Reverse Stocking Stitch Seams

At the Sally Melville workshops I attended last January I learned a new tidbit for working a reverse stocking stitch seam. Sally suggested working at least two selvedge stitches on each end of the row in stocking stitch. I tried it out with the Chloë that I’ve been knitting. I’m pleased with the results.

Textured knitting created by working alternating stripes in stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch and showing selvedge edge that's been worked in stocking stitch throughout.

Here is a blocked sleeve. You can see the nice even column of two selvedge stitches worked in stocking stitch along the edge. Well, the very edge stitch has curled to the wrong side so you can’t quite see both stitches.

Hand inside a baby sleeve, supporting the seam while it's being stitched and a tapestry needle is inserted along the edge.

I always use mattress stitch for my seams and it was certainly much easier to see where to insert my needle because it was nicely nestled between those two knit stitches.

A black reverse stocking stitch piece of knitted fabric has been seamed to a red and white striped piece; a column of knit stitches can be seen along each side of the seam.

Tight shot of the sleeve seam that's been worked in alternating stripes of stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch; there's a two-stitch column of knit stitches along the seam.

The finished seams look lovely. On a fully reverse stocking stitch garment there will definitely be a stocking stitch seam line, but I think it adds a nice designer’s touch. Form follows function.

Project Stats

Red and white striped baby sweater with black edging is laying flat on a carpet.

Pattern: Chloë by me.

Tight shot of the rectangular detail that appears at the back neck of the baby sweater; it's red and white striped.

Yarn: Opal Prisma (1191) and Opal Uni Black.

Tight shot of the black button bands on a textured red and white baby cardigan.

Challenges: Gauge when working the fronts and sleeves in the alternating reverse stocking stitch and stocking stitch stripes is different than simple stocking stitch. It’s much more like a garter stitch gauge. As a result, more swatching is needed to determine needle size for the fronts and sleeves. I used UK size 12 which when measured with my calipers (from my jewellery making days) are just a titch bigger than 2.5 mm needles. Last time I knit this sweater with 2.5 mm needles, but I used Regia yarn.