Before we discuss how to seam reverse stockinette stitch, let’s take a moment to study the anatomy of the fabric. Understanding how the fabric is formed will make seaming it much easier.
Reverse stockinette stitch is the same as stockinette stitch fabric – it’s just the other side. In stockinette stitch fabric, the purl bumps are on the wrong side of the fabric. In reverse stockinette , the purl bumps are on the public side of the fabric.
Instead of the smooth surface that stockinette fabric is known for, reverse stockinette stitch is very bumpy. It tends to look like a bunch of interlocking smiles and frowns. This is a photo of reverse stockinette stitch:
The purple frowns mark the top of each purl stitch.
The blue smiles mark the strand between each stitch.
The green line traces the path of the yarn in row of reverse stockinette stitch.
Use the unmarked space in the photo to see if you can trace the yarn through one row of stitches. As you do, pay attention to the smiles and frowns, and how it interlocks with the rows directly above and below it.
When we seam, we are going to “trace” the path of some of the existing stitches to create a seam that blends in with the fabric.
Steps to Create a Horizontal Seam
Usually, you will start at the right edge, and work from right to left, but in some circumstances you may start in the middle of the seam. For this introductory lesson on seaming reverse stockinette stitch, we are going to start at the right edge and work from right to left.
You will always be working on the front of the fabric.
Watch this video to learn how to seam reverse stockinette stitch, then use the written steps below the video as a handy reference.
- Starting with the piece closest to you, insert the needle from bottom to top in the right-most frown.
- On the other piece…
- Insert the needle from bottom to top in the right-most smile.
- Trace the frown and insert the needle from top to bottom through the next smile.
- On the piece closest to you…
- Insert the needle into the same frown that your seaming yarn is coming out of, from top to bottom.
- Trace the next smile and insert the needle from bottom to top into the next frown
- On the other piece…
- Insert the needle into the same smile that your seaming yarn is coming out of, from bottom to top.
- Trace the next frown and insert the needle from top to bottom through the next smile.
- Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you reach the end, pulling the yarn tight every inch or two
Tips for Seaming Reverse Stockinette Stitch
Leave at least a 6” tail so you have enough slack to sew the end in. Do not try to work in the end while you seam – at least not until you become proficient at it.
Work loosely and pull the yarn to your desired final tension every inch or two. Not only does this prevent stitches you are about to work from becoming distorted, it also makes it easier to “unsew” and fix mistakes.
You can pull this seam tight or try to match the tension of your fabric, depending on your desired outcome.
Give yourself grace as you learn to seam. In the video, I work with a contrasting yarn so that you can see it. You will be working with a yarn that matches your fabric, so minor mistakes will not be noticeable.
This tutorial was originally created for the Kelmscott Knit Along in the Knit Along Club. Each knit along includes written and video tutorials to guide you through every step of the pattern – and they’re all online so you can participate from the comfort of your home! Click here to learn more.