The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancy Wiseman, pub. Martingale, 2002.
This is one of the most comprehensive books on finishing techniques that I have encountered, and I'll tell you why. It starts with casting on. For a beautifully finished work of knitting, it is important to pay attention to the methods of casting on and binding off, ways to increase and decrease, and whether or not to leave a selvedge.
All this is delineated in Wiseman's calm, clear style. Planning worksheets are provided at the end of the book, and a list of tips is given at the beginning, but for me the best feature is the lists of benefits and drawbacks for each technique. These show in a flash why I may or may not want to use a particular method along with features such as stretchiness and relative amount of time needed.
Then she dives into the material promised by the title: seams; picking up stitches; borders, bands, and finishes; buttonholes; weaving in ends; blocking; and even storage.
Again, several methods are given for each technique, along with advantages, disadvantages, and other information such as appropriate fibers a given method works well with.
On page 61 there a general order is given for garment assembly. Item 5 is "Sew sleeves to armholes," and item 8 is "Sew sleeve from cast-on edge to armhole." I'm not sure whether there's meant to be a difference or if it's just a misprint.
Also on page 133 Wiseman reinforces some outdated perceptions about circular knitting, such as that working a sleeve requires double-pointed needles as the sleeve gets smaller (two circulars or the magic loop method also work) and that true intarsia cannot be worked in the round (my Meandros Sweater is proof to the contrary).
But aside from these very minor issues, this book is a wonderful reference tool, with a choice of flat-laying paperback or concealed spiral binding to better see the step-by-step instructions and (usually) clear instructional photography or diagrams.
I heartily recommend this book to anyone who likes to have a variety of techniques at their fingertips in order choose the best one toward a beautifully finished piece.
Disclosure: Martingale Press sent Kangath a free copy of The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques for review. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Martingale Press or Nancie Wiseman.
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