How to Knit Seams Together

How to Knit Seams Together

Knitting seams together is an essential skill for any knitter. Whether you’re finishing up a sweater, hat, or blanket, knowing how to neatly join your knit pieces can make all the difference in the final product. In this article, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to knit seams together, so you can achieve a professional-looking finish on all your knitting projects.

Step 1: Prepare your pieces

Before you begin knitting the seams together, make sure you have all the pieces of your project ready. Lay them out flat on a table or any other surface, ensuring that the edges you want to seam are matched up properly. Smooth out any wrinkles or bumps in the fabric to ensure a clean and even join.

Step 2: Choose your seaming technique

There are several different ways to seam knitting pieces together, depending on the desired end result and the type of stitch used in your project. Some popular seaming techniques include mattress stitch, whip stitch, and backstitch. Research and choose the technique that best suits your project and personal preference.

Step 3: Thread your needle

Once you’ve decided on your seaming technique, thread a tapestry needle with a matching yarn or a contrasting color if you want to make the seam more visible. Make sure to leave a long enough tail to securely weave in later.

Step 4: Start seaming

Begin by inserting the needle into the first stitch or edge of one of your knitting pieces. Pull the yarn through, leaving a small loop on the right side of the fabric. Then, insert the needle into the corresponding stitch or edge of the other piece, going from back to front. Continue this process, going back and forth between the two pieces, until the seam is complete.

Pro tip: Use blocking techniques to help your seams lie flat and smooth. Blocking involves wetting your knitting pieces and letting them dry in a stretched-out shape, which can help even out any inconsistencies in tension and make your seams look more polished.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully learned how to knit seams together. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll be able to seamlessly join your knitting pieces and create beautiful, professional-looking projects.

What is knitting?

Knitting is a popular craft that involves creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn or thread using knitting needles or a knitting machine. It is a versatile technique that can be used to create a wide range of items, from clothing and accessories to home decor.

Knitting can be traced back to ancient times and has been practiced in various forms around the world. It is often associated with traditions and customs, such as the intricate fair isle patterns of Scotland or the cozy aran sweaters of Ireland.

To knit, you start with a set of knitting needles and a ball of yarn. The yarn is manipulated using the needles to form different stitches, which can be combined in various patterns to create different textures and designs. The basic stitches include the knit stitch and the purl stitch, which are the building blocks for more complex patterns.

One of the key elements of knitting is gauge, which refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch. The gauge can vary depending on the size of the needles, the thickness of the yarn, and the tension of the knitter. Achieving the correct gauge is important to ensure that the finished item has the desired size and fit.

Knitting can be a relaxing and enjoyable hobby, offering a creative outlet and a sense of accomplishment. It can also be a practical skill, allowing you to create personalized and unique items for yourself or as gifts for others. With practice and patience, you can develop your knitting skills and create beautiful and functional pieces.

Why are seams important in knitting?

Seams are an essential part of knitting as they allow you to join individual pieces of fabric together to create a finished project. Whether you’re making a sweater, a hat, or a pair of mittens, seams play a crucial role in the overall construction and durability of your knitted item.

1. Structure and Stability:

Seams help to give your knitted item structure and stability. They hold the different pieces of fabric together, ensuring that the garment maintains its shape and doesn’t stretch or sag over time. Seams also help to distribute the weight of the knitted item evenly, preventing strain on specific areas.

2. Professional Finishing:

Seams provide a polished and professional finishing touch to your knitting projects. They hide the raw edges of the fabric, making the seams practically invisible and giving your item a clean and seamless appearance. This is especially important when knitting garments or accessories that require a neat and professional look.

3. Flexibility and Fit:

Seams allow you to shape your knitted item to achieve the desired fit. By joining the pieces together, you can create contours and shaping that enhance the overall fit and comfort of the garment. Whether you need to add shaping to the waist of a sweater or adjust the width of a hat, seams give you the flexibility to customize your knitted item to your liking.

4. Durability:

Seams add strength and durability to your knitted item. By securely stitching the pieces together, seams help to reinforce the fabric, preventing it from unraveling or coming apart at the seams. This is especially important for items that will be subjected to regular wear and tear, such as sweaters or socks.

5. Design Opportunities:

Seams can also be used as a design element in your knitting projects. You can choose different types of seams, such as invisible seams or decorative seams, to add visual interest and uniqueness to your finished item. Seams can be an opportunity to showcase your creativity and enhance the overall aesthetic of your knitting project.

In conclusion, seams are an integral part of knitting, providing structure, stability, professional finishing, flexibility, durability, and design opportunities. Learning how to knit seams together correctly will greatly improve the overall quality and longevity of your knitted projects. So, embrace the importance of seams in knitting and take your knitting skills to the next level.

