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.
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.
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.
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!