How to Finish Knitting: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Finish Knitting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Knitting projects can be satisfying and rewarding, but knowing how to properly end a project is just as important as starting one. Whether you’re finishing a scarf, a sweater, or a blanket, the final details can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your creation. In this article, we will explore various techniques and tips to help you finish your knit project with finesse.

One of the first steps in properly ending a knit project is binding off. Binding off creates a finished edge and prevents your stitches from unraveling. There are different methods for binding off, such as the basic bind off, stretchy bind off, and picot bind off. Each method creates a different look and elasticity, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your project.

After binding off, you may need to weave in the loose ends. This step is crucial for ensuring your project holds up over time. Weaving in the ends involves using a yarn needle to thread the loose yarn through the nearby stitches, securing it in place. This prevents any loose ends from peeking through or unraveling.

Finally, blocking your project can make a world of difference in its final appearance. Blocking is the process of shaping and stretching your knitted piece to the desired measurements. This can help even out any inconsistencies in tension and give your project a more polished look. Depending on the fiber content of your yarn, blocking may involve wetting and laying your project flat to dry or simply steaming it with a hot iron.

Learning how to properly end a knit project is an essential skill for any knitter. Taking the time to bind off neatly, weave in loose ends, and block your project can elevate the quality and longevity of your knitted creations. So next time you’re finishing a project, don’t rush through the ending – give it the attention it deserves!

Learn the basics

When it comes to ending a knit project, it’s important to make sure you finish off your work properly to ensure a clean and polished final result. Here are some basic techniques you should be familiar with:

  • Bind off: This is the most common method of ending a knit project. It involves knitting two stitches, then passing the right stitch over the left to bind it off. Repeat this process until you have bound off all stitches.
  • Weave in ends: After you have finished your last row or round, you will likely have loose ends of yarn that need to be secured. Use a yarn needle to weave these ends back into the fabric, making sure they are hidden and won’t come undone.
  • Block your project: Blocking is the process of shaping your finished knit project to give it a more professional and polished look. This can be done by wetting the project, gently stretching it into shape, and then allowing it to dry.
  • Seam or join pieces: If you are working on a project that requires multiple pieces to be sewn together, you will need to use techniques such as mattress stitch or whipstitch to seam or join the pieces together.
  • Add any finishing touches: Depending on the project, you may need to add buttons, zippers, or other embellishments. Make sure to carefully sew these on to ensure they are secure and add the desired finishing touch to your project.

These are just some of the basic techniques you should be familiar with when it comes to properly ending a knit project. By mastering these skills, you will be well on your way to creating beautiful, finished knitted pieces.

Blocking your project

Blocking is an essential step in finishing your knit project. It helps to shape and smooth out the fabric, and it can make a significant difference in the finished look of your project. Here are some steps to follow when blocking your knit project:

  1. Prepare your project: Start by gently washing your knit project to remove any dirt or oils. Use a mild detergent and lukewarm water, and be careful not to agitate or twist the fabric too much. Rinse it thoroughly and gently press out the excess water.
  2. Select a blocking method: There are several different blocking methods you can choose from, depending on the fiber content and desired result. The most common methods include wet blocking, steam blocking, and spray blocking.
  3. Wet blocking: For wet blocking, you will need to soak your project in water for a specific amount of time, depending on the fiber content and thickness of the fabric. Gently squeeze out the excess water, then lay the project flat on a clean towel in your desired shape and dimensions. Use rust-proof pins to secure the edges and any specific shaping you want to achieve.
  4. Steam blocking: Steam blocking is suitable for projects that should not be immersed in water, such as delicate fabrics or those with intricate stitch patterns. Use a garment steamer or a steam iron on a low setting to apply steam evenly to the fabric, hovering just above the surface. Gently manipulate the fabric into shape as you go, being careful not to stretch it too much.
  5. Spray blocking: Spray blocking is a quick and easy method for smaller projects or those that require minimal shaping. Fill a spray bottle with water and mist the project evenly, then gently shape it by hand. Use rust-proof pins if necessary to hold the fabric in place until it dries.
  6. Let it dry: Regardless of the blocking method you choose, allow your project to dry completely before removing the pins or moving it. This can take several hours or even overnight, depending on the thickness of the fabric and the humidity of the environment.
  7. Enjoy your beautifully blocked project: Once your project is completely dry, remove the pins and carefully inspect the fabric. You should notice that it has taken on a smoother, more polished appearance, with the stitch pattern more defined and the edges straightened out.

Blocking your knit project may require some time and patience, but the results are well worth it. It can transform your finished piece from looking homemade to professional and enhance the drape and fit. So don’t skip this crucial step in the knitting process and enjoy the satisfaction of a well-blocked project!

Finishing the edges

Once you have completed the main body of your knit project, it’s time to finish the edges to give it a polished look. There are several techniques you can use to achieve a clean, professional finish.