Step 1: Preparing your materials

Before you start knitting seams together, it’s important to gather all of the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Knitting needles: Choose the appropriate size and type of knitting needles for your project.
  • Yarn: Select a yarn that matches the weight and color of your knitting project.
  • Tapestry needle: This needle will be used to weave in the ends and sew the seams together.
  • Scissors: You’ll need a pair of scissors to cut the yarn and trim any excess.
  • Measuring tape: Use a measuring tape to ensure your seams are even and the correct length.
  • Stitch markers: These will help you keep track of your stitches and align the seams correctly.

Before you begin, make sure that all of your materials are easily accessible and in good condition. It’s also a good idea to work in a well-lit and comfortable area to make the process more enjoyable.

Selecting the right yarn and needles

When it comes to knitting seams together, selecting the right yarn and needles is crucial. The yarn and needles you choose will determine the final appearance and durability of your seams. Here are some things to consider:

  • Yarn weight: The weight of the yarn you choose should match the weight of the yarn used for your knitted pieces. If you used a bulky yarn for your project, use a bulky yarn for your seams as well.
  • Yarn fiber: Consider the fiber content of your yarn. Different fibers have different properties, such as stretch or shrinkage. Choose a yarn that complements the fiber used for your knitted pieces.
  • Needle size: The size of your needles should be appropriate for the weight of the yarn you are using. Refer to the yarn label for recommended needle sizes. Using the right needle size will ensure that your seams are not too loose or too tight.
  • Needle type: You can choose between straight needles or circular needles, depending on your preference. Straight needles are ideal for smaller projects, while circular needles are more versatile and can be used for a wider range of projects.
  • Color: Consider the color of your yarn and how it will blend with your knitted pieces. If you want your seams to be visible, choose a contrasting color. If you want your seams to be less noticeable, choose a color that matches your knitted pieces.

By selecting the right yarn and needles, you will ensure that your seams are strong, durable, and visually appealing. Take the time to carefully choose these materials before starting to knit your seams together.

Gathering other necessary tools

Aside from your knitting needles and yarn, there are a few other tools you will need to successfully seam your knitting projects together. These tools include:

  • Tapestry needle: This type of needle has a large eye and a blunt tip, making it perfect for weaving in yarn ends and seaming. Choose a needle size that is suitable for the weight of yarn you are using.
  • Scissors: A pair of sharp scissors will be needed to cut the yarn.
  • Pins: Sewing pins can be helpful for holding pieces in place before seaming, especially if you are working with a more complex pattern.
  • Blocking tools: Depending on the project, you may need blocking tools such as blocking mats, T-pins, and a spray bottle for blocking your knitted pieces before seaming.
  • Measuring tape: A measuring tape is essential for ensuring accuracy when seaming your pieces together.
  • Stitch markers: Stitch markers can be useful for marking specific points or sections in your knitting that may need to align when seaming.
  • Row counter: A row counter can help you keep track of the number of rows or stitches you have worked, making it easier to match up your pieces.

Having these tools on hand will make the seaming process much smoother and help you achieve professional-looking results.

Step 2: Understanding different types of seams

When knitting seams together, it’s important to understand the different types of seams you can use. Each type of seam has its own unique look and purpose, so you’ll want to choose the one that best suits your project.

Here are a few common types of seams:

  1. Mattress stitch: This seam is commonly used to join stockinette stitch pieces together. It’s an invisible seam that creates a smooth finish.
  2. Whipstitch: This seam is created by sewing through both sides of the knitting piece in a zigzag pattern. It’s often used for joining pieces made in a garter stitch.
  3. Overcast stitch: This seam is created by sewing through the edges of the knitting piece in a crisscross pattern. It’s commonly used for joining pieces made in a rib stitch.
  4. Backstitch: This seam is created by sewing through the edges of the knitting piece in a straight line. It’s often used for joining pieces made in a seed stitch.
  5. Invisible vertical seam: This seam is used to join two pieces side by side and creates an invisible join. It’s commonly used for joining pieces made in a lace or cable stitch.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of seams you can use in your knitting projects. Experiment with different seams to find the one that gives you the desired look and finish for your project.

Mattress Stitch

Mattress Stitch

The mattress stitch is a popular method for sewing seams together in knitting. It creates an almost invisible seam that is durable and secure. This stitch is commonly used to join pieces of a garment, such as the front and back of a sweater or the sides of a scarf.

Here are the steps to knit seams together using the mattress stitch:

  1. Lay the two pieces of knitting to be seamed side by side, with the right sides facing up and the wrong sides facing each other.
  2. Thread a yarn needle with a length of yarn that matches your knitting.
  3. Starting at one end, insert the needle under the first horizontal bar of the first stitch on the right-hand piece (front to back), then insert it under the corresponding bar on the left-hand piece (back to front).
  4. Continue inserting the needle under the horizontal bars of the stitches, alternating between the two pieces, working from one end to the other.
  5. After each stitch, pull the yarn snugly to close the gap between the two pieces of knitting.
  6. When you reach the end of the seam, weave in the yarn tail and trim any excess.

