Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grafting, Kitchener Stitch and the Modern Knitter

I haven't found a perfect way to teach Kitchener Stitch, or Grafting, to everybody. All of the methods that use "go through this stitch knit-wise and that stitch purl-wise" leave me a bit cold. They require that your stitches be seated on the needle a certain way, and not everyone knits (or purls) in only one way.

My solution is to get the stitches off of the needles, as soon as possible. I use a little dental floss as a "safety net" when I do this. But, this doesn't help you if you aren't at least a little comfortable with the technique, already.

So, I turn to my guiding star for All Things That Are Kind of Tricky, the TECHknitter.

She has two excellent posts about Kitchener Stitch. Here's one that uses a darning needle. Here's another one that doesn't.

The ugly truth is, this is one skill that you have to practice to master. I mean, practice a lot. Often. Use up every little gauge swatch you've ever saved by grafting them to each other until you feel good about it.

AND, if you are someone who has to have a quiet place with good light and either a YouTube video or written instructions to manage it, that's ok, too. As long as you get a result you like, it doesn't matter how you get there. You are not a lesser knitter because of that.

I actually got a lot better at Kitchener stitch when I practiced a lot of darning and Swiss darning. It really taught me the "path" of the yarn through the stitches.

Oh, and there's also a (FREE) Craftsy class with everything you might want to know about seaming, including grafting.

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