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The Modified Mattress Stitch

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Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2009

Whew! I didn't think i'd ever get done with these scarves. Oh. Actually, I'm not done. And I have soooo little left to do! But, alas, I keep getting sucked in by new yarns, new patterns, new things to spend time on (like the baby cardigan for Allison). Oh well. I'm so close to being done, it's silly. Actually, the silly part is that I really like sewing them together. I mean, it only takes me about an hour (and one large coffee) to sew 2 of them together - and I'm always just so tickled with the result. That said, I have 3 hours of work remaining. I think i can do it before February! You can take a look at the beginning of the scarves to throws project, if you need to get caught up!

Scarves to Throws

Anyway, we promised you an instructional article on sewing these together... and that's what i'm going to write about here. To tell the truth, we filmed a video a few days ago, but just realized that the sound wasn't working. So we're giving you the next best thing! I'm calling this a "modified mattress stitch" because each of the scarves that we're sewing together is different and has a different kind of edge. It's a little more flexible that the traditional mattress stitch - and the variation in edges and yarn colors do a great job of hiding the imperfections in your technique. So... here's how i've been sewing mine together. Shown below are Harvest on the left and Motherlode on the right.

The first step (not pictured) is to pin your scarves together at various points. This ensures that the seams are sewn together evenly. Secondly, you need to get the sewing process started (i.e., when you get to the end of the Harvest scarf, you're also at the end of the Motherlode scarf). Grab a darning needle and thread it with a piece of yarn (referred to here as "working yarn") approximately 1.5-2 times the length of the scarves. Though it's nice to use matching yarn, it's not necessary - if we do this right, you won't be able to see the stitches. Insert the darning needle into the bottom left hand corner of the Motherlode scarf, from the bottom up. Pull the needle and yarn through, but leave a 6" tail (to sew in later). Now, in the same manner, insert your needle and yarn into the bottom right hand corner of the Harvest scarf. Pull the yarn through. You're ready to get started on the fun part!

Mattress Stitch - 1

Working now on the Motherlode scarf, take your darning needle and insert it into the hole that your working yarn is coming out of... from the front of the scarf to the back. Don't bother pulling the entire length of working yarn through the hole at this point - you'll do that in a second. (Please note that this this photo was taken after i had already sewn a few inches ... the instructions are the same as if i had just started, but i didn't want you to get confused).

Mattress Stitch - 2

In this step, you'll want to bring the darning needle back to the front of the Motherlode scarf, about 1/4-1/2" up from where you inserted it. You can see that I shortcutted the process just a bit by entering and exiting the scarf all in one step.

Mattress Stitch - 3

Pull the darning needle and working yarn all of the way through (not too tightly).

Mattress Stitch - 4

Repeat the process on the Harvest scarf... insert your needle into the spot on the Harvest scarf that your working yarn is coming out of.

Mattress Stitch - 5

Bring the darning needle back to the front of the Harvest scarf, about 1/4-1/2" up from where you inserted it.

Mattress Stitch - 6

Pull the darning needle and working yarn all of the way through (not too tightly).

Mattress Stitch - 7

Repeat the above process a few more times (in and out of the Motherlode, then in and out of the Harvest). Pull the working yarn relatively tightly. You'll notice that the scarves start to "close" together... the working yarn that you could see between the scarves will disappear - it's magic! After tightening everything a bit, you can go back to the steps above... and repeat until you've reached the end.

Posted by Laura of Jimmy Beans Wool

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