Simple Way to Seam Open Stitches to a Side Edge

A few years ago, when bulky knits were all the rage, I knit a sweater with super chunky merino wool. It took me just a few hours (!!!) to knit the back, the front and the sleeves, but it took ages to put all pieces together. 

Because the yarn was very thick, any seam I tried would create an additional bulk and ruin the look of the sweater. The biggest challenge was to find a flat seam that would join open stitches of the sleeves (I decided not to bind them off to avoid additional bulk) to the shoulders of the sweater. After quite a few seaming/un-seaming attempts I did find a way to do it. 

This seam is not just flat. It is also stretchy, reversible, and quite easy to do. I like it so much that I now use it on most sweaters I make, bulky and not-bulky, like this one

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

As usual, I made a video tutorial for you. Click here to watch it.

SETUP

1. When you finish knitting a sleeve or any other piece that you plan to attach to a selvedge edge, don’t bind off stitches. Cut the yarn leaving a long yarn tail that we’ll use for seaming.

2. Transfer the stitches to a piece of scrap yarn (click here to see how to do it). Now this knitted piece is ready for seaming (let’s call it “piece A”).

3. Pin the piece A to the edge of the piece you want to attach it to (let’s call it “piece B”). It could be a side of a sweater, or a blanket or just a sample swatch like the olive one shown in the photo:

You can use locking stitch markers, safety pins or regular pins like the ones I use in this tutorial. If you join bigger pieces, add a pin approximately every 5cm / 2″ of the future seam.

SEAMING

This is the fun part – now, that the pieces are pinned in place, there is no need to look for bars or count rows on the piece B. All we need to do is to join each open stitch on the piece A to the first line of stitches on the piece B using a basic whip stitch. 

You don’t need any special selvedge stitches for that. The swatches shown in the photo don’t have any selvedge stitches at all, and that’s totally fine. 

4. Thread the yarn tail into a wool needle and move the scrap yarn that guards the open stitches so that its right end is very close to the first stitch on the right.

5. Insert the wool needle from front to back into the first stitch at the right side of the piece A, and from back to front into the piece B. The spot on the piece B should be opposite to the open stitch and one stitch away from the edge of the piece B.

Pull the scrap yarn a bit to remove it from the first stitch and to make sure the wool needle didn’t accidentally catch it. 

Remove the first pin and pull the yarn through.

6. Now insert the wool needle from front to back into the next open stitch of the piece A and back to front into a spot that is opposite to that stitch.

Pull the scrap yarn a bit to remove it from the open stitch. Then pull the yarn through.

Repeat step 6 to join every stitch of the piece A to the edge of the piece B. Pull the scrap yarn out of each stitch and remove pins as you make the seam. Secure the yarn and weave in the tail (click here to watch this part in the video tutorial)

Because the swatches shown above are in different colours, you can see the seam. But if you make this seam on two pieces knit in the same colour, the seam is almost invisible.


If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Neat Side Edges” Book

Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.


Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko - www.10rowsaday.com

Let’s be friends on GoodReads 🙂

How to seam open stitches to a side edge | 10 rows a day
Simple flat seam - step by step | 10 rows a day
Perfect seam for attaching sleeves | 10 rows a day
How to transfer stitches to a piece of scrap yarn | 10 rows a day