Sunday, July 10, 2011

Seaming Tunisian knit stitch and a free pattern!


I've been a bit obsessed lately with ways to seam Tunisian crochet, without the obvious seam! What about pieces that need to be seamed and can't be worked in the round? Or, how about those who are just getting into Tunisian crochet and don't have double-ended hooks yet? Or, how about those kick-ass yarns that can't really show off their stripes when worked in the round? Or, how about crocheters who just don't have a long enough cable to attempt the "circular" version of Tunisian? Or large pieces seamed together Aran style?

Let's face it. Some things are just going to need seaming. So, as I continue to obsess over this for other stitches, let me just share my seaming solution for pieces worked in Tunisian knit stitch. It's called the mattress stitch, and it's used in knitting. I've heard vague mention of it being used for this, but I was surprised to find my Google searches of Tunisian crochet + mattress stitch came up totally empty! And only the briefest of mention on Ravelry (oh, the shock!).

Before I learned to knit on circular needles, I knitted flat pieces that would have to be seamed together (i.e. into a hat). Since Tunisian knit looks so much like stockinette, I thought I would give it a try. Et voila! It works! Of course, how I do it is just a version of the mattress stitch, but it's adapted to Tunisian knit and I must say, the seam is almost invisible. Not perfect, but pretty damn good! Another surprise was that the inside of the seam was absolutely smooth, so you could even use this technique to make chemo hats!

Anyway, here is a basic knit stitch hat pattern, and two videos on mattress stitch seaming - one for pieces made in one color, and the other for pieces with color changes every other row. Enjoy!

Basic Tks Hat

Materials:
less than 100 yds each of 2 colors sportweight
J hook with cable attached
tapestry needle

Notes:
Although I used 2 colors, the possibilities are endless. Also, you can use any yarn you want. Just note that your decreases will be different than the ones mentioned in this pattern. If you aren't sure how to decrease, just send me a comment and I will help you out!

Terms:
tks = Tunisian knit stitch

Pattern:
With color A, ch 75
Row 1: with one loop on hook, pick up each st across. Return row as normal (and for all rows until the decreases). Before pulling hook through last stitch, drop color A, yarn over and complete stitch with color B.
Row 2: with one loop on hook, tks across the row. Change color on last stitch of return row.
Rows 3 and on: continue knitting across, changing color each row, until piece reaches desired length. I stopped when my piece reached about 8" tall as I wanted a slouchy hat.

Decrease Row 1: tks each st across. On the return row, y/o and pull through one loop, y/o and pull through 2 two times, y/o and pull through 3, *y/o and pull through 2 three times, y/o and pull through 3.* Repeat from * to * to end of row.

Row 1a: tks across with other color, sliding hook through both stitches that were decreased in the previous return row. This will ensure that they remain decreased stitches.

Decrease Row 2: tks each st across. On the return row, y/o and pull through one loop, y/o and pull through 2, y/o and pull through 3, *y/o and pull through 2 two times, y/o and pull through 3.* Repeat from * to * to end of row.

Row 2a: tks across with other color, sliding hook through both stitches that were decreased in the previous return row. This will ensure that they remain decreased stitches.

Decrease Row 3: tks each st across. On the return row, y/o and pull through one loop, y/o and pull through 3, *y/o and pull through 2, y/o and pull through 3.* Repeat from * to * to end of row.

Row 3a: tks across with other color, sliding hook through both stitches that were decreased in the previous return row. This will ensure that they remain decreased stitches.

Decrease Row 4: tks each st across. On the return row, *y/o and pull through 3.* Repeat from * to * to end of row.

Row 4a: tks across with other color, sliding hook through both stitches that were decreased in the previous return row. This will ensure that they remain decreased stitches. Do not change color on the last stitch. At this point, you should have 15 stitches. Cut yarn, leaving a very long tail of the color you just used.

Finishing:
Thread the yarn through your tapestry needle. Insert needle on the left side of your work, through the last row just made. Slide needle through each stitch and pull snug. The top of your hat should be gathered now.

Turn work with right sides together and use the mattress stitch to seam together. After seaming, if you don't care for the curl created by the knit stitch, either block it into submission, or add a brim of some sort. Totally up to you!

By the way, I wrote this up on the fly and haven't really proofread it. If you find mistakes, my apologies! Let me know and I will fix it right away. :)



video


video

7 comments:

  1. You did a great job with the seam. I can barely notice it. I always got frustrated with that as well when doing hats in Tunisian stitch. Never heard of the 'mattress stitch' so thank you for introducing it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amy, can you send me info on decreasing? I Tunisian and double-end but always scarves or afghans. I'd love to try this hat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for replying so late! Here is a link to my YouTube channel. I will be adding some videos on right- and left-leaning decreases soon.

      Delete
    2. Um, HERE is a link to my channel...LOL

      http://www.youtube.com/user/amydepew1?feature=mhee

      Delete
  3. I would like to make this hat for a toddler. Any recommendations?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would guess the initial chain needs to be close to the head circumference? But it would also depend on your yarn.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jjrioux...I'm using a smaller hook (H) to make my hat smaller.

    ReplyDelete