I am a bad (lazy) finisher. There – I’ve said it. When I’ve finished knitting the back, front and sleeves of a sweater I do the opposite of what you’re supposed to, ie block the pieces separately to measurements and then sew them up using the appropriate yarn and stitch. I never block, I use the ‘tails’ of cast-on edges and random joined-in pieces of yarn to sew with (regardless of yarn weight) and I nearly always use the same stitch (overstitch) to do it with. This frequently gives me some fairly horrible seams – bulky, untidy and uneven. Especially on thick yarns or unforgiving ones like cotton. I could post a gallery of shameful seams but I don’t really want to remind myself how bad some of them are.
Last year I experimented with doing mattress stitch properly, and that worked out pretty well. I have resolved to do better, so that I don’t have to wince and look away when I see seams like this:
As usual when trying something new it’s an excuse to go out and buy a book on it. So I bought Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters by Sharon Brant, which seemed to cover the bases. I’ve got a sweater on the go at the moment for the Bear so I’ll soon have an opportunity to test some of the techniques out. There’s one I’m particularly keen to try on the shoulders – a way of decreasing/ casting off so you don’t get a bump mid-shoulder.
Getting round to sewing on buttons (to go through the buttonholes that I’ve carefully knitted), however, is another story.