Finishing Techniques: The Mighty Mattress Stitch

Finishing Techniques: Mastering the Mattress Stitch
Working the mattress stitch

You’ve finished all the pieces and you’ve blocked them to the correct measurements. You want your sweater to look professional and tidy, so how do you put it all together? I’ve got the answer: the mattress stitch!

This stitch is done from the right side of the fabric, and it provides the perfect hidden seam that’s strong and attractive.

There are two versions of this stitch, the vertical method, as shown at right, which is used on side seams, for example. The horizontal version is used to connect shoulder seams or other “top to top” applications. Both methods are worked the same way. Here’s a helpful video to show you how to work the mattress stitch.

The mattress stitch is my go-to stitch when finishing my projects. I love the sturdy, low-profile result of this seaming technique, and that image when you tighten the stitch and it just zips into place is one of the most satisfying visions in knitting!

I have passion of sorts for finishing techniques. They take my projects from good to great, and make them look professional; not store-bought-professional, they are handknits after all, and I want them to look that way, but I also want my knits to be as attractive as possible.

I want to pass my passion to you, so I have a few recommendations. Nancie Wiseman’s Knitting Around the Edge video is a wonderful finishing workshop, with lessons on everything you need to perfect your finishing techniques, from adding borders, knitting buttonholes, seaming, blocking, and more. It’s great.

And Patty Lyons has a fabulous video series, The Knitter’s Bag of Tricks, in which she shares her favorite knitting tips and tricks, from casting on to finishing your projects. I just love her, and she has some truly invaluable ideas for your knitting.

Here’s to perfect finishing, every time!



P.S. What’s your favorite finishing tip? Leave a comment below and share it with us!




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Finishing & Construction
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

8 thoughts on “Finishing Techniques: The Mighty Mattress Stitch

    1. I too asked this question, with no reply forthcoming. Why have a Comments section that’s not monitored so questions are answered???

      I finally went searching on my own and found this on Nancy’s Knitting Notions site:

      “Knook: Is a crochet hook with a hole running through the end. You thread a piece of yarn through the hole in the knook needle, and you can make stitches that look like knitting, but with a single crochet hook instead of using two needles.”

  1. I know and love (best) the Mattress Stitch. Even so, I looked at this video and it is a good one. Here’s my question: what is that sewing tool that she’s using? It appears to have a crochet hook end? I normally use a Clover Chibi needle.