I know that some knitters hate finishing, but for me, it really is one of the great pleasures of producing a garment. How I enjoy trimming a steek. . .

. . . grafting a shoulder seam so that it matches in pattern . . .

. . . finding a nifty way to create a neat facing when you can’t use a tubular cast-on. . .


(viz: keep the stitches live, thread onto long length of waste yarn; pin out; use right end of waste yarn to sew down each live stitch in turn, removing left end as you go)

. . . admiring the satisfying result from the right side . . .

. . . . . but the finishing is not quite finished yet . . .

. . . first I have to pick up stitches along the turned edge of the facing to add an edging. . .

Yes, I’ll be going for a predictable i-cord finish as Schleck and his pals speed down the Champs-Élysées.

43 thoughts on “home straight

  1. I think I hate finishing because it’s so loaded. Do it badly and your garment is done for. I’m not good at it, I get frustrated and am not as careful as I should be…

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  2. Immaculate representation. I have yet to learn to steek, and need to learn how to do this live stitch method of which you demonstrate. Thank you for putting this information out there for us to see. Such a fine sweater ! You’re amazing Kate Davies.

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  3. Hi Kate!
    Have you ever considered writing a book on knitting, including finishing techniques and perhaps some patterns to use as “guides”?
    In the meanwhile, in which books could we find some of your knowledge on knitting? Which is your Bible?
    Love to you, Tom and Bruce

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  4. I’m in complete agreement with you. There’s something very satisfying seeing a knitted object go from a mess of ends to a neat finished product.

    Can’t wait to see the finished project, the colours are beautiful.

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  5. Brilliant–and I’m sure finishing work is all the better for your love of it. Myself, I have such a hard time with finishing, and I’m not much good at it, but can’t tell which is the chicken and which the egg.

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  6. Always impressed and inspired(though relatively new to your world) by you and your beautiful work. I thought of you this week as I learned Continental knitting in a class and have been struggling and improving with it each time I pick up my needles. I’ve also taken to looking up Edinburgh on my iPhone maps; seeing its position in the world, taking little cartographic journeys over there with the aid of this electronic toy. Perhaps someday I’ll visit over there. Bonne chance avec votre beau pull– Bravo!

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  7. How truly pleasing this looks! My current finishing mostly involves trying to work out the strange thing I have done in my sock so that I can correct it and proceed to a fine afterthought heel. This looks gorgeous though and I love your attention to quality and detail!

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  8. Beautiful work Kate. I do envy your skill. I’ve taken up knitting again after many years and its like starting from scratch but I’m slowly plodding on in the hope that I’ll actually
    be pleased with the finished result.

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  9. I’m with you…I love finding the perfect ways to finish off a handknit piece! A little bit of attention to detail can go such a long way. I can’t wait to see more of the sweater in these photos!

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  10. The photos are like knitting burlesque…a bit of teasing reveal.
    Even without seeing the whole finished object, the wonderful work-woman-ship is evident. Just beautiful!

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  11. I’m with you on the joys of proper finishing. I love pulling a seam closed and watching it disappear, and sewing in a sleeve and having it lie flat and perfect. It’s alchemy, each and every time.

    Can’t wait to see your finished sweater!

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  12. Kate, I am just /hopping/ in anticipation of what this jersey will turn out to look like– can’t wait to see it! (And would prefer the modeled shots to be accompanied by some sort of excellent, fun, cycling-related news: ‘Tom & I are off to bike-tour around the UK for a month,’ or somesuch.)

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  13. I completely agree about finishing. The weird part is that just yesterday and today I’m doing all the finishing on Maggie’s vest, which is eerily similar to your sweater. No i-cord here, though. I’ll take some pictures for proof, later. There must have been a thread connecting us, these past few weeks. Seriously, it’s eerie.

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  14. I can’t wait to see a picture of the finished article on (you?)
    The shoulder seams had me ooohing and arrring! Beautiful attention to detail.

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  15. As a somewhat newbie, or perhaps “born again” knitter I am in awe of your finishing and have to find out about the techniques you describe – truly awesome! I hope that you are continuing to recover well – your blog has been an inspiration to me as I’ve recovered from my own spinal surgery. Thank you. Linda

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