You've just spent tons of time knitting a blanket with 6 different colors, or a toy with 40 different pieces and now it's time to employ those knit finishing techniques.
Whichever camp you are in, here are some tips to make finishing your knitting a little easier.
When possible, work as you go. I knitted the Devilish Dragon by Alan Dart and loved it, except for the fact that there were 42 pieces to seam, stuff, weave ends in, and more. It seemed like a daunting task when I first read the pattern so I decided early on to simply sew while I went along. That way when the knitting was finally complete, so was the dragon. While it did take a bit of planning and reading the pattern all the way through a couple of times to get everything ready for sewing, it was definitely a stress and time saver when it came to the end of the project.
Weaving is your friend. When weaving in ends, make sure you have at least a 6-inch tail to work with so you can weave it back and forth securely. Grab a darning needle (or embroidery needle). Thread your needle and work the yarn through the stitches on the wrong side of the piece. Working through purl loops is the most popular technique, as the loops help to hide the extra yarn. Some knitters will work straight across a row, while others will opt to weave the ends diagonally up for a few rows and then back parallel to the first row. Another option is to work straight up or down, staying close to the edge of the piece or to work a few stitches straight across and then move up or down into the next row and work a few more stitches. You will find a groove that works well for you.
Blocking is a great way to shape knit garments, blankets and scarves. There are many benefits to steam blocking, such as giving the garment the right shape, fixing or covering up small mistakes and setting the stitches to appear more even. You can block a garment by wetting it and pinning it to dry or by steam blocking it using an iron. However you choose to block your garment, it will drape and fit better afterwards.
Learning how to properly block in knitting is important for finishing a garment correcly, so that it wears well. If you are looking for more in-depth instruction on blocking various garments, be sure to take a look at Kate Atherley's class, Blocking Handknits.
No matter which knit finishing techniques you use, be sure to take special care of you knits after they are complete. Even if a garment is machine washable, you might prefer to hand wash and air dry it. You may also need to slightly reshape your knit items after washing, which is easy to do while they are still wet.