How-To: Kitchener Stitch

Useful For: 
Whidbey
Footie

 

Hi, this is Amanda from Berroco and I’ll be demonstrating Kitchener stitch, which can also be called grafting.

 

This technique is used to join together two sets of live stitches, meaning stitches that you have on your needle and have not bound off. I’m going to be using Comfort Chunky today for this demonstration, and I have a contrasting color on my needle so that you can see easily how the grafting is working.

 

When you’re ready to join your two sets of live stitches together, you’ll want to have them positioned on your needles so that the wrong sides of the fabric touching are touching each other - so here you can see the purl side of my stockinette and the purl side of this panel are touching, and then the knit side is on the outside. And you'll want to have the tips of your needles pointing from left to right, like this.

 

The stitch itself is a repeat of 4 steps. Before you start the actual repeat though, you need to work a couple of set-up steps first:

 

1. So, the first step is to draw the yarn on your needle through the first stitch on the front needle as if to PURL. So I just put it from right to left as if to purl, then I'm drawing the yarn through. I'm going to leave a 6" tail since I'm using a separate piece of yarn, however you could also cut a long tail from one of your original pieces and use that instead. That was step one.

 

2. And my second step is to put my needle through the first stitch on the back needle as if to KNIT. So I'm going to come through here and go from the left to the right as if to knit, and then draw your yarn through. And you don't want to do it super tight - keep it snug-ish but not really tight.

 

Now I'm ready to start the 4-step repeat:

 

1. First, I'm going to run my needle through the first stitch on my front needle as if to KNIT, and slip that stitch off the needle.

 

2. Next, I'm going to run my needle through the next stitch on the needle as if to PURL, and leave it on the needle. Now I can draw my yarn through and make sure my tails are staying nice.

 

3. Then, I'm going to run the needle through the first stitch on the back needle as if to PURL, and slip that off the needle.

 

4. And then run it through the next stitch on as if to KNIT, and leave it on. Then I can draw my yarn back through.

 

So that was one repeat of the four steps. I'll do it again. My needle goes through the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit, then I slip that off. Then I run it through the next stitch as if to purl and leave it on. Now I go to the back and run my needle through as if to purl, slip it off, put my needle through as if to knit, and leave it on.

 

Continue repeating these four steps until I have just one stitch left on each of my needles. 

 

I've been working across the row and I've just finished another four-step repeat and now I have one stitch left on each of my needles.  

 

1. So, to finish everything, I'm going to first run my needle through the stitch on the front needle as if to KNIT and slip it off.

 

2. And then run it through the last stitch on the back needle as if to PURL and slip that one off. Then I'll tighten up my ends there.

 

And I naturally do my grafting at a tension that's a little bit too loose, so you can see the stitches look a little larger along the graft than they do in other places. So, what I like to do afterwards is run through here and tighten things up. So I notice that these stitches are particularly big and that they run this way, so what I'm going to do is use my needle to kind of pull that extra yarn and even it out across the row.

 

Now that I've completed evening out my grafting row, everything looks pretty uniform, and it would be especially not noticeable if you were using the same color as your knitting had been. And there's how it looks on the back.

 

That’s all there is to it! Thanks for watching.