I have long been a fan of Deborah Newton for her book Designing Knitwear. She has a gift for writing clear and easy to understand instructions. This gift is very apparent in her latest book Finishing School, a master class for knitters.
Everything about finishing knitting is covered in this book. The tips and techniques on finishing start before the sweater is even begun. Many finishing problems can be prevented if the knitter considers how the sweater will be finished before starting. Of course swatching is included in this. So sorry, but it is true. I know we want to jump right into a pattern essentially without a life jacket but swatching can make or break a project. Try telling yourself "swatching is fun, swatching is fun". You get to play with the yarn and stitch patterns and any trims or details and learn most of what you need to know before you start. There will not be any or as much ripping, tinking, re-doing later on -a plus, right?!
Like most knitters I dreaded finishing. I thought I would ruin all of my knitting trying to put all the sweater pieces together. Now I know I have ruined more things by not swatching or adding selvedge, i.e. seam, stitches when I started. I discovered much of this before Deborah Newton's book (probably from her first book and a few others) but I am thrilled to have some of what I have done validated by her book and to learn even more tips and techniques. Thank you, thank you to Deborah Newton. For all knitters of sweaters - any garment, really - get this book. I am reading it cover to cover.