Step-by-step Kitchener stitching with a sewing needle: stockinette, reverse stockinette and garter stitch
- The first part is an introduction and also shows the contrasting color (aka "chimney") method.
- Today's post presents a system for analyzing the Kitchener stitch, so you can skip the contrasting-color guide, and work the graft with a sewing needle only. Today's method works on stockinette, reverse stockinette, and garter stitch. Today's method also works with ribbing grafted by the double-knitting method, although this may not make much sense until the third post of this series.
- The third post (not yet on-line) covers two different tricks for grafting ribbing without the half-stitch offset.
- The fourth post (not yet on-line) covers shaping in last row while Kitchener-stitching, a trick which, among other things, helps sock-knitters get rid of the "donkey ears" at the sides of a toe-graft.
- TECHknitting blog also hosts a related post about grafting stockinette by using only knitting needles.
NOTE: The illustrations are numbered sequentially across the entire series. This post begins with illustration 3: illustrations 1 and 2 are found in the first post.
- In your set-up, learn to hold the front needle below the rear needle. This gives a clear view of the rear loop to be grafted.
- Regarding the cycle: every four-stitch cycle starts with a switch forward. If called away during Kitchener stitching, always work through to the nearest R2 so you’ll know where to start again.
- As to sequence: During each cycle, F1 and R1 are dropped from their respective knitting needles. Therefore, when the cycle begins anew, the old F2 will have moved up in the sequence to the F1 position. Similarly, old R2 will have moved up in the sequence to the R1 position. This sequencing rotation has an confusing consequence, as we’ll discuss below.
- Regarding switching: experience shows that improper switching is the number one cause of Kitchener-stitch failure. Whether switching from front to rear or from rear to front, the grafting yarn is taken around the RIGHT side of the work, in other words, UNDER the knitting needle tips. Do NOT switch over the top of the knitting needles, or you will make a royal mess. Illustration 4.
If these charts and all this theory makes you crazy, not to worry, the contrasting color ("chimney") method (shown in the first installment) works really well, is super easy and produces the exact same result.