Grafting With Kitchener Stitch (Stockinette & Garter)
Grafting is like knitting magic! Really, that’s what it feels like. You start with two rows of live stitches and a yarn needle, and you end up with … nothing! No seam, no line, no evidence that it wasn’t all knit in one piece, just a magically closed piece of knit fabric. What you’re doing is actually creating a row of stitches using the yarn needle, threading the yarn in and out of live stitch loops in exactly the pattern that a row of stitches makes, so it’s truly seamless. It takes a few times to really get used to, to get the rhythm of it down, but once you do, I think you’ll love it like I do!
Important note for grafting: Pull your stitches snug as you go—not TOO snug, but probably a bit tighter than you think is good. For a truly seamless join, it’s important that the grafted row is the same size as the knitted rows, and a common beginner error is not pulling the stitches tightly enough and ending up with a loose graft. It’s possible to tighten it later, once you’re done, but it’s much easier to just tug on the yarn as you graft.
Note: If you just want a plain text refresher on the basic steps, scroll down to the bottom!
Grafting Garter Stitch
Bring yarn needle through front first stitch knit-wise, and drop that stitch off the knitting needle.
Bring yarn needle through front next stitch purl-wise, and pull yarn through, leaving the stitch on the knitting needle.
Bring yarn needle through back first stitch knit-wise, and drop that stitch off the knitting needle.
Bring yarn needle through back next stitch purl-wise, and pull yarn through, leaving the stitch on the knitting needle.
Repeat Steps 1-4, and end your row of grafting as explained for Stockinette. There you go! You’ve worked knitting magic!
- P-wise = purl-wise
- K-wise = knit-wise
- st = stitch
- Setup Step A: Go through front first st P-wise, leaving st on needle.
- Setup Step B: Go through back first st P-wise, leaving st on needle.
- Step 1: Go through front first st K-wise, dropping st off needle.
- Step 2: Go through front next st P-wise, leaving st on needle.
- Step 3: Go through back first st K-wise, dropping st off needle.
- Step 4: Go through back next st P-wise, leaving st on needle.