Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Video - Mattress Stitch

Great finishing is important, and for the new book, "The Goldilocks Challenge," it's critical.  The projects are made with worsted weight yarn, and if you're working in a big gauge like that, every stitch shows.  And how about the crazy challenge of a tiny sweater with big stitches?

Besides, I want all my readers to finish fantastically well, pick up blue ribbons at fairs, and for your friends to ask how you learned that!

With that vision, I worked hard this week to rewrite and redraw diagrams for Kitchener and mattress seams to go in the book.

The mattress stitch diagrams were the most difficult - I hate almost all the diagrams I have seen.  There are so many threads going this way and that way that they're incomprehensible!  However, mattress stitch is so easy once you master it that I want to be able to teach it without you sitting right here.  I could only learn mattress stitch from someone showing me, because the diagrams were just too difficult.  I think I finally made good diagrams and good instructions for the book.

In this baby sweater picture, that's a mattress stitch attaching the front button band to the fronts, and a mattress stitch for the raglan seam.  On the raglan seams, you match up the decreases to make those pretty little cable effects (that's a double-decrease like they use so often on commercial sweaters).  On the button band, you just have to make sure you're following along the same vertical column of stitches on the button band and the same straight column on the sweater.

The second shot shows the sleeve seam.  The sleeve is made from the cuff up, from narrow to wider, and this mattress stitch  has increases that match up instead of decreases.

Why not indulge yourself in a "seminar experience" from home?  At my seminars, I like to pass out samples and have everyone practice mattress stitch.

Start by knitting two samples just for practicing mattress stitch.  I like to do about 20 stitches wide and about 20 rows long, with waste yarn at the beginning and the end.  I knit the samples on my bulky machine with worsted weight yarn, but you can do them on your standard or mid-gauge, whatever you have.  Next, I steam the samples so they lie fairly flat - you'll just have an easier time sewing with flat samples.  Get a length of yarn and a tapestry needle and follow along on the new video:


  1. I'm using these tecnique all the time! Very nice video! Thank you! Synnøve

  2. Very nice!! Would you mind if I post a couple links to some of you videos on my blog?? I make sweaters for the Women's Shelter & I often knit the drop shoulder sleeves from the shoulder down to the cuff. One of the links I would like to use is for the 'loop thru loop BO' method that I use to bind off the ribbed cuffs. Your video is so much better than just explaining how to do it, & I don't see any reason to make a video myself since you do such a good job with yours. There are a couple of others I wpould like to use later on too. I will of course give you the credit for the videos. This post is not intended for publication. My email is Thx