Monday, October 02, 2006

Seaming: Better Than You Remembered

So, y'all know I've been on this mission to end all seaming. I had utter faith that my path was the righteous one. (At least until that pseudo-prairie blanket came along. I think I'm gonna frog that . . . )

But in recent times, I've needed some pretty simple knitting. Regular ol' miters, without using any fancy no-sewing techniques, and using the wonder that is self-striping yarn have been just the ticket. No worrying about changing yarns mid-miter, no worrying about getting the joins between squares just right, no worrying about whether the new square looks right against the old square . . .


So relaxing.

Wasn't even going to think about the problem of seaming, at least not until all the miters were done. And since that wasn't ever going to happen . . .

Only it did.

It happened this weekend. (I am astonished.)

With the astronomical number of works-in-progress I've got, I thought I'd better not set this one aside just because I had hit "the wall." So I screwed my courage to the sticking place and girded my loins for a miserable day of seaming.

But frankly, it just wasn't that bad.

Has my entire anti-seaming crusade been that misguided and foolish?

Maybe it was because I had made larger miters -- 75 stitch cast-on. Maybe it was because I ironed all the sass out of the miters before hand. Maybe it was because, after all, I was only dealing with four blocks. (Was thinking I'd do six, but it had become clear that I didn't have enough yarn in the right dye lot.)

In any event, I now have this:

Three and one quarter skeins of Katia Jamaica in colourway 4004. Just under 30 inches square.

Mattress stitch worked great for sewing the miters into blocks. But the mattress stitch seam joining blocks to other blocks seemed much bulkier, and it didn't seem like those seams were ever going to lie flat, even if one invoked the powers of Rowenta (which I do not have).

So I "unvented" and came up with a seam of my own that probably is well known in fashionable knitting circles, but which I have not previously seen described or employed.

It is just like grafting or kitchener, only I'm not dealing with live stitches. (Anyone know what this is really called?)

Needle under the stitch on the left. Pull through, but not too tight.

Repeat on the right.

Blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc.

Front lies flat. Seam is practically invisible, depending of course on color.

Back lies almost flat, too. (Horizontal seam is inter-block mattress. Vertical seam is this intra-block sort-of grafting thing.)

I still need to figure out how I am going to finish the thing. To line or not to line, that is one question. Another is what kind of edge to use. I-cord? Garter stitch? Something else?

In other news, here are two squares for Grandmother Purl:

I'm going to hold off on sending these to Kristy for now . . . I might have another one still in me.



Blogger Carol said...

I don't know what your not-grafting is called, but I think it's a very nice solution! I'm gonna remember that!

9:48 PM  
Blogger Lori in Michigan said...

ooooooo! Just love that pink square's pattern! Share your source, please?


11:22 PM  
Blogger Anonyknits said...

Pink square is from the "Learn to Knit Afghan" book. I found it in an LYS somewhere or another, but if you can't find it locally, I think it can be mail-ordered from Schoolhouse Press.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

I like this technique...sort of a modified mattress stitch? Yeah...I like that.


7:37 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

That seam technique is perfect! Seaming has always been my nemesis, too.

11:22 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Your work is beautiful!! Love the mitered square colors!

10:23 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Love the lively colour combination! I too, avoid seaming where possible. And being OCD, I dug up my book of finishing techniques - Nancy Wiseman calls it a woven seam. It does lay very nicely - bulk is what I particularly hate in hand knit seams.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty seams! I do them, but only when I'm giving the item away. Yikes, that can't be good..

10:26 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I bumped into your site, and wow you have great idea's. Those seams are great. I'll try them for my mitered squares when I'm done. Thanks for sharing.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, no idea what it's called but I used that technique all the time. Maybe I pulled it from the Vogue guide?

3:17 PM  
Blogger Kahla said...

Stitch and Bitch calls that fake grafting...

12:00 AM  
Blogger Magdalena said...

Muy bien cosido en España eso se llama "punto colchonero ".

6:51 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I thought it was called "invisible seaming"! GOod tips though.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

WOWEE! I'm amazed at how beautiful your seams are. I'm jealous. Mine look like a four year old did them. I saw this tutorial on Pinterest and love your blog! I will be back! TFS!

2:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Seaming's my weak point too. So much so that I knit on dpns as much as possible to avoid all seams. It's finding something which looks neat from the front but which isn't too bulky.

I haven't tried this version but will be doing so this very afternoon!

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a little confused ( a normal thing,lol!) I see the knitting needle, but what do you do with it? Do you wrap the yarn around it and pull it through? In the pictures, the needle is just placed under the stitches, but I am not sure as to what to do after that? Sorry to be so clueless..thanks,Debbe

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seaming is not my fave thing....i use circular needles as much as possible!! this 'seaming' looks fantastic thanks for sharing.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what it's called either, but I think I've seen it on the Lion Brand Website, if it's the same thing:

Well done for figuring it out by yourself though!

