The plain truth is: I love mattress stitch. The elegance of it, the way it joins two pieces of knitting in such a sneaky, sly way—it’s one of the most magical techniques in all of knitting.
This is why, as I gazed upon the six finished strips of my Sequence Knitting Log Cabin blanket, I was all atwingle: 25 feet of thrilling mattress stitch ahead of me!
Once I stitch these six strips of sequence knitting squares together, I’ll have my blanket done. I’ll be a completer of the Fringe and Friends Log Cabin Knitalong.
(If you’re wondering what the heck mattress stitch is, here’s a great quick tutorial from Staci Perry of VeryPink.com.)
Assessing the Situation
This is definitely weirdie mattress stitch.
The challenge here is that each square has its own unique edge—no clean column of stockinette to work with. Could I have slipped a stitch at the end of each row, to give myself a selvedge edge? Yes. But I didn’t want to. Many of these sequences continue around the edge of the work, so I didn’t want to mess with the sequence mojo. Besides, I can’t recall a time I’ve ever made a selvedge edge.
The basic rule here for this significant amount of mattress stitch is to pick up two stitches on each edge. It’s not necessary to pick up every stitch—the seam is plenty strong with half as many mattress stitches.
Even when the edge stitches are a mishmosh of knits and purls, there’s a fundamental rowish quality here that remains consistent.
At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
My first seam went well—until the last square, where I got sort of smug and loose. When the four corners of the squares don’t line up, it’s a hideous sight. The road to ruin! Vigilance is required.
I ripped it out, chastened.
For those wondering how long it takes to work five feet of mattress stitch, the answer is: one hour.
I’ve done two of the five seams, and I’ve been wearing it around as a wrap. This is going to be a good blanket. Tahki Donegal Tweed is made for a blanket like this.
Thanks eternally to the mind-boggler Cecelia Campochiaro, whose patterns in MDK Field Guide No. 5: Sequences got me thinking about sequences in an all-consuming way.
This blanket has made its way onto my shortlist of all-time favorite projects. Sequence knitting at this scale is truly, genuinely irresistible to me. I could make another blanket, no problem.
What’s your all-time favorite project?