We knitters have our own, personal “F-word”.
Come on now… it’s not what you think! I’m referring to finishing.
Finishing, as a knitting term, refers to the final treatments we employ to make completed projects look neat and professional. This includes seaming, fringing, steaming, soaking and/or blocking, among other things.
I always chuckle a bit when people comment on how it seems impossible that my stitches are always so even. Secretly, I know they didn’t come off of the needles that way. It’s finishing techniques that give knitted items the polish that can make them stand out.
As much as I love the effects of finishing techniques on my projects, I’m not always in the mood for them. This was the case for me, in the last week and a half or so, with regard to finishing my Linen Stitch Scarf.
Finishing a completed object is not always as fun as the actual knitting of it.
My dreamy, knitting spot on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks back.
The finishing process for the linen stitch scarf was rather interesting. The suggested technique was steam blocking using an iron and a wet, cotton cloth.
The best part of this picture is that the person captured on the TV looks like she is getting ready to block her knitting too!
I think we can all agree that the above photo already looks significantly less enjoyable than the one prior to it. I rest my case!
In any case, prior to finishing, the scarf looks nice, but it is still somewhat rumply. For finishing my scarf, I used my ironing board, iron set to temperature for wool, and a clean, cotton dish towel that I soaked with water and wrung out well.
Since the fringe gets tied on after each row is knit, it ends up sort of all over the place. I covered the fringe with my damp towel and ironed over it to make it straight. Then I trimmed it up to a reasonable, uniform length to make it neat and tidy. Knots should also be adjusted at this time.
Next, as described previously, I covered a short section of the scarf with the damp towel and ironed over the top to smooth out the appearance of the stitches. This works well for this pattern since linen stitch is very flat by nature.
I repeated this in sections along the entire scarf, and then repeated the fringe treatment on the other side.
This gave my scarf the nice even look that I was hoping for. I never really got my knots looking satisfactory, but I was unwilling to re-tie them all, which I think could have corrected the issue.
There you have it: the “F-word”. A necessary evil.