Holli Yeoh, techniques

Mattress Graft

Further to my post yesterday about sewing the pocket to the front of the hoodie using mattress stitch, I have more photos of how I sew the sleeve onto the body of the sweater. I like to use a combination of both mattress stitch and grafting. I graft the bound off stitches of the sleeve to the armhole selvages with mattress stitch. This provides an almost invisible seam. That’s not quite accurate, the stitches on the sleeve do show, but they look like the last row of knitting so it’s important to use the same yarn as the sleeves.

I use this technique any time I’m attaching a bound off or cast on edge to the side edges or selvage of another piece.

mattress graft 1

Step 1: I generally determine how many stitches there are on the sleeve top and how many rows there are along the selvage edge. I look at the v-shaped stitches along the bound off edge as if they are traveling from the top down. Each “V” represents one stitch. Each bar along the selvage represents one row. The ratio is often five stitches to seven rows.

In the case of my sleeve I have 60 stitches and 84 rows. Each number divides evenly by 12 giving a ratio of 5:7. I’ll seam the pieces together in groups of five stitches as follows:

stitch 1 >> row 1
stitch 2 >> rows 2 & 3
stitch 3 >> row 4
stitch 4 > row 5
stitch 5 > rows 6 & 7
repeat

mattress graft 2 mattress graft 4

Step 2: Insert the needle under one or two of the bars (depending on the pattern/grouping you’ve established) between the selvage stitch and the next column of stitches. This is just like the mattress stitch described in the last post.

mattress graft 3

Step 3: Graft the sleeve top by inserting the needle underneath the inverted v-shape just below the bind off edge.

mattress graft 5

Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3, pulling the yarn through gently and maintaining the knitted tension.

If you don’t get a nice even ratio and have a few left-over rows (which is often the case) then pick up an extra bar (Step 2) every now and then as you go along sprinkling the extra rows evenly along the seam.

2 thoughts on “Mattress Graft”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *