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Knitting is arguably one of the most relaxing crafts out there, and it can produce exquisite creations!
If you’ve yet to get your own set of knitting needles, though, you might not realize how diverse this simple hobby can be.
For example, have you ever heard of the Kitchener? stitch?
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What is a Kitchener stitch?
The most experienced knitters know how two knits. as if they were sewing a seam with fabric and thread.
That’s because they’ve been practicing their Kitchener stitches! Kitchener stitch knitting, also known as grafting knitting, is a way of joining several knit pieces together without really separating the patterns.
The best Kitchener stitches can even give the impression awaken that the two pieces were one continuous piece all along!
The name of the technique comes from one Horatio Herbert Kitchener, a soldier and devoted knitter who popularized the stitch by using him in socks for the army during the First World War.
At the time, the idea was to ensure that the main part of a sock connected to the toe with a flowing seam, rather than a prominent one. In addition, a military march would be much less uncomfortable!
Today the Kitchener stitch for this and much more. Graft knitting is great for all kinds of crafts, from pillows to stuffed animals to sweaters.
Here’s what you need to know to get your Kitchener stitch just right.
Kitchen stitch step-by-step
Smart knitters warn that the stitch we do not complicate it to do.
The written instructions for the Kitchener stitch can be long, though, so it’s important to monitor your current location during the process!
Prepare your stitch
If you want to combine two knitted pieces, keep the edges you want to combine on the knitting needles. It also known this as keeping the stitches “live.”
Make sure you have the same number of active stitches on each row so that your Kitchener stitch is even. The pieces themselves should face out, with the purl stitches on the inside.
Keep both needles parallel to each other, with the needles pointing in the same direction. This is the starting position for grafting knitting.
Now collect the yarn for that graft and thread it through a blunt needle, such as a tapestry or darning needle. This smaller needle will be your key tool for this process.
Grabbing your knitting
First, feed the stump of needle through the last stitch on the needle closest to you, as if you were adding another pearl strand.
Pull the yarn through, but leave a tail of several centimeters open at the end. Leave the stitch on the needle.
Then, with the blunt needle, pass through the last stitch on the knitting needle farthest from you, as if you were adding another piece of knitting.
Keep the thread through again without pulling the tail too short. Run your yarn under the knitting needle for this step.
Once you’ve passed your knit stitch under the back needle, pull the blunt needle through the first stitch on your front needle, as if to add knitting. This time, drop the knit from the knitting needle.
Then pass the blunt needle through the second stitch on the front knitting needle, as if you were adding a pearl needle, and notepad the yarn through again.
Place the yarn through the first stitch of the back needle, as if you were adding a pearl yarn, and drop the stitch from the knitting needle.
Finally pass the yarn through the second stitch on the back needle, as if to knit.
The last stitch
As you may have guessed, “finally” is really a matter of how long your graft knit will be. From here, just repeat the steps above, starting with the knitting on the front needle and working back and forth.
If you’ve followed the instructions, you can continue with the following easily the progress in your Kitchener stitch. Remember that it always worked the front row first, purl second and that the back row is always purl first, knit second. knit too tight or let it go too loose. Keep the tension as constant as possible so that you get a clean mix between your knits.
As with many stitches you will encounter, the Kitchener stitch can look difficult as spelled out in words, but gets easier as you find your rhythm and practice!
Where to use your Kitchener Stitch
The best thing about this stitch is how versatile it can be!
You can join knit pieces in straight lines or curves, with large or small stitches, and with the same yarn if you want to make your grafting work almost invisible.
Next time you have a project that should not open, use new skills with the Kitchener stitch to bring all the pieces together into a single knit section you can be proud of!
Here’s a video with more details on how to knit Kitchener Stitch.
Have you mastered the Kitchener stitch?