1. Bind off

The most common way to finish the edges of a knit project is to bind off the stitches. This creates a firm edge and prevents the stitches from unraveling. To bind off, simply knit the first two stitches, then use the left needle to lift the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle. Continue this process until all stitches are bound off.

2. Ribbing

Ribbing is a popular edge finishing technique that creates a stretchy, textured edge. It is commonly used for cuffs, collars, and hems. To create ribbing, alternate between knitting and purling stitches in a specific pattern, such as knit 2, purl 2. This creates a vertical pattern of raised and recessed stitches.

3. Garter stitch

Garter stitch is another simple and versatile edge finishing technique. To create a garter stitch edge, simply knit every row instead of alternating between knits and purls. This creates a bumpy, textured edge that adds visual interest to your project.

4. Picot edge

A picot edge is a decorative finishing technique that adds a delicate, lacy touch to your project. To create a picot edge, bind off a small number of stitches, then cast on the same number of stitches using a cable or crochet cast on. Repeat this process to create a row of small loops along the edge of your project.

5. Applied border

If you want to add a contrasting or decorative border to your project, you can create an applied border. This involves picking up stitches along the edge of your project and knitting the border separately. You can use a different color or stitch pattern for the border to create a unique look.

6. Blocking

After finishing the edges of your knit project, it’s important to block it to give it a professional finish. Blocking involves shaping and stretching the project to the desired dimensions and then allowing it to dry. This helps to even out the stitches and create a smooth, polished appearance.

By using these techniques to finish the edges of your knit project, you can add a professional touch and ensure that your project looks polished and complete.

Seaming Your Project

Once you have completed knitting your project, it is time to seam it together. Seaming is the process of joining different pieces of a knit project together to create a finished product. Proper seaming can make a significant difference in the final look and durability of your project.

Types of Seams:

There are several different types of seams that you can use to join your knit project, including:

  • Whip stitch: This is a simple and commonly used seam. It involves sewing the edges of the knitted pieces together, creating a nearly invisible seam.
  • Backstitch: This is another commonly used seam that creates a strong, secure join. It involves working the needle in and out of the knitted fabric, creating a sturdy seam.
  • Mattress stitch: This seam is often used for joining pieces that have a visible selvedge edge. It creates a nearly invisible seam, resulting in a clean and polished finish.
  • Three-needle bind off: This method is used to join pieces that have live stitches on both edges. It creates a sturdy seam and adds a decorative edge.

Tips for Seaming:

  1. Use matching yarn: When seaming, make sure to use the same yarn that you used to knit your project. This will help create a seamless and cohesive look.
  2. Block your pieces: Before seaming, it is a good idea to block your knitted pieces. This will help ensure that they are the correct size and shape before joining them together.
  3. Take your time: Seaming can be a tedious process, but it is important to take your time and work carefully. This will result in a neater and more professional-looking final product.
  4. Practice on swatches: If you are new to seaming, it can be helpful to practice on swatches before working on your actual project. This will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the different seaming techniques.
  5. Keep tension consistent: When seaming, it is important to maintain a consistent tension throughout. This will ensure that the seam is smooth and doesn’t pucker or pull.


Seaming is an essential skill for any knitter. By learning different seaming techniques and practicing them, you can create professional-looking finished projects. Remember to choose the appropriate seam for your project and take your time to achieve the best result.

Weaving in the ends

One of the final steps in properly ending a knit project is weaving in the ends. This process involves securing loose yarn ends to the backside of the work to prevent them from unraveling.

Here are the steps to weave in the ends:

  1. Thread the yarn end onto a yarn needle

    Start by threading the loose yarn end onto a yarn needle. Choose a needle with a small eye that is big enough to accommodate the yarn.

  2. Insert the needle into the fabric

    Insert the needle into the fabric, close to where the loose yarn end is located. Make sure to go through the stitches of the same color to hide the end.

  3. Weave the needle through the stitches

    Weave the needle through the stitches of the fabric, either horizontally or vertically, for about an inch or two. Make sure to avoid pulling the yarn too tight, as this can cause the fabric to pucker.

  4. Cut off the excess yarn

    Once you have woven in the end for a sufficient distance, cut off the excess yarn, leaving a tail of about 2-3 inches. This tail will help to secure the end in place.

  5. Knot the tail

    To further secure the woven-in end, tie a knot at the base of the stitches. Make sure the knot is tight, but not too tight that it distorts the fabric.

  6. Trim the tail

    Finally, trim the tail close to the knot, taking care not to cut any of the fabric or other stitches.

Additional tips:

  • Be sure to weave in the ends on both the front and back sides of the work to ensure a neat finish.

  • If your project has multiple colors, you can weave in the ends as you change colors, to minimize the amount of weaving required at the end.

