This is something a lot of knitters hate, the dreaded sewing up and sewing in all the loose ends, however it is not difficult and does not have to cause problems if approached in the right way.
Sewing in loose ends
These are simply woven into the loops behind the stitches in several directions and trimmed off, as shown in the photos below:
If the loose end is at the end of the row, and is the wrong colour for sewing into the seam, sew it in as shown below:
Sewing up stocking stitch seams
It is best to use the colour which is predominant in the seam to be sewn up. This may be a different colour for different parts of the same seam, such as the shoulder seam and neck seam shown below.
For the shoulder seam use a back stitch, this produces a flatter seam and hides the cast off stitches:
1. With the right sides of the work together and sewing UNDER the cast off edge, insert the needle from front to back:
2. Bring the needle back through both parts of the seam to the front as shown:
3. Now take the needle back into the same place as the starting point (see point 1) and push through both parts of the seam:
4. Bring the needle back through the seam so that it forms a double length stitch on the back of the seam and leaves a gap on the front of the seam. Many videos of how to work this stitch can be found online if necessary:
5. Continue to the end of the seam and fasten off. The finished seam should look like this on the right side:
Sewing up rib seams
Rib seams (the k 1, p 1 parts at neck, waist and cuffs) are best sewn up using oversewing.
1. Using the predominant colour and with right sides together take the needle through the seam very close to the edge as shown below:
2. Take the yarn over the seam and insert the needle through the seam as shown below:
3. Repeat until the end of the ribbed area, and fasten off. The right side of the work should look like this:
NOTE: If you are sewing up a seam which is a combination of rib and stocking stitch (such as a side or arm seam), then start with the rib area (which you oversew) and then swap to back stitch for the stocking stitch areas.