Last Updated on December 13, 2023
The Kitchener Stitch, also known as grafting, is a seamless way to join two pieces of knitting together. Whether you’re finishing off a toe in a pair of socks or closing the gap in a scarf, mastering this technique is a valuable skill for any knitter.
- Ensure an equal number of stitches on both needles for a seamless Kitchener Stitch join.
- Using a contrasting yarn makes the process more visible and easy to follow.
- Periodically check and adjust the tension to match the gauge of your project for a polished finish.
- With repetition, mastering the Kitchener Stitch will become second nature, providing a professional touch to your knitting projects.
- Achieve an invisible join, creating a seamless appearance as if it were a single, continuous piece of knitting.
How to Do the Kitchener Stitch?
To master the Kitchener Stitch, place the wrong sides of knitted pieces together, ensure equal stitches on both needles, and follow the steps: set up by mimicking purl and knit motions, then repeat the process until project completion. Adjust tension as needed, finishing with a seamless and invisible join.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of the Kitchener Stitch, using a contrasting yarn for clarity.
Step 1: Preparation
Ensure that you have an equal number of stitches on both needles and cut your working yarn, leaving a tail that is two to three times the width of your project.
Having the same number of stitches is crucial, as the Kitchener Stitch pairs stitches together.
Step 2: Setting Up
- Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if you were going to purl it. Pull the yarn through, leaving the stitch on the needle.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the back needle as if you would knit it. Pull the yarn through and leave the stitch on the needle.
Step 3: Repeating Steps of Kitchener
Now that you’ve set up follow these repeating steps until you reach the end of your project:
- Insert the tapestry needle into the stitch on the front needle as if to knit. Drop the stitch off the needle and pull the yarn through.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the stitch on the front needle as if to purl. Pull the yarn through, leaving the stitch on the needle.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the stitch on the back needle as if to purl. Drop the stitch off the needle and pull the yarn through.
- Insert the tapestry needle into the stitch on the back needle as if to knit. Pull the yarn through, leaving the stitch on the needle.
Repeat these steps: knit off, purlwise, leave it on, purlwise off, knitwise leave it on, until you’re near the end of your project.
Step 4: Adjusting Tension
Periodically check your work to ensure the tension matches the rest of your project. If stitches appear loose, use the tapestry needle to give them a gentle tug from the right side.
Step 5: Finishing Off
When you reach the final two stitches, insert the tapestry needle knitwise into the first stitch, drop it off the needle, and pull the yarn through.
Then, insert the tapestry needle purlwise into the last stitch and pull the yarn through.
Why is the Kitchener Stitch also known as grafting?
The Kitchener Stitch is often called grafting because it seamlessly joins two sets of live stitches, creating an invisible and smooth transition between them.
Is it only for stockinette stitch projects?
The Kitchener Stitch can be used for various stitch patterns, including garter stitch and ribbing. However, it works best when joining pieces with similar stitch patterns.
Why is the tail of the yarn left two to three times the width of the project?
Leaving a longer tail provides enough yarn to weave in securely later and ensures you won’t run out of yarn during the Kitchener Stitch process. A longer tail also allows for adjustments and corrections if needed.
How do I fix loose stitches in the Kitchener Stitch?
If you notice loose stitches, use the tapestry needle to tighten them gently from the right side of the work. Adjust the tension by giving each stitch a small tug until the tension matches the rest of your project.
Can I use the Kitchener Stitch on circular projects, like socks or sleeves?
Yes, the Kitchener Stitch is commonly used to join the toe of socks or close the underarm gap in sleeves for a seamless finish.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed the Kitchener Stitch, creating a seamless and invisible join between your knitted pieces.
With a bit of practice, you’ll be grafting with confidence, and soon, your finished projects will showcase a flawless, professional finish.
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