I ♥ mattress stitch

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Behold the wonder that is the result of the mattress stitch. See the seam? Or rather, the absence of a seam?
(Except the wonky spots where I somehow managed to offset the rows and then get confused at the ribbing, all entirely having to do with my own stupidity and not the technique.)
I've always had a vague fear of the mattress stitch. Not that I actually knew what mattress stitch was but all the dark (and occasionally resigned) mutterings about it on knitting boards and blogs had me convinced that it was at best, a difficult technique, and at worst, a pain in the ass and absolute waste of time. So, when the sock directions emphasized the necessity of using mattress stitch to seam up the back, I was filled with trepidation. So, I dithered. I took my time weaving in ends, spent ages trawling the web collecting directions for doing it, and generally dragged my feet. Then I actually sat down and read the directions for seaming together stockinette and a little light bulb went off. The technique is really quite brilliant and make a sort of intuitive sense...rather like weaving two pieces of fabric together. It's exactly the sort of mindless fiddly work that I find oddly enjoyable. The clearest directions I found were those from Lana Grossa. The diagrams are excellent and make the accompanying words almost superfluous. After all that initial dread, the seaming process was quick and uneventful, though I was surprised by how hard I had to tug on the seaming yarn to tighten the stitches and make the two sides fuse well together.
So now, with seaming done, I present to you...the argyle ankle warmer!

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Just kidding.
The argyle tube is getting a heel and a foot and becoming a sock. Before I start all that though, I'm planning on knitting the argyle portion for the second socks to head off the potential onset of Second Sock Syndrome. After that, it will be all heels flaps and gussets and the rest of the sockly goodness.


Blogger Philippa said...

Oh, brilliant! I am taking such vicarious pleasure in watching these socks. Doing the next one to the same stage immediately seems an excellent idea.

Thanks for the mattress stitch link. I have always felt exactly that way about the stitch - the only difference being that I have actually tried it, but in a hurry and following the directions in a friend's Stich'n'Bitch, which I didn't like at all.

5:42 AM  
Blogger hege said...

Beautiful! Yes, mattress stitch/ladder stich is the excellent. I always use it for side seams.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Areli said...

I love watching mattress stitch zip up, it's fun :-) Your argyles are looking so good.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

Ooh, it looks FANTASTIC!!

6:31 AM  

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