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!