My Designs, Tutorials

How to Graft Live Stitches Together with Kitchener Stitch

Hello all! This week I’m going to show you how to use Kitchener stitch to graft live stitches together, as per the title of this post. I’m also going to plug my new design that goes live on Ravelry TODAY: The Climbing Rope Cowl! The pattern is 50% off this weekend only, so grab it now!

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The face of someone modelling a wool cowl while wearing a coat in late July in Boston.

Back to the main topic: Kitchener stitch is so invaluable in knitting. Personally, I hate seaming. I’m terrible at it; my seams always look clunky and gross. I’m getting better at making neat seams, but if possible I simply choose to use Kitchener stitch because it makes flawless seams every time that just look like continuous knitting (because, basically, that’s what it is). This technique requires a little more planning, such as using a provisional cast on so you’ll have live stitches to join to later, but I think it’s worth it. This is also a necessary step in The Climbing Rope Cowl. In order to make the cables connecting at the top of the figure-8 knot look flawless, Kitchener is the only way.

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Does anyone else say “swatch and block” like Hermione says “swish and flick”? Just me?

So, without further exposition, here’s how to do Kitchener stitch.

Step 1: Set up the stitches you want to graft together on opposite needles with the wrong sides facing inward. (Note: for this technique you’ll need to have the same number of stitches on each side. I have 6 stitches on each side in the demonstration). Cut the working thread so you have a long enough tail to sew all the stitches, and thread that through a yarn needle.

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Step 1

Step 2: Insert the needle through the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl and pull the yarn through (keeping the stitch on the needle).

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Step 2

Step 3: Insert the needle through the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit and pull the yarn through (keeping the stitch on the needle).

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Step 3

Step 4: Insert the needle through the first stitch on the front needle again, this time as if to knit and pull the yarn through the stitch and pull the stitch off the needle.

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Step 4.1
4.2
Step 4.2

Step 5: Insert the needle through the next stitch on the front needle as if to purl, pull the yarn through, and leave the stitch on the needle.

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Step 5

Step 6: Insert the needle through the first stitch on the back needle again, this time as if to purl, pull the yarn through and pull the stitch off the needle.

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Step 6.1
6.2
Step 6.2

Step 7: Insert the needle through the next stitch on the back needle as if to purl, pull the yarn through, and leave the stitch on the needle.

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Step 7

Repeat steps 4 through 7 until you only have 1 stitch on each needle.

Step 8: On the last stitch on the front needle, insert the needle as if to knit, pull the yarn through, and pull the stitch off the needle.

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Step 8

Step 9: On the last stitch on the back needle, insert the needle as if to purl, pull the yarn through, and pull the stitch off the needle.

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Step 9

Now you can adjust the tension of the grafted seam to your liking and weave in your ends. You can’t even see where the seam is in the knitted fabric!

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C’est fini !
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