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 General Technique Questions
 advice on how to pin seams for mattress stitch
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SkeinHerder
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
385 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2009 :  6:53:13 PM  Show Profile Send SkeinHerder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm new at seeming and am not sure how to keep my seems from moving while I mattress stitch them together.

Any tips?

Thanks,
S

Happiness is an inside job.

anderknit
Permanent Resident

USA
2603 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2009 :  7:27:36 PM  Show Profile Send anderknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knit my first sweater over 20 years ago, and I still have not found a great way to keep my seams from moving around as I sew them. But just yesterday I used locking stitch markers, and they worked relatively well.

If you don't know what they are, here are a couple of links:

http://tinyurl.com/dkprwy
http://tinyurl.com/ctehmo

Good luck!


"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
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SkeinHerder
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
385 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2009 :  9:05:46 PM  Show Profile Send SkeinHerder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have some of those and never thought to use them for seaming. I will try it. Thanks!

Happiness is an inside job.
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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  04:15:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
mattress stitch is more like lacing than seaming in my opinion. I can't see a need to pin them, in fact it would hinder my progress.

Wen


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wen1965/sets/72157612251840708/show/ FO 2009
http://www.flickr.com/groups/kr_members/
http://wenswoolgathering.wordpress.com/
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  07:04:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use lollipop pins and remove the pin as I reach it. If I didn't pin the seams I would be totally off when I reach the armhole or whatever the end point might be.

GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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counterculture
Gabber Extraordinaire

453 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  07:24:35 AM  Show Profile Send counterculture a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK, what are "lollipop" pins? Just wondering Overall, it sounds similar to my technique, though. I like to use the longer T-pins to know that I am matching up both sides of the fabric properly so there are no surprises when I get to the end.
I like to work on table and usually, it's the dining room table with lots of good lighting. I've also found that it helps to lay a book under the part I am working on. Not sure why, but I like that area lifted up a bit. And it really is like lacing!
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  08:35:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
OK, what are "lollipop" pins?


Lollipop Pins are long straight pins with a brightly colored flat plastic circle on top that prevents the pin from getting lost in the knit fabric.

GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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Dicksie
Permanent Resident

USA
1995 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  08:58:39 AM  Show Profile Send Dicksie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I start by pinning top and bottom, then center. Depending on how long the seam is, I then divide those segments in half, sometimes do this a second time. One caveat - I knit everything I can in the round to avoid as much seaming as possible.
Dicksie

http://tourdirector.smugmug.com/gallery/529635
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  10:34:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought mattress stitch was one stitch from one part, one stitch from the other, and so on (or am I mixing up stitch names)? So it never even occurred to me I could be off and I just did it, without any pinning...

Happy knitting, Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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PBELKNAP
Permanent Resident

USA
1136 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  12:39:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit PBELKNAP's Homepage Send PBELKNAP a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What a coincidence...I'm going to have to do this soon...

I usually just take large safety pins and pin the pieces together side by side, and then just use the dining room table to spread both pieces out as I'm seaming.

Either way, I'd sooner pay someone else to do it for me! <LOL>

*************************
PAM

WIP = Socks (knit), Cot'n Corn Eyelet Rib Top (knit), Armenius Sweater (knit)
Done YTD: Shadow Jacket (crochet), Snowflake Sweater (knit), Round Ripple Afghan (crochet), Socks (knit)

Twitter Name = WildKnitter

If I could only do this for a living...
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SkeinHerder
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
385 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  1:14:21 PM  Show Profile Send SkeinHerder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pam, I agree! I am going to look for some lollipop pins or at least large t pins next time I'm at craft store.

Happiness is an inside job.
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anderknit
Permanent Resident

USA
2603 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  6:13:16 PM  Show Profile Send anderknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, mattress stitch is supposed to be like weaving, and yes, it is supposed to be one stitch from one side, one stitch from the other, but I always get off track. Also, there's stitching sleeves to shoulders, which of course don't align stitch to stitch (it's stitch to row in that case). Whatever, I always mess it up.

Another trick: if seaming side seams or sleeves, start at the bottom and work toward the armhole. That way, if you get off a bit, you can fudge under the arm, which is less noticeable.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
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megknits
Sustaining Member

USA
729 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2009 :  6:50:57 PM  Show Profile Send megknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use those binder clips that you can find at any office supply store next to the paper clips. They come in a variety of sizes and are cheap.
That said, I agree that you may not need to pin the straight sections as you seam them, if you go one stitch per side at a time. I mainly use them around the arm holes and other curves.

Meg
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but laziness is her favorite aunt.
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CraftyGrammy
Chatty Knitter

USA
194 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2009 :  7:49:34 PM  Show Profile Send CraftyGrammy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use the locking stitch markers as well. I am very anal and count my stitches and place the markers very so many stitches, this way if I am off I can even it out ahead of time. It has saved me time in the long run.

Nancy
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2009 :  10:15:58 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned to do mattress stitch in sewing for repairing upholstery, so this is the way I do it.

I do my pining with whatever is handy. If nothing is handy, I just use scrap yarn and run it through side to side. I bring my yarn needle with the sewing yarn up through a knit stitch and then down through the one above it. Then across the seam and up through another knit stitch and down the one above it, then across the seam back to the first side. Continue sewing the seam, stopping every few inches to adjust tension. If the tension is correct, the sewing becomes not only invisible, but reversible and, since the rungs of my ladder are straight, they look like a vertical row of purls on the inside.

fran

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/
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Katheroni
Permanent Resident

USA
1407 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2009 :  10:06:31 PM  Show Profile Send Katheroni a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use small butterfly hair clips.

If it's a particularly difficult-to-pin-down item, you could just do a very loose job of hand-sewing the pieces together using a zig-zag stitch or something like that, and remove it as you go.
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SkeinHerder
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
385 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2009 :  3:51:37 PM  Show Profile Send SkeinHerder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for everyone's advice! I didn't make it to the store to look for lollipop pins, but they are on my list, so I used the locking stitch markers instead. That helped the ends from curling so I could seam it together.

S :)

Happiness is an inside job.
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abt1950
Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2009 :  12:13:32 PM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use safety pins. I match up appropriate parts of the two pieces and then link them with the safety pins so that I can move the pieces apart when I'm not sewing that part of the seam but can move them back together when I can.

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
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