How to start a mattress stitch

The video on mattress stitch showed how to do it…but how do you START it? Like, do you tie a knot at the end of your yarn the way you do with thread when sewing?

I don’t know what the ‘correct’ way is, but I usually bring my yarn up through the bottom stitch from the wrong side on one piece and down through the right side on the bottom stitch of the other piece. Then, if the yarn is not too thick, I bring it up through the first piece again and pull it tight. As I do the first few stitches, I catch the tail in the stitches on the back as best I can.

I suppose the tail can be just woven in, too. I wouldn’t make a knot at the end of the yarn. You’d have a knot at the edge of the knitting, and if it came out, there wouldn’t be enough yarn to weave into the knitting.

Whenever you start to cast on, leave a long end (about a foot) dangling and use later to do your sewing-up. Fold it up and pin it to the work to keep it out of your way while you’re knitting. When you’re ready to start your mattress stitch, it’s right there – no knots or weaving needed. Then just follow the video or Ingrid’s instructions.

I never even thought of doing that! That’s a great idea. I will do that next time.