I’m doing a bunch of project finishing, so it seemed appropriate to pass on some finishing tips that anyone can use. Below is what I had at the ready for project finishing of the Windsor Capelette, which had no seaming. Project finishing has been completed and the sample has gone off to Vice Yarn for showing off at trunk shows. Look for the pattern around mid-September (it may be earlier than that). Uses 400 yards of fingering weight yarn for the small and medium. More yarn needed for a longer, larger capelette.
Tools for Project Finishing
- bamboo or wood pins: I like these because they are easy to use with knits, but I don’t have a lot of use for pinning things together. I like to have them handy though and used them to mark my button placement.
- bent tip needle: don’t know what we did without these. Nothing is easier for working in ends or seaming. Nothing.
- dental floss threaders: These work when you can’t get your thread into a suitably skinny needle. I usually just use them for threading beads, but on this project, I actually sewed the buttons on with them. They are inexpensive (especially if your dentist gives them to you!)
- locking pins (plastic): I used these for holding my buttons in place when I got ready to attach them. Perfect for holding two pieces together or marking, these are must haves.
- patience: My usual rule is that when my mind begins to wander I get up and do something else. If I’m on a deadline and need to focus, I set a timer and don’t allow myself any distractions until the timer rings, then I can do something for a short allotted time. But if patience becomes short, get up, check the mail, etc. and come back when you can focus again!
- pattern finishing instructions: Read these through, find answers to the parts that aren’t clear before you get started. Look at photos for clarification, check techniques, get all the information you can. The moment you begin your project finishing is not the time to have your first look at these.
- ruler: I like rulers for precise measurements.
- scissors: Short and sharp are best.
- sewing needles with large eyes: These are usually needed for sewing on buttons. Eye size is usually more important than having a sharp point.
- sewing needles: If you are using thread for something, then the point may be important. I like short needles, but use what you like. If you need a threader, get one of those too.
- table/flat surface: I think this is the most important thing for successful project finishing and may be another reason we don’t like to do it. It is nearly impossible to keep things even and in place if you are working off your lap.
- extra knitting needles in appropriate sizes: You might need these for a trim, or doing a join. Nice to have them handy so you don’t have to hunt them later. A variety of types too.
- stitch markers: If you are picking up stitches or adding trims, you may need these.
- tape measure: Longer lengths need a tape measure, so do curves, or if you need to take any body measurements.
Project Specific Finishing Needs
Of course I had already blocked my pieces, and I had joined the center back (for which I used extra needles for the flat 3-ndl bind off). I had made my I-cord pieces for the button and neck finishes. I also had 7 buttons and a tape label which I put into all my projects. I had an extra button because when I have to get something done I don’t want the finishing to get sidetracked due to a misplaced button.
Other important tools for project finishing can be an audible book or music you enjoy listening to. Some watch TV, but I do my finishing during the day and I only watch TV at night. Finishing is best done at a time of day/night when you are fresh. Of course the best finishing is when it just says: Work in ends. Block. Yay!