After producing yards of fabric using the same yarn for weeks, finishing is not a task to which you want to give short-shrift.
Careful Finishing = Professional Looking Outcome
Sometimes a sweater or other knit/crochet garment just comes together at the end with very little attention. But most projects (like my current one), finishing can have a profound effect on the final result. At this point in most projects, I’m tired of the yarn, the fabric, the color and the entire idea of the garment. I just want it completed. But I still take a lot of care in how I put all the last touches on a garment…especially when it’s not for me (although, this one is for me).
Take the time to understand how you should join seams. Shoulder seams, side seams and arm-hole seams are all quite different. In a knit garment, I usually 3-needle bind-off the shoulder seams. I mattress-stitch the side seams. And I slip-stitch-crochet the sleeves into the arm-hole opening.
Fortunately, the Tunisian crochet mesh stitch was similar enough to knitting that I was able to use the regular sewing up methods except for the should seams. I used the mattress stitch for that.
Post-Production Error Fixes
I made some mistakes with designing this garment on the hook. The sleeves were way too long and a little too tapered at the cuff. The length of the cardigan was a bit to short and rolled too much at the bottom than I preferred.
For the sleeves, I opted to snip a stitch about 3 inches up from the cuff, unravel.
Once I got the length correct, I decided that I’d do a simple single-crochet edging.
For the bottom of the cardigan, I figured I’d fix both the length and the roll with an additional edging and some steam blocking.
Edging fixes a multitude of sins. The button-band/collar is an example of that on this cardigan. It hides the raw edge of the mesh fabric and creates a defining shape that’s stable and looks great.
I’ll also be using a simple crochet edging at the bottom of the sweater to both add some length and eliminate the curling.
Weaving In Ends
I’ve done a whole video tutorial on weaving in ends. Especially with cotton and the large number of yarn-ends on this garment, securing in and hiding the loose ends is an important task to do with care. Photos should be unnecessary because you really shouldn’t be able to see ends that have been woven in well.
Normally, for wool garments, I’ll lay out the fabric with the wrong-side facing up. Cover the fabric with a light dish towel and use a lot of steam to block the fabric. It evens out the stitches and makes the fabric look very professional (usually). I can also adjust the length of various sections of a garment with blocking.
For a garment made with 100% cotton, I’ll be steam blocking and actually ironing the fabric. I’ll post completed photos of the fully-finished garment in the next blog entry.
Current Tunisian Crochet
Here’s where I am so far…almost finished, but not quite!
I’ve shortened and attached the second sleeve. Now just some edging and some blocking and I’ll have a nice cardigan to model for you soon!