5:42 PM  
Blogger chachagirl1973 said...

Debbe, actually, I think that is a sewing or darning needle, not a knitting needle. You pull the thread under the stitch then go to the other side and do the same. Hope that helps!

7:01 PM  
Blogger chachagirl1973 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

this is usually used to join shoulder seams-but it is so cool you figured it out yourself

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

I love you for sharing your seaming method! I tend to do *alright* when seaming, but I never feel confident and it is very frustrating with I'm in the process. This looks much easier, and the end result is awesome! Thanks again! I'll definitely be using your method!

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great thanks for sharing have been knitting all my life but you learn something new everyday.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I use this method. I have no name for it, I just consider it a modded method of kitchener.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't care what you call it, I say it is genius! Thanks!

7:42 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

kI thought it looked like a knitting needle also and was wondering if you were to knit them somehow together. So I appreciate the lady who was as clueless as myself! It's a sewing needle or darning needle. Pulling the thread from side to side comment really helped the people like me. Come on if there are two of us there had to me more out there!\

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its called ladder stitch

11:10 AM  
Anonymous saskia said...

I have seen that stitch once on the Berocco website. They made a video on how to seam, where they did the same thing. And good thing is, it also works when your seems are not going to be straight, for example when seaming in sleeves.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Thomas Mc. said...

I have seen it called a "faux graft" in a knitting book. Another suggested doing the same thing, but one row up on each side, then when you are done, cut/unravel the rows below (now in back), to have a real kitchener graft left. Much easier/faster than trying to graft off of needles.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you be interested in posting a video? I am a visual learner and was a bit confused.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duplicate stitch, just used for seaming instead of embellishing knitted items

3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been knitting forever and this is the best and easiest seaming I've ever tried. Thank you!

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like mattress stitch to me.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Leighknitone said...

You are a genius. I have been putting off stitching my blanket of squares together because every way I tried looked messy. Am definitely going to do it this way. Thank you.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Sally Anderson said...

Hi, I was wondering if you've done with with garter stitch seams. I've got 48 squares for a baby blanket and I've been trying so many methods to get these to seam up nicely and have failed miserably! This baby was born in January!!!

5:02 AM  
Blogger summer pickles said...

yippee! found you via pinterest, and what a find! love this seam, lovely. thanks xo

9:58 AM  
Blogger Cabbage said...

I believe this is mattress stitch.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip, I never like the way my seams come out.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Boa noite, adorei esse método, parabéns, perfeito, mto obrigada, téka

10:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Boa noite, adorei esse método, parabéns, perfeito, mto obrigada, téka

10:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is a sick and good way to seam a pattern flawlessly. Thanks for the tip!

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just happened to see your site. Great idea for those of us who crochet as I really dislike joining pieces. some times they look like they are from another world.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Jennie said...

This is a technique I've seen described in several knitting books. I just used it to finish a sweater and it came out beautifully. Thanks for the clear pictures and explanation.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Cloudy Stitches said...


10:16 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Perfect! I just made some handwarmers and was not happy with my 'whipstitch-on-the-inside' didn't look right :D I found your post on Pinterest and can't wait to try this way instead :)

2:51 PM  
Blogger ~*Emma said...

Can you make a video on this? I love the idea but I'm still confused even after the pictures (it's probably just me though!).

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is the book by, please?

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes that is the matress stitch.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:12 PM  
Blogger N.C.Fabric Junkie said...

Its called the matress stitch.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Toni said...

I used to be able to knit two pieces of an afghan together and I can't remember how to do it! Have two whole ones to put together. Can you help?

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... has a video. It is the mattress stitch. She also does a youtube video on it.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Jane in NJ said...

Knitting daily also has a you tube video on mattress stitch. Episode 713 but its only a preview. The mattress stitch you are doing is usually done when doing shoulder seams or putting a drop shoulder seam to the armhole area.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Jane in NJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I HATE seaming, but I love this method. It's working great on my son's hoodie sweater. Thank for sharing!

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gracias por la técnica, no sabes cuanto tiempo tuve una chambrita sin poder cerrarla porque no me gustaba como se veía, muy bien explicado, mil gracas! Thank you so much, I love it!

2:39 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i was taught that that particular stitch you're using is mattress stitch...strange. either way no matter what you call it, I'm incredibly grateful for the pictures you showed as a guide! I'm much more confident to try this seaming! i prefer to knit flat to so this is going to come in handy!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for the life of me cannot figure out what she is doing in this. It is probably very simple but I am missing a few steps. I see you inserting the needle but what are you doing with the loose end of the yarn. Are you pulling it thru. I must be dense because the other people who are commenting seem to understand. Can anyone help me out?

