grafting for garter stitch (kitchener stitch)

Grafting can be defined as:  seaming together two knitted edges where the stitches are ‘live’.  That means that the two sets of stitches to be seamed are still on the needles.  The other name for this type of seaming is ‘Kitchener stitch garter grafting’.  We’ll show you how to do it in this post.

Grafting is typically done with a tapestry needle by sewing through the stitches, alternating a stitch from the front needle, then a stitch from the back needle.  The tapestry needle goes through the fronts or backs of the stitches so that it creates a new row of stitches that look just like the knitted ones.

Most of the time you will use this technique with stocking stitch.  Seaming the toe of a sock is one example of the use of Kitchener stitch – you can’t see an ugly seam or ridge and the toe is really comfortable in a shoe.

Grafting is for garter stitch too

How to graft garter stitch diagram A version of Kitchener stitch grafting works on garter stitch. We use this version in our Lithuanian wrist warmer pattern.  To complete the wrist warmer you will graft the first row of stitches, which were created with a provisional cast on, to the last row of stitches which were not bound off but were left on the needles.

Here are the steps in words:

  1. To graft garter stitch, place live stitches on needles. Hold your needles held parallel and be sure that all of the stitches on the needles have the right shoulders forward.
  2. Thread your tapestry needle with yarn and go through the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl. This means that you should place the needle through the back of the stitch, approaching from the right.
  3. Then first stitch on the back needle as if to purl, leaving both stitches on the needles.
  4. Go through the first stitch on front needle as if to knit and slip it off the needle. This means that you should place the needle through the front of the stitch, approaching from the left.
  5. Then go through the second stitch as if to purl and leave it on.
  6. Go through the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit and slip it off the needle.
  7. Then go through the second stitch as if to purl and leave it on.
  8. Repeat steps four through seven until no stitches remain.

How to do garter stitch grafting – the video

Here is a video to demonstrate the steps listed above:

 

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