check out the super quick guide to finishing techniques below, and then be sure to pin or bookmark this post for future reference.

Knots and Tails: How to Prepare for Finishing

Snip out knots as you go

“When working on your project, you may encounter an irregularity or even a knot in your yarn. Cut before and then restart the yarn beyond the problem area, leaving tails at both ends of the old and the beginning of the new strand. These tails will be woven in later. If you continue and knit the faulty yarn, it could very well open and unravel later.” — From Knitting Circles around Mittens and More

Leave long tails for attaching pieces later

“If the instructions say to “fasten off with long tail,” leave about 12” of yarn before cutting the yarn and pulling it through the last loop. The long tail will be used for attaching your piece to another later on.” — From Modern Baby Crochet

Blocking: Why You Should

“As you crochet, the yarn comes fresh off the skein and gets all worked up into your piece. Over time, the yarn in your stitches will relax, possibly changing the size of your piece. What blocking does is speed up this process.” — From Modern Baby Crochet

Block multiple pieces before assembling

“When making a project that is multiple pieces sewn together, it’s important to block the pieces before you assemble them: when you wash your project, the individual pieces will expand but the seams won’t.” — From Modern Baby Crochet

Seams: How to Attach Multiple Pieces

Weaving non-bulky seams

“Sewing seams in the traditional manner leaves a thick seam, which can limit flexibility and ease of movement. Instead try the following method:

Weaving non-bulky seamsLay the garment edges together, right side up, on a flat surface. With a length of yarn, thread a large-eyed needle with a rounded tip. Begin by inserting the needle under the horizontal bar between the first and second stitches along the edge of one garment piece. Pull the yarn through. Cross over to the corresponding piece and insert the needle under the horizontal bar as for the first piece. Again, pull the length of yarn through firmly. Use just enough tension to draw the pieces together neatly, leaving flexibility in the seam.” — From Paintbox Knits

Kid-Friendly Projects: Special Finishing Techniques

Closing holes in toys and three-dimensional shapes

Closing holes in dimensional shapes“To close holes like the ones on heads and body shapes, start by threading the remaining yarn tail into a tapestry needle. Following the edge of the opening, insert the needle through each space and over the next stitch, effectively winding the tail around the stitches. When you’ve gone all the way around the opening, pull the tail firmly to close the hole (just like you were cinching a drawstring bag closed).” — From Crochet a Zoo

Add cotton lining to baby blankets

Add cotton lining to baby blankets“Adding a lining to a baby blanket can add warmth and softness. Preshrink cotton fabric and cut the fabric to your blanket’s size plus ½” all the way around. Serge edges or fold under ½” all the way around. Pin fabric to the wrong side of the blanket and hand stitch in place with a sewing needle and thread.” — From Crocheted Snugglers

For more finishing techniques and instructions, check out these comprehensive resources:

The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques A to Z of Knitting
All about Crochet A to Z of Crochet

Do you look forward to the finishing? Tell us in the comments!

4 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I crochet, finishing off is no problem.

    —Quilting Tangent on September 26, 2014
  • I positively hate finishing. Some items spend years waiting for finishing.

    —Lynne on September 26, 2014
  • No I don’t always look forward to finishing but I am always so very glad when I do finish something. I have a lot of UFO’s to finish up.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on September 28, 2014
  • Yes, finishing is a "bear", but I love the binding stage in quilting…what a great feeling when binding time is here.

    Dorothy Dishman on April 10, 2015

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