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Grafting also known as the kitchener stitch

Grafting also know as the Kitchener stitch

hand knit sock

The kitchener stitch is a great knitting technique for joining two pieces of knitting together.

Grafting, also known as Kitchener stitch or weaving, joins two sets of stitches that are still on the needle (a.k.a. “live”) by using a tapestry needle threaded with yarn to create a row that looks like knit stitches between them.

It allows you to graft two pieces of knitting together seamlessly. I use the kitchener stitch to graft together the toes of my socks. I knit my socks from the top down.

The kitchener stitch, or grafting can be a little confusing at first, i had to do it while watching the video. Personally, I like this video by very pink knits.

The little sort of rhyme I got from one of my classes on Craftsy. It goes like this

Set up your grafting/kitchener stitch first by
  • go through the front stitch as if to purl
  • go through the back stitch as if to knit

Start with the front needle, then the little diddy goes like this

  • pick off as if to knit, prepare as if to purl
  • pick off as if to purl, prepare as if to knit

This makes for a very clean join of the back and front of the toes in my socks.

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Perfect thumb gussets

Perfect thumb gussets, we all want them.

 

I wanted better thumb gussets and so set out on a mission.

fingerless mitts

fingerless mitts

After knitting a couple of pairs of fingerless mitts and several pairs of socks, you can’t seem to avoid the hole that you get at the point where you connect the pieces back together.

I went searching for solutions.

fingerless mitts

fingerless mitts

I wanted to minimize the hole portion of the sock knitting. I figured it had to be possible. Where to look? Youtube of course!

I was also in search of a video on thumb gussets since I didn’t particularly like the one I did on the last pattern I knitted. After cruising youtube I came across a video by Suzanne Bryan. You can find the video on perfect thumb gussets here. It’s a nice long video where she takes you through the whole process of making a nice thumb gusset.

At one point in the video where she brings together the glove section back to the knitted thumb she picks up a stitch in between connecting the thumb to the glove. Then knits the two together. It made a much smaller hole. I like this technique.

perfect thumb gussets by suzanne bryan youtube

This particular part happens at about the 16 minute mark of the video. The whole video is worth a watch.

So today while knitting these socks, I finished up the heel and as I came around to knit the whole tube of the sock together again, I got to thinking. Would it make a difference here if I applied the same principle as she did in the glove. I did not make a stitch since I usually decrease a few stitches as I knit the foot of the sock.

knitted pink socks

my knitted pink sock

Instead as I came to the join,  I knit to the last stitch of the heel and them moved it over to the next working needle and then I knit two together. I repeated the same thing on the  other side where the heel joins with the sock again. It made a much much smaller hole. I was very happy with the results. I will be using this technique in all my sock knitting from now on.

If you didn’t want to lose stitches you could always knit two together and then increase 2 stitches to make up for the two you decreased.

Here is another great video on knitting a thumb with no holes by aknitica on youtube. You can find it here.

youtube video on thumb with no holes by akintica

 

Whether you are looking for perfect thumb gussets or simply looking to minimize the holes in a project where things join you may want to consider incorporating this into your next project.

 

 

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