Finishing knitwear is not my strongest suit. By the time all the bits and pieces for a sweater are completed, I’m either eager to wear it or desperate to get it off my list and my mind.
The things I’m happiest with, of course, are those that I’ve taken time to finish with care and discipline.
I have several books devoted to finishing and many more that include sections on finishing, but The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman is the one I keep readily at hand. Here's why.
This book is compact and well-organized, and it covers all the basics and more. The explanations are accompanied by useful photos and illustrations specific to the technique. Spiral binding means it lays flat, stays open and is easy to flip through.
Wiseman’s writing style is crisp and clear, and she doesn’t leave you guessing. She explains when to use or avoid a technique and why. She also by-passes other techniques and notes why she doesn’t recommend them (such as K2P2 Tubular Cast On).
- Well-organized, easy to use
- Crisp, clear writing
- Covers all the basics, plus more
- Descriptions follow a consistent structure: overview, how to work the technique, tips, benefits and drawbacks
- Good photos and illustrations
- Useful worksheets for planning your knitting/finishing and for calculating increases, decreases and buttonhole placement
- None come to mind
If you’re looking for one book that will walk you through the most effective knitting and finishing techniques, from cast on to bind off, this is a good choice. I refer to it often as I’m knitting as well as before and during my finishing efforts. I occasionally pull it out to read, just to refresh my memory of the options to consider as I work to improve my knitting skills.