HOW TO GRAFT STITCHES USING KITCHENER STITCH
Today I want to talk to you about grafting! It can very daunting for someone who hasn’t grafted before, but it doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s actually very easy. Hopefully, this tutorial can break it down for you in just four simple and easy to remember steps, with some helpful tricks and tips that I’ve picked up along the way.
Grafting, also known as Kitchener stitch or weaving, is a technique used to join two pieces of knitting, leaving an invisible join. I use this technique in most of my toy patterns to graft hands, feet & ears together.
To start, both pieces need to have the same number of live stitches divided over two needles, either straight, double pointed or circular. Cut your working yarn approximately three times the width of your piece of knitting, plus extra for weaving in. With the wrong sides of the work facing together, hold the two needles parallel, with the points of the needles pointing the same way. Thread your yarn through a yarn needle and use your yarn needle as if it were a knitting needle.
Step 1: Insert the needle through the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit, then slip this stitch off the needle.
Step 2: Insert the needle through the next stitch on the front needle as if to purl, but this time leave the stitch on the needle.
Step 3: Insert the needle through the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl, then slip this stitch off the needle.
Step 4: Insert the needle through the next stitch on the back needle as if to knit, but this time leave the stitch on the needle.
Continue this four step sequence, pulling the yarn firmly only after step four, so you do not lose your place. The only difficult thing about grafting is remembering which step you are up to, so while working it helps to repeat the following words in your head; knit off, purl on, purl off, knit on.
When you get to the last two stitches go through the front stitch as if to knit, then through the back stitch as if to purl, then slip both stitches off the needles. Sometimes the last stitch has a tendency to stick up. If this is the case, use a crochet hook to pull the stitch inside your work to give it a neat finish.
If this technique still just isn’t working for you, don’t worry. Kitchener stitch can be hard to master, and isn’t for everyone. If this is you, then you can check out my tutorial for Horizontal Mattress stitch which can be a great alternative to grafting.