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Mattress Stitch

Happy New Year, everyone!

As I stated two weeks ago, The Animator's Wife has recently joined the Yarn of the Month Club, and in conjunction with that membership we will be posting a new stitch pattern and motif pattern each month to correspond with the month's featured yarns. If you would like to treat it as a crochet-along, at the end of the year you should have enough crocheted squares to make a small blanket.

Now how will you be putting those squares together? Our favorite technique is whipstitching. We love it so much that in over 15 years of crocheting, The Animator's Wife had never bothered to learn any other technique. But recently the mattress stitch, a favorite of famed crochet designer Lily Chin, has come to our attention as a popular alternative, and we'd like to go over that method with you today.

Mattress Stitch

1. Begin by holding together the edges that are to be sewn with right sides together.

Mattress Stitch

2. Here you have two options: Insert your yarn needle through the outer loops of the stitches on each piece, or insert your yarn needle through both loops of the stitches on each piece. (We used contrasting yarn and the outer loops only for illustration purposes in the photos.)

Mattress Stitch

3. Now insert the needle in the opposite direction through the outer or both loops of the next stitches.

Mattress Stitch

4. Repeat Step 3 until the entire edge is joined.

Mattress Stitch

5. Now pull the ends of the sewing yarn tightly to "fuse" the edges together. This is how it should look on the side facing you (the wrong side).

Mattress Stitch

6. And this is how the right side looks. See how you can't even see the sewing yarn? The mattress stitch makes the edges of the pieces butt up together quite nicely and neatly.

The mattress stitch is popular because it results in a nearly invisible seam, as illustrated in the last photo of our tutorial. However, you should note that working the mattress stitch only in the outer loops will result in a seam that is quite obvious if the crocheted work happens to be folded back on the seam line.

Mattress Stitch

Do you see how a "valley" is opened up when the seam is folded just so? We personally find this look to be a bit icky and for this reason believe that doing the mattress stitch in both loops or simply whipstitching are the superior joining methods. But there you have it: the mattress stitch, for those who desire an invisible seam.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for a good write up of the mattress stitch. If the stitching through the outer loops creates a valley when folded, then how does the crochet through both loops look. I suppose the main idea you are putting across is that the mattress creates a seam though stitching is invisible though I find most edging has its own problem. Its a matter of choice for everyone and what type of look you are going for. Thanks again for this tutorial.

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