Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

It seems that the most popular way to make neat side edges is to slip the first and purl the last stitches of every row. This little trick creates a lovely chain of stitches at each side of the project.

It looks great, but when we need to seam slip stitch edges we have to be careful about the type of seam we use. Because every chain of the edge is formed every other row, basic mattress stitch will create a fairly loose join.

For years, I’ve been using backstitch to join slip-stitch edges, but recently I stumbled upon another type of seam that is as reliable as backstitch but forms a flatter join that also looks lovely on the wrong side of the work.

Let’s see how it works.

If you are a visual learner, click here to watch every step described below in a video tutorial.

SET UP

Because we need to clearly see the slip stitch chains that form the edge, it is a good idea to block the knitted pieces (or at least to steam and even out the edges) before seaming them.

It is especially important for pieces worked in stockinette stitch or a stitch pattern that is based on stockinette stitch. The famous curling of stockinette stitch is quite a pain to deal with when we need to find a leg of a stitch at the very end of that curled edge.

So block the knitted pieces (or at least their edgings) and place two pieces side by side with the right side of the work facing to you.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Now, cut a piece of yarn that is at least twice as long as the future seam and thread that piece of yarn into a wool needle.

If you did a bit of planning and left a long tail when you cast on stitches, use that tail and skip Step 1 outlined below.

To make each step of the seaming easier to understand, I’ll use a piece of yarn in a contrasting colour. But, of course, in real life, it is better to make a seam with the same yarn that you used to knit the project.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

STEP 1

First, let’s attach the yarn to the project. You can do it any way you like. I usually simply tie the yarn the bottom of the seam. Here’s how:

1.1. Insert the wool needle from back to front at the very bottom of one knitted piece. Pull it through leaving a tail around 10 cm / 4″ long. Then insert the wool needle from front to back at the bottom of the other knitted piece. Pull the yarn through but not hard enough to take out the tail.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

1.2. Tie the yarn and the tail with a square knot.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

1.3. Bring the yarn from back to front around the knot to keep the knot at the back of the work.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

STEP 2

Now, that we have the yarn in place, it’s time to seam. We’ll always use only one leg of the long stitches at the edge of the fabric – the leg that is closer to the right side of the work.

On the piece at the right side, insert the wool needle from right to left under the right leg of the first edge stitch from the bottom, and from left to right under the right leg of the next edge stitch.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Pull the yarn through.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

STEP 3

Now let’s do a mirror version of step 2 on the piece at the left side.

On the piece at the left side, insert the wool needle from left to right under the left leg of the first edge stitch from the bottom, and from right to left under the next edge stitch.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Pull the yarn through.

STEP 4

On the piece at the right side, insert the wool needle from right to left under the right leg of the last stitch that we worked when we run the wool needle through the stitches of this piece.

If you are not sure how to find this stitch, pull the seam a bit sideways and note the last stitch that was seamed. It is the very stitch we are looking for.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Then insert the wool needle from left to right under the right leg of the next edge stitch.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Pull the yarn through.

STEP 5

Now, let’s do the same on the piece at the left side.

First, insert the wool needle from left to right under the left leg of the last worked stitch (the one that’s already been seamed).

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Then, insert it from right to left under the left leg of the next edge stitch.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Pull the yarn through.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you join all edge stitches of both pieces, or until the seam is as long as you need.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

To finish off the seam, insert the wool needle from right to left under the right leg of the last worked stitch at the right side and under the left leg of the last worked stitch at the left side.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

Pull the yarn through to join the last worked stitches of both pieces. Then secure the yarn and hide the tails.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

As you see, this seam is almost invisible. It works with any stitch pattern. Because we use just one leg of each edge stitch, seaming evens out the stitches that are next to the edge stitches. This solves the only major drawback of slip stitch selvedges – loose stitches at the edge of the work.

In addition to all these benefits, the seam is much flatter than seams formed by mattress stitch and backstitch. And if you look at the wrong side of the work, you will be pleasantly surprised by the look of a neat band formed by chains of stitches.

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

But that’s not all. I tested this way of seaming to see how it works for joining two bind off edges (to make a shoulder seam, for example) and this technique passed the test with flying colours. The seam is flat and secure with a lovely band of chains of stitches at the back. What a great way to make seams!

Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges

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Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges | 10 rows a day
Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges | 10 rows a day
Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges | 10 rows a day
Great Way to Seam Slip Stitch Edges | 10 rows a day