Tolt River Cowl Guided Tour: Finishing

This is the final post in my series on how to knit the Tolt River Cowl. Today I’m going to talk about finishing to make your project as perfect as possible. (For previous posts, check out Choosing Yarn, Swatching, Casting On, and How to Colourwork.)

Weaving in Ends

I always weave in my ends using duplicate stitch. I find this method to be the most invisible and secure. Duplicate stitch is basically mimicking the stitches in order to hide the yarn tail without it showing through on the RS of the fabric. To do this, be sure your tail is about 6 in/15 cm long. Thread your tail onto a tapestry needle and then weave it through on the WS, following the path of a stitch. It doesn’t have to be perfect, so if you’re having trouble following one line of stitches, you can just pop over to one that looks clearer. Here’s a video showing how I do it. Be sure to click to the right to see it done in colourwork.

I keep working duplicate stitch until my tail pulls out of my needle eye. Then I’ll just leave the remaining tail hanging and weave in the rest of the ends. (I’ll trim them after blocking.)


Blocking is one of the easiest ways to make your work look more beautiful. It evens out tension issues and “sets” the stitches so they’re comfortable in their new position and look their best. I wet block everything and here’s how:

  1. Fill the sink with room-temperature water and a bit of wool wash. (I love Wool Soap by Twig and Horn, but Eucalan and Soak are other good options. Shampoo is great too.)

  2. Submerge the project and squeeze it until it mostly stays under.

  3. Leave to soak for about twenty minutes.

  4. Swish it around to get any dirt or grime out and drain the sink.

  5. Fill the sink again for a quick rinse (optional, but I like to do it since I take my knitting with me everywhere and it can get bit filthy.) Gently swish the project around and drain the sink.

  6. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the project without wringing.

  7. Lay the project on a towel and roll up the towel. (If your project is really big and/or really wet, a second towel on top can be helpful.) Step on the towel burrito to get as much water as you can out of the project.

  8. Unroll and lay your project flat to dry. For the Tolt River Cowl, laying it on a towel is just fine. It probably doesn’t need to be pinned at all. (For a more complex project like a sweater, be sure to pin your pieces, matching the measurements on your schematic.)

  9. Once it’s dry, use a steamer to steam out the side creases.

Final Finishing

Once your project is dry, trim your tails down to about a half inch on the inside of your project. If you think they might show, you can trim them closer. I like to wait until after blocking because it gives the tails a chance to stretch out as much as they’re likely to and fluff up a bit, making them stay more securely later.

And you're done!

What other questions do you have about the Tolt River Cowl? Comment below or send me an email at

Happy colourwork knitting!

Tolt River Cowl
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