Imagine you just spent five months and two-hundred hours knitting about ten thousand stitches. In front of you there is a sweater front and back and two sleeves. All that has to be done is blocking and assembly. If you look at all the time you have already put in you will realize it is not the time to rush now.
The difference between handmade and homemade is often determined by how the garment is assembled or finished. Handmade articles are often sought after in this time of computers and busy lives. It means someone has taken time out of their busy life to make something just for the recipient. The item is created often as a one of a kind gift and represents hours of devotion. To have the completed item look its best make sure you take the time to finish it properly.
There are no knitting police and therefore there is definitely more than one way to finish a garment. The two final steps before giving away or wearing a knitted garment are blocking and assembly. There are three schools of thought on blocking: one, donít block at all, two, block the item and then assemble and three, assemble then block the finished garment.
First, the do not block the garment at all school. This can work out sometimes for smaller items or less frequently, cabled items that will get flattened too much by blocking. This is not something Iíd recommend often, but there have been a few garter stitch scarves Iíve made that were never blocked and no one is the worse for it.
The second school of thought, blocking the pieces then assembling them, is my most frequent choice. Blocking the pieces makes the assembly much easier, since the edges lie flat and the blocking can adjust the size of each piece to best fit together.
The final or third school thought, is to assemble the parts and then block, often works well for small items such as baby sweaters.
No matter what method you use the assembly step is equally important. Things to keep in mind are that you match stripes or increases and decreases. You ease sleeves smoothly into armholes so that no gathers are showing (unless that is the look you are searching for). Make sure the neckline lies flat and that there are no holes gaping from picking up stitches around the neck edge. When sewing a seam, use an invisible stitch such as the mattress stitch, so that you can work from the public side and see what your seam looks like. Make sure you weave in the ends so that they donít stick out from hemlines or poke through to the front of the sweater.
Taking the time to finish your garment properly will make sure it looks its best and that you are satisfied with the finished product. In addition, the recipient will be more likely to wear a garment that looks nicely finished or has secure seams that are not at risk of ripping apart.