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like my kind of mattress stitch. What about a crochet edging?
Love it.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous it's not a knitting needle I think she's using a darning needle to sew her ends or just using a knitting needle to show u where it goes. You use any needle you use to sew in your ends ;)

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just the invisible stitch, or mattress seam. No fancy names, but the stitch is used mostly in sewing.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mattress stitch. It's been around for, like, ever. No, you didn't invent it.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Theresa Wiza said...

Love your ingenuity. I would also love to know the pattern for the pink square you posted on the bottom of your page. :)

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Rosie said...

Can't wait to try that method of grafting. At first I thought it was done on knitting needles too. Could it be done with a crochet hook or even a tapestry needle.
Would love to watch a close demonstration.

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use the same stitch but I do the wrong side first, turn it over and do the right side, and viola, you have two perfect seamless seams.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Vic said...

I am new to this so please excuse what might seem to be "dumb" questions. What is the long pink thread? Should that be through a tapestry needle? how does it all start off? I'm thinking to try this on the seam of a beanie. Any help appreciated. Maybe one or two additional pics? thanks so much

1:56 AM  
Blogger Crafty Tazzy said...

I think What your doing is called "GRAFTING"..??????? What ever its called its great im going to try it And I hate Sewing up!!!!

8:59 AM  
Blogger susan said...

You may get this twice but my phone was acting crazy when I tried to post. My question was can't you just sew the squares together with the needle that comes with your looms? I haven't ever tried to seam anything yet but about to have to. And I have no idea where to even start. Also has anyone tried that big double O looking loom? Sorry can't think of the name. But supposedly you don't have to seam with it. It cost $35 so I wanted reviews before I buy it.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In German it is called the "invisible stitch" or "witch stitch" and is a common hand stitch to close for example pillows, when sewing the last side together after turning it to the right and filling it. never thought about using it for knitting, it's perfekt :-)

9:15 PM  
Blogger estela Tanqini said...

Por fAVOR hacer las respectivas traducciones al español.Artículos muy interesantes , ca
recen de valor porque no se entidende el idioma.Diversifiquemos y nos comunicaremos mejor. Desde ya muchas gracias

3:21 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

It is called mattress stitch. Good video here
the difference in your two "types" of joining is that you are working a "side" seam and a "top" seam of a stockinette piece of work. To the person who looked for garter stitch joining, I did see that youtube has choices for you.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not being a video I, sadly, as usual don't get what you are doing...when it's turned over it looks like you've got a big ole ridge sticking up!

4:32 AM  
Blogger Meira Shana said...

If the technique has no name, I'd like to suggest the 'Shakespeare' - as in a rose by any other name is still a great seam.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Thank you for sharing. I tried this with a recent project and the result is very similar (or exactly) like that of the Kitchener Stitch.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Duplicate stitch

9:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Duplicate stitch

9:04 PM  
Anonymous maf said...

Hi, I'd like to ask your permission to use one picture from this post in our newsletter. How can I reach you privately for this?

1:59 AM  
Blogger MYO Crafts said...

Thanks for sharing your secret on a great finish when we create our beautiful work!!

12:23 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello, Some people call your joining stitch a) A Mattress stitch & b) An Invisible Horizontal/Vertical Stitch. I myself rather like "Sewn Kitchener" :-) Whatever you decide to call it it works and gives a really nice join to any knitting. Good luck with all your future endeavours. Tina

10:16 PM  
Blogger Khurram Shahzad said...

Very Informative and useful... Keep it up the great work. BuyFutonMattress/

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stitch you are using looks like a stitch called duplicate stitch

2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong...but I think that is a darning needle. ��

2:02 AM  
Blogger Kerry W said...

Well, thank you for sharing. I have followed the link given by Marie (Youtube channel for KnitDarling) and it was very helpful. I had only previously seen mattress stitch done using two side seams, and hadn't recognised it as the same stitch - but that's exactly what it is.

How clever of you, Tammy, to come up with this on your own in the meantime.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Geraldine said...

Me too. I was not sure where the needle was going either. It is a great explanation & great pictures. I was feeling clueless too. Lol

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, certain on this, however; something from the back of my mind is telling me that this is called the "ladder stitch". Am I completely wrong? Anyone else?

4:54 PM  
Blogger Vj65 said...

I was wondering if that was a darning or knitting needle also. Thank you for clarifying that for us that haven't done sesmingbin knit projects.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seams are absolutely invisible - it's a beyooooooooooooooooootiful join. Thanks for sharing - I have a box of cabled squares that badly needs this technique (and I even think I can find them in my WIP collection).

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, this is so funny!! I have been using this technique for years to close my knitted pillows!! Love it that you are doing it too!

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Grace said...

I have knitted a jacket in 8 ply wool and am struggling to see it together neatly. Any suggestions welcome. I have thought of crocheting it together. Has anyone tried this?

12:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home