Kitchener stitch, possibly named after Earl Kitchener during World War 1 but then again, possibly not. It seems no one is too sure of exactly where or how it originated. One things for sure though, its guaranteed to cause palpitations in all but the truly seasoned knitter but whether it’s socks or shoulders the Kitchener stitch comes in super handy for seamless, well, seams! 🙂
Used as a finishing technique in knitting, Kitchener, or Grafting as its otherwise known, is a way of invisibly joining two sets of live stitches. Contrary to public opinion the Kitchener stitch really isn’t all that tricky. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, it’ll be like riding the proverbial bike and you’ll be wondering what all the bother was about.
So, lets get to grips with this right now. You’ll need two pieces of ‘live’ knitting (you can just knit two small samples to practice with if you like), a darning needle and some scrap yarn.
- Hold both pieces of knitting next to each other, wrong side to wrong side and put the threaded darning needle through the first front stitch as if to purl. Pull it nearly all the way through but leave enough of a tail to weave in later.
- Still holding the knitting pieces tightly, push the needle through the first back stitch as if to knit.
- Bring the needle round to the front and pull it through the first front needle as if to knit. Pull the yarn all the way through and take the stitch off of the needle.
- Push the needle through the first front stitch as if to purl but this time, leave the stitch on the needle.
- Take the needle all the way through the first back stitch as if to purl and take the stitch off of the needle.
- Pull the needle through the first back stitch as if to knit but leave the stitch on the needle.
Now, you need to repeat steps 3 – 6 until all of the stitches have been worked. Remember to keep tightening the new stitches every now and again to ensure an even tension. The tricky bit is keeping track of where you got to after the initial first two steps so remember –
KNIT – front – OFF
PURