This tutorial will show you how to use the mattress stitch to join two knit stockinette pieces together vertically. This finishing technique is worked with the right sides up and creates an invisible seam on the right side.
Keep reading and/or watch the video below to learn the mattress stitch. You may also be interested in other Knitting Video tutorials to learn other stitches or get project ideas.
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HOW TO KNIT THE MATTRESS STITCH
First, let's examine the knit piece to see the horizontal bars which will be used to create the invisible seam. In the picture below, I tugged on the knit piece so you can see horizontal bars between the knit stitches ( or "V"s). These bars will be used to draw the edges together.
To close a seam, you will need a length of thread or yarn that is about 3 times the seam length.
Place the knit pieces right side up, laying them next to each other.
Begin joining the two pieces by bringing a threaded tapestry needle up from the back to the front of the first piece (referred to as piece #1) at the lowest corner (the cast-on row).
Then, bring the needle up from the back to the front at the lowest corner of the second piece (referred to as piece #2).
Insert the needle into the same hole you originally inserted your needle through on piece #1 from back to front, pulling the yarn through to secure the pieces together. You are ready to start the mattress stitch.
• Insert the needle under the first horizontal bar between the first and second column of a stitch on piece #2. You can insert it under one bar or two bars. It's your choice.
Take the tapestry needle back to piece #1 and pick up the bar just above the initial entry point between the first and second column of stitches. Always pick up the same number of horizontal bars.
Continue working back and forth between the two pieces for about an inch to two. The woven yarn going back and forth should look similar to the following photo.
After completing the inch or two, gently pull the length of yarn to close the seam. The seam closes magically and looks like the following photo.
Continue working in this manner until the seam is closed. Do not knot. Weave the ends into the knitted piece. Below is the finished seam from the front.
If you turn the work over to the wrong side, you will see the seam as shown below.
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