Who’s in the mood to learn some grafting?
This technique, sometimes called the Kitchener stitch, is used to invisibly seam live stitches together and so neatly joining two pieces together.
For you to easily see and understand it, I’m using a contrasting colour thread. Obviously, you would use the same yarn to achieve an invisible result. (Bonus point if you use your tail and don’t have extra thread to weave in! Just make sure it’s at least twice the length you want to graft.)
Know that this is for stockinette stitch and if your knitting uses garter or a stitch pattern, the method will be different.
Also when it’s possible, it’s always easier to sew a piece that has been blocked.
So if you did, put the stitches back on the needle or remove any provisional cast on.
To graft, start by threading the tail on a tapestry needle and place you needles parallel with WS facing each other.
Then you’ll start setting up your work, by making a two steps set up.
To do so, go into the stitch closes to you as if to purl.
Next go into the first stitch from the back needle as if to knit and pull the yarn through.
Now that the set up is done, the actual grafting can start.
Go into the first stitch from needle closes to you as if to knit and slip the stitch off the needle.
Then go into the next stitch from front needle as if to purl, leaving it on the needle.
Next, go into the first stitch from the back needle purl wise and slip it off.
And then, go into the next stitch still on the back needle as if to knit. Leave it on.
These four steps will be repeated across the row magically grafting the stitches together. If you’re in a singing mood, saying it out loud sometimes helps…
Front, knit, slip.
Front, purl, leave.
Back, purl, slip.
Back, knit, leave.
If you get lost, simply pause and analyse in which stitch and how the yarn goes in. If it’s in a stitch from the back needle and you entered it purl wise, you know you just did the second step and can continue from there.
Tighten and adjust the tension as you go. If you want to go the extra mile, you can steam block the piece once it’s joined to even the seam and really make it invisible.
That’s it! How neat is this? This technique is really fabulous and useful to know. It helps when joining a lot of different things, shoulders, socks, two halves of an infinity scarf, you name it!
Have fun grafting and see you next Thursday! 🙂