Kitchener stitch for picky people.

This is not a tutorial about how to do kitchener stitch (graft). There are already excellent tutorials here and here. This is for nitpicky people like me who want their grafts to be absolutely invisible, even at the edges. This tutorial is in garter stitch, but the stockinette equivalent is quite similar.

I’m sure this has been done many times before, but I couldn’t find an online reference in 5 minutes on Google and Ravelry. This is what worked for me – proceed at your own risk.

Let’s start with the the finished product. See how the top and bottom are different? The bottom seems to twist around a previous row.  If the pictures aren’t doing it for you, knit yourself a little sample by casting on, knitting a few rows in garter stitch, switching to a different colour for a single row, and back to the original yarn for a few more rows.

Ok. So that’s what we’re aiming for. Let’s get started. For clarity, I’m going to refer to the two pieces of fabric as the left and right pieces. When I talk about the top or bottom I mean the edge closest to the top or bottom of the photo. When I talk about front I mean the side of the fabric visible to the camera; back is the underside that you can’t see.

Also, since I’m using grey and blue yarn, I’m going to refer to them as the grey and blue yarns.

1. Line up the two raw edges you’d like to stitch together, one with a provisional cast-on (right) and one still on the needles (left). The red yarn is just to hold the stitches.  The should be the same number of stitches on both needles. The grey yarn is coming out of the bottom of the left piece and the top of the right piece

2. Start with the left fabric. Using the blue yarn, enter the top stitch from the back.

3. Bring the grey yarn from the right piece behind the right stitches and across to the left piece. Enter the top right stitch from the back.

4. Bring the grey yarn over top of the blue yarn. With the needle, enter the top left stitch from the front. You can slip this stitch off the needle.

5. Work in kitchener stitch. On the left fabric, enter the second stitch from the back. Then into the right fabric: into the top stitch from the back and then the second stitch from the front. And so on.

6. Work in kitchener stitch until the end of the row. The final stitch should enter the right fabric from the back.

7. Now add the twist that we saw in the first photo. (I just realised the first photo is actually of the back side. That’s ok.) Thread the needle through the bottom bar of the next row on the back of the fabric. Below is a picture of what this looks like from the front.

7b. And here is what this looks like from the back.

8. Looking at the front of the work again again, thread the needle through the last blue stitch, from top to bottom.

9. Finally, enter the bottom left stitch from the front.

10. Tadaah!


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