Reduce Your Finishing Time!!

I really love finishing and handwork, but I don’t like what I call “stupid finishing” where I could have saved myself the work right from the start. So, whenever I can, I weave in my yarn ends as I go. Because I use mostly hand knitting yarns that do not come on big cones, I often have have a lot of ends so this is a huge time saver!

When I reach the end of one ball of yarn, I push a group of 8-10 needles (or more if my hand catches them) out to Holding Position and weave the yarn end over and under the shafts of the needles, close to the bed. 8-10 needles usually translates to about 2″ in the fabric and that is more than enough to secure the ends. I re-thread the carriage from the new ball or another color and then I let the needles knit back to Working Position with the next pass of the carriage. Then, before knitting the second row of the new color/strand, I weave it in the same way.

Depending on how thick the yarn is, I sometimes end one yarn and begin the next at the same time. Then, when the work is off the machine I just clip the yarn close and I am done. Pretty slick, huh?! Altho the photo below left shows me cutting the yarn while the fabric is still on the machine, I seldom do that unless there are a lot of ends hanging down and tangling because it is just too easy to cut a live stitch. Trust me, I know from experience!

Although this method is usually invisible on the knit side of the fabric, there are times when you cannot weave in the ends as you knit. First of all, it won’t work if you plan to use the purl side as the right side of your garment because the weaving always shows on the purl side. Too bad because I usually prefer striped fabrics on the purl side. You also cannot rely on this if you are knitting patterned stitches because pulling needles to Holding Position over-rides the pattern cam settings and interrupts the pattern. You can use this technique with intarsia where there are always too many ends to finish later. In that case, you need to nudge the needles back to Upper Work Position after you weave the end through the shafts. Make sure the needles’ latches are open and ready to work the next row.

I’m happy to report that I have finally finished all the knitting and all of the initial directions for The Book That Will Not End and THE END is in sight!!! I still have some editing and rewriting to do and not all of the charts are done for the last section, but I’m confident that the end IS in sight! I am really pleased with the way this book is shaping up, although I am a bit worried that it is running long which translates into increased printing costs and a higher price tag. Getting the page count down is Job One for me right now. There are about 300 swatches with charts and directions so it is going to require some tight editing and probably more abbreviations that I usually like to use. I know none of us is interested in a smaller font size!

After all the knitting – the experiments and the re-dos and the final swatches – I can tell you that my SK860 is grubby and in need of a deep, deep cleaning. The kind where I need to remove the bed from the case to get at the inside of the machine. I think that process may make a useful post for an upcoming blog! If it continues to be cold and snowy here in Connecticut, I’ll probably have more than enough time to clean the machine and finish the book. Looks like 2018 is off to a great start!

I couldn’t resist showing you how Arlo spends his winter mornings looking for bird and SQUIRRELS!!!! from a comfy chair in the sunroom. This is what a year old lab looks like – all 85 pounds of him. Still a thief and a mischief maker, but he has stolen my heart. Mr. Blue would have loved him too…..and wondered why Arlo is allowed on a chair he could never sit in!

16 thoughts on “Reduce Your Finishing Time!!”

  1. Great post, Susan! I for one, am willing to pay the higher price for more info, and you are absolutely right about not wanting a smaller font!!! So interested in this deep cleaning…please photograph and describe your process. Cheers!

  2. Susan,
    I was thrilled to find your blog; I am just trying to get back to my knitting machines now after a 20 year hiatus. I live in the Cleveland area and am wondering if you know where to buy machine parts for the Studio machines. I tried to make a hat and scarf for a Christmas gift and broke the gray wheels on the bottom of my carriage. I can’t find my cast on comb. The list is apparently endless. But it certainly is a blessing you are out there with this blog. I still have the Studio LK-150 knitting machine video you put out back in the day.

    Arlo looks quite happy in his chair.

    Thanks again for your help!!!!

    1. The US distributor for Silver Reed (Studio) is Knitcraft in Missouri, but the US supplier for parts for the machines is Needle-Tek in Washington State. They have everything you will need. You can emai them at: ndltek@e-z.net. You can also contact the KNit Knack Shop in Peru INdiana for parts, repairs, yarn, boks and general suplies. kks@knitknackshop.com. If the machine has not been used for 20 years I can guarantee you it needs a new sponge bar.
      Happy to have you back knitting!

  3. Informative and humorous as always, Susan.
    Could you post the recipe for the big scones, please?
    I couldn’t resist…I would be happy to proofread or knit, anytime!

  4. Love this one Susan. Our knitting club have our meeting on Monday and the theme is BACK TO BASICS, So I will pass this on to our members. Thankyou
    Arlo has grown into a big dog and obviously loves HIS chair. Our lab Didi has the curved end of our settee and reluctantly has to give it up to Timmy cat who decided last summer that he would like to move in with us after being abandoned in our village. Didi can turn a deaf ear to what I want her to do but has great respect for our cats and never questions them. I must learn to meow!!

  5. Susan, Another great technique….if I ever learned that back 40+years ago, I forgot til I took your Craftsy class ( I didn’t need to learn to knit, but wanted to support the craft (and Craftsy) so that others would have opportunities that we did not have back in the 70s. Little things like that make so much sense ! Being the mother of 2 10 year old labs (Tucker and Piper) one black, one yellow…and this being my 3rd generation of them….Arlo is a magnificent looking guy on top of him being very knowledgeable about the proper way to watch birds and squirrels. At our house if you even spell squirrel, you have the two of them racing to the window or door. Not too much of a hazard, unless we get some deep snow up in Maine…then they MIGHT get close.
    Thanks for the blog, it is a great memory jogger of some things and a real “huh, how come I didn’t think of that” for others. (and yes I did sign up for the 2nd of your classes….haven’t watched it yet…but again it was mostly for the support).
    Susan

  6. I was interested to see you knit on a SK860 as your videos I have use the 150. I live in the UK and have struggled with mine as it seem to hate so many yarns. It is the first machine that I have owned that suffers from static as well. Do you have, in your many lessons and books information on the how to get the best out of this machine. It is a very rare and expensive machine to buy in the UK and I would like to be able to do it justice.

  7. I learned this finishing technique from your Craftsy class, and it’s one of the best tips ever! I know I still have a lot to learn about machine knitting, and I’m glad I discovered your blog.

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