Tips for a successful mattress stitch:

  • Take your time and make sure the seam is aligned properly before sewing it together.
  • Use a smooth and flexible yarn for seaming to ensure the seam is not too bulky.
  • Keep the tension of the seaming yarn consistent throughout the seam to maintain an even appearance.
  • Practice on a swatch or scrap piece of knitting before seaming together your project to get a feel for the stitch.

The mattress stitch is a valuable technique to learn for knitters. It allows you to create professional-looking seams that enhance the finished appearance of your knitted garments. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to master this stitch and use it to join seams in all of your knitting projects.


The backstitch is a popular and versatile stitching technique used in sewing and knitting to join seams together. It creates a strong and durable seam that is nearly invisible on the right side of the fabric. Follow these easy steps to learn how to backstitch:

  1. Thread your needle: Start by threading a needle with a thread that matches the color of your fabric.
  2. Sew the first stitch: Insert the needle from the wrong side of the fabric and bring it up through the fabric a short distance away. Make sure to leave a small tail of thread at the beginning to secure the seam.
  3. Create the first backstitch: Insert the needle into the fabric, a short distance behind the first stitch, and bring it back up through the fabric a short distance ahead of the first stitch.
  4. Continue sewing: Repeat steps 2 and 3, sewing each backstitch the same length as the previous one. Make sure to keep the stitches uniform and evenly spaced.
  5. Finish the seam: To secure the seam, make a small stitch through both the fabric layers at the end of the seam. Tie a knot at the end of the thread to secure it, or weave the thread back into the seam using a needle.

The backstitch is suitable for sewing seams in any type of fabric, including knits and woven materials. It is commonly used to sew garment seams, hemming, and creating decorative stitches. With practice, you’ll be able to create neat and professional-looking seams using the backstitch technique.



The whipstitch is a simple and versatile stitch that can be used to join seams together in knitting. It creates a neat and sturdy seam, making it great for projects that require a strong finish.

To whipstitch, you will need a yarn needle and the two edges of the fabric you want to join together. Here are the easy steps to whipstitch:

  1. Thread the needle: Start by threading your yarn needle with a length of yarn. Make sure the yarn is long enough to sew the entire seam.
  2. Position the edges: Place the two edges of the fabric you want to join together side by side, with the right sides facing up. Hold them in place with your fingers or use pins to secure them.
  3. Start at the bottom: Insert the needle from the wrong side of the fabric through both layers, starting at the bottom of the seam.
  4. Whipstitch the edges: Bring the needle over the edge and insert it through the fabric layers, going from right to left. Pull the yarn gently to tighten the stitch, but not too tight to avoid distorting the fabric.
  5. Continue whipstitching: Repeat the whipstitch along the entire length of the seam, working your way up towards the top. Make sure to keep the stitches even and consistent.
  6. Tie off the yarn: Once you reach the end of the seam, secure the yarn by making a small knot on the wrong side of the fabric. Trim any excess yarn.

Whipstitching provides a visible seam, so it’s best used on projects where the seam will be hidden or on decorative seams. It works well for joining pieces of fabric together, such as when attaching sleeves to a sweater or sewing an opening closed.

With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to whipstitch seams together quickly and effectively, giving your knitted projects a polished and professional finish.

Slip Stitch

The slip stitch is a basic knitting stitch that is commonly used when joining seams together. It creates a nearly invisible, neat, and sturdy join. Here are easy steps to perform a slip stitch:

  1. Hold the two pieces of knitting that you want to join together with the right sides facing each other.
  2. Insert the needle from front to back into the first stitch of the front piece and then into the first stitch of the back piece.
  3. Wrap the yarn around the needle counterclockwise.
  4. Pull the needle through both stitches, creating a new stitch on the needle.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until all stitches have been joined.
  6. To finish, slip the first stitch off the needle and pull the yarn through the last stitch, securing it.

The slip stitch is commonly used for joining shoulder seams, side seams, and sleeve seams, as well as attaching pockets and other knit pieces together. It is a versatile stitch that provides a professional-looking finish to any knitted project. Practice the slip stitch with scrap yarn or on a small swatch before attempting it on your main project.


What is the purpose of knitting seams together?

The purpose of knitting seams together is to join separate knitted pieces and create a finished garment or project.

What tools do I need to knit seams together?

You will need a yarn needle or tapestry needle, scissors, and the pieces you want to seam together.

Can I use a different color yarn to seam my knitted pieces together?

Yes, you can use a different color yarn to seam your knitted pieces together, but it’s generally recommended to use the same color yarn as your project for a seamless look.

What is the difference between mattress stitch and whip stitch?

The mattress stitch is a nearly invisible seam that creates an even join between pieces, while the whip stitch is a more visible and decorative seam.

Are there any tips for knitting seams together neatly?

Yes, some tips for knitting seams together neatly are to use the same tension and stitch size as your project, to seam on the right side of the piece, and to block your knitting before seaming to ensure a professional finish.


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Faster! Flatter! Mattress Stitch Seam for Knitters by Diana Sullivan

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