How to Join knitting machine Panels and Tubes seamlessly using knitting stitches
I recently made a few videos explaining the 3 basic stitches to join circular knitting machines Panels and Tubes.
Each one of this stitches is used for a specific reason and they all look seamless after the piece is ready. If you are making either a Blanket or a sweater or a scarf you will eventually need to Graft or Mattress stitch the knitted pieces together when you want to make wider pieces then the ones the circular machines can make.
Knitting is a wonderful and creative hobby that allows you to craft beautiful garments and projects. If you’re working with a circular knitting machine and need to join panels and tubes seamlessly, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll teach you the art of creating a flawless finish using the mattress stitch technique. By the end of this article, you’ll have the skills to transform your knitting machine creations into polished masterpieces.
The Importance of Seaming on knitting pieces
Seaming is a crucial step in the knitting process, as it determines the overall look and structure of your project. Properly joined panels and tubes will give your work a professional, finished appearance, making it essential to understand the techniques involved.
Tools and Materials You’ll Need to seam on knitting
Before you start joining your knitting machine panels and tubes, gather the following tools and materials:
- Yarn: Use the same yarn you used for your project for a seamless match.
- Tapestry Needle: Opt for a blunt tapestry needle with a large eye for ease of use.
- Scissors: High-quality scissors for precision cutting.
Preparing Your Panels and Tubes
- Block Your Pieces: Before seaming, block your panels and tubes to ensure they are of the correct size and shape.
The Mattress Stitch Technique
The mattress stitch is a fantastic method for creating an invisible seam. Follow these steps to join your knitting machine panels and tubes seamlessly:
- Thread Your Needle: Cut a length of yarn (about three times the length of the seam) and thread it through the tapestry needle
- Align Your Panels or Tubes: Place your panels or tubes right side up, aligning the edges you want to seam together
- Start from the Bottom: Insert your needle from the bottom of the work, about one stitch from the edge. Bring it up and leave a small tail of yarn on the wrong side
- Stitch Through the First Stitch: On one side, insert your needle under the first and second horizontal bar between two stitches. Pull the yarn through, making sure not to pull too tightly
- Mirror on the Other Side: Go to the other panel or tube and insert your needle under the corresponding horizontal bar, mirroring the first stitch
- Repeat: Continue this process, working back and forth between the two sides, keeping the tension even
- Finishing Off: Secure your yarn by weaving the tail under the last few stitches
The Graft Stitch (Kitchener Stitch) Technique
The graft stitch, also known as the Kitchener stitch, is another method for joining knitting machine panels and tubes seamlessly, particularly when you need an invisible, seamless finish.
- Thread Your Needle: Cut a length of yarn (about three times the width of your knitting) and thread it through a tapestry needle
- Position Your Panels: Align your panels or tubes with the right sides facing each other and the needles parallel to each other
- Setup Rows: Create two setup rows by inserting the needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit and slipping the stitch off the needle. Then, insert the needle into the second stitch on the front needle as if to purl but leave it on the needle. Repeat the same process on the back needle.
- Repeat the Grafting Process: Now, you’ll perform a two-step process repeatedly:
- Front Needle: Insert the needle as if to knit and slip the stitch off, then insert the needle as if to purl but leave it on the needle
- Back Needle: Insert the needle as if to purl and slip the stitch off, then insert the needle as if to knit but leave it on the needle
- Finishing Off: Continue grafting until you have one stitch remaining on each needle. Insert the needle through the front stitch as if to knit, slip it off, and then insert the needle through the back stitch as if to purl and slip it off. Pull the yarn through the last stitch and secure it.
Tips for a Professional Finish
- Keep your tension even throughout the seaming process
- Take your time to ensure accuracy
- Weave in the yarn tails neatly and discreetly
- Practice on a swatch before working on your actual project
Common Mistakes to Avoid when seaming knitting
- Pulling the yarn too tightly, which can reduce the elasticity of the project
- Skipping stitches or pulling the yarn through multiple bars at once
- Using a different yarn type or color for seaming
Learning how to join knitting machine panels and tubes seamlessly using the mattress stitch technique is a valuable skill that will enhance the quality of your knitting projects. With the right tools, materials, and a little practice, you can transform your knitting into polished, professional-looking creations. Seaming doesn’t have to be daunting – embrace it as an opportunity to refine your craft and elevate your knitting to the next level.
If you are learning, make sure to check my Knitting Machine Panels course, where you can learn all the tricks to make panels with perfect edges without missing a stitch: