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December 14, 2011 / KristenMakes

Cadence KAL: Finishing your Knit!

OK, so my Cadence is done being knitted, but  it still looks messy.  I’ve got yarn ends trailing, puckering fabric, wavy lace – can I fix it?  YES!  And quite easily too.  I’m going to share 4 main problems in our knits that you can fix to make your knit look clean and professional.

First off, you can see that where you have a messy edge where you began or ended.  Next we have an underarm with some loose stitches.  Lastly, the lace and the stockinette fabric look a bit uneven.  All of these can be fixed!  Now you may like this homemade feel to it and that is perfectly fine!  Personally for me, I like to see how clean and professional my knits can be, perhaps to dispel any preconceptions about knits being a nasty, scratchy, homemade mess.  And it is quite amazing the difference a bit of finishing can make!


Now grab your darning needle (see my favourite needle above!) and some sharp tiny scissors and let’s get started.

Messy Slip-Knot

The guide above shows the method that works best for me for neatening up that join.  There is no exact formula to follow and it takes TIME & REPETITION more than anything else to really master this.  It’s just about using the needle and tail to catch on the neighbouring stitches to make it look orderly; practising this will help your eyes to recognise which stitches to pick.

Gaping Underarm

Now the gaping underarm is a bit trickier because there is more than one stitch to fix.  The best method is to go one at a time, and again picking the stitches above and below the loose stitch to tighten and hide it.

weaving in ends

After all bits have been neatened up, hide all those ends!  There are other ways of course to weave in ends, but this is my tried and true method, at least on the purl side of the fabric.  There is nothing more satisfying at the end of this step than this image:


The pile of ends!


Alright nearly there.  The jumper looks nice and neat but the fabric and lace are still a bit, um, unsettled.  Blocking, the next step, is sooooo important, but many people skip it.  I love the finished, soft, clean look of a dried, blocked woollen so I pretty much always take the time to block.  Now, different fibres require different types of care so do consult the yarn ball band act accordingly.  For example, silk should really be steamed rather than soaked.


Now mine is knitted from wool so I like to let it soak in lukewarm –to-warm water with a bit of mild soap/shampoo/conditioner/fabric softener/specialty hand-knit soak.  Any of those will work.  I usually use the last one, the hand-knit soak because you do not have to rinse it out (see above).


Now jumpers take FOREVER to dry and you need to keep checking on it, replacing the towel, turning the jumper over for the underside to dry, etc.  Certain fibres have a tendency to stretch (like alpaca or silk) so be careful to not let the weight of the soaked jumper weigh it down and stretch it out.  In these cases it is especially important to let it dry completely.

When it is completely dry, you are finished!  Let’s see your finished Cadences!  Add the pictures to the Flickr group and show it off!


More pics and a wrap-up in the next KAL post.   Happy knitting!


Leave a Comment
  1. Sarah / Dec 14 2011 11:44 am

    Oh, Kristen! It’s so gorgeous!!! Thank you so much for writing such a terrific post on finishing. I’ve bookmarked it for reference. 🙂

    As always, you inspire me to be a better knitter. I will tackle Cadence and I think I’ll make it tunic length, too.

  2. Ali / Dec 15 2011 1:05 am

    thanks for this helpful post, kristen! even though i just started knitting my ambitions are waaay bigger than my skill and i’m sure this’ll come in handy if ever a finished sweater emerges from my knitting needles 🙂

    btw, i wanted to say lovely website!!

  3. Noas' libellule / Dec 15 2011 11:56 am

    that is so helpful! I finished Cadence… the reason why I have not posted about it is that it is WAY too big for me… and it is looking at me every day and I don’t know what to do with it…

  4. didyoumakethat / Dec 15 2011 12:07 pm

    A really useful blog post. Thank you! Must have taken a lot of time and work.

  5. Stephanie / Dec 20 2011 10:06 pm

    Yay! I finally finished knitting the sweater and this post was invaluable. It looks so much better and I haven’t even blocked it yet! Thanks so much for hosting this knit along. 🙂

  6. Candi / Jan 22 2013 2:12 pm

    My favorite part of this tutorial on finishing is the realization that I have not been doing my underarms wrong at all, I have always thought I messed up which is why my underarm gapes. But seeing that yours do to sometimes gives me so much confidence, thank you so much!

  7. Judy / Jan 28 2013 4:57 pm

    Love the info. Where did you get the pattern. I’m looking for something special to make my grandaughter for her birthday.

  8. KristenMakes / Feb 5 2013 4:21 pm

    Thanks Judy! Its a free pattern from here!

  9. KristenMakes / Feb 5 2013 4:24 pm

    Haha, Candy, that is perfect. I got to a point where I thought “Well I may be doing armholes wrong, but I’ll just have to find a way to fix them!” Then later I realised, like you, that I wasn’t doing anything wrong, its just a gappy place! What a lovely comment, thanks!

  10. Jessica / Jan 16 2015 6:08 pm

    Thanks for this post! Very helpful


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