  • If you prefer not to weave in the ends, you can also consider using a Russian join or spit splice to join new yarn without leaving loose ends.

By following these steps and taking care to secure your loose ends properly, you can ensure that your knit project will have a clean and professional finish.

Adding Embellishments

Once you have finished knitting your project and woven in all the loose ends, you may want to add some embellishments to give it a personal touch. Here are a few ideas for adding embellishments to your knit project:

  • Buttons: Sewing buttons onto your project can add both decoration and functionality. You can use them as closures or simply as accents.
  • Embroidery: Adding embroidery stitches can create intricate designs on your knit project. You can use different colors of yarn or thread to make the design stand out.
  • Ribbons: Attaching ribbons to your project can add a delicate and feminine touch. You can tie them into bows, weave them through stitches, or use them to create a decorative border.
  • Beads: Stringing beads onto your knitting can create beautiful and eye-catching patterns. You can either pre-string the beads onto the yarn or add them as you go.
  • Pom-poms: Pom-poms can add a fun and playful element to your project. You can make them in different sizes and colors and attach them to the corners or edges of your knit piece.
  • Tassels: Adding tassels to the corners of your project can give it a bohemian or traditional look. You can make tassels using leftover yarn or embroidery floss.

Remember to consider the style and purpose of your project when choosing embellishments. Whether you want to add a touch of elegance or a dose of whimsy, there are endless possibilities for enhancing your knit project with embellishments.

Final touches and care

Final touches and care

Completing a knitting project can be both exciting and satisfying. However, before you can fully enjoy the fruits of your labor, it is important to give your project some final touches and care. Follow these steps to ensure your knitted item looks its best and stays in good condition:

  1. Weave in loose ends: Use a yarn needle to carefully weave any loose yarn ends into the fabric of your project. This will help prevent them from unraveling and keep your finished piece looking neat.

  2. Block your project: Blocking is the process of shaping and setting your knitted item. This step can help even out stitches, open up lace patterns, and give your project a professional finish. Depending on the fiber content, you can wet block, steam block, or dry block your project. Follow the instructions for your specific yarn to ensure the best results.

  3. Give it a gentle wash: Depending on the fiber content, you may need to wash your finished project to remove any oils, dirt, or odors that may have accumulated during the knitting process. Use a gentle detergent specifically designed for hand-knits and follow the care instructions provided with your yarn. Avoid wringing or twisting your knitted item to prevent stretching or distorting its shape.

  4. Store it properly: When your project is not being used or displayed, it is important to store it properly to avoid damage. Fold your knitted item neatly and place it in a breathable fabric bag or acid-free tissue paper to protect it from dust and pests.

  5. Make repairs if necessary: Over time, your knitted item may develop small holes or snagged threads. Make any necessary repairs promptly to prevent further damage. Use matching yarn and a yarn needle to carefully stitch up any holes or secure loose threads.

By giving your knit project these final touches and caring for it properly, you can ensure its longevity and enjoy it for years to come.


What are some common ways to finish a knit project?

Some common ways to finish a knit project include binding off, weaving in loose ends, and blocking the finished project.

How do I bind off my knit project?

To bind off your knit project, you can start by knitting two stitches. Then, using the left needle, lift the first knit stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle. Continue this process until you have one stitch left on the right needle. Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail, and pull the tail through the last stitch to secure it.

What is blocking and how do I do it?

Blocking is the process of shaping and stretching a knit project to ensure it maintains its proper dimensions. To block your project, you can start by soaking it in lukewarm water and gently squeezing out any excess water. Then, lay the project flat on a towel and shape it to the desired dimensions. Pin the edges of the project to the towel to hold its shape. Allow it to dry completely before unpinning.

What should I do with loose ends when finishing a knit project?

When finishing a knit project, it’s important to weave in any loose ends to ensure they don’t unravel over time. To weave in loose ends, you can thread them onto a yarn needle and pass the needle through the stitches on the backside of the project. Repeat this process for a few inches, then trim any excess yarn.

Can you explain the process of blocking a lace knit project?

Sure! When blocking a lace knit project, it’s best to use blocking wires or flexible knitting needles to help maintain the shape of the lace. Start by soaking the project in lukewarm water and gently squeezing out any excess water. Then, thread the wires or needles through the edges of the project to define the shape of the lace. Pin the wires or needles to the blocking surface to hold the shape, and allow the project to dry completely before unpinning.

What is a three-needle bind off and when should I use it?

A three-needle bind off is a technique used to join two separate pieces of knitting, such as when finishing the shoulders of a sweater. To use this technique, you will need to have live stitches on two separate needles. Hold the needles parallel to each other with the right sides of the knitting facing each other. Insert a third needle into the first stitch on each needle and knit them together. Repeat this process until all the stitches have been bound off. The three-needle bind off creates a neat and sturdy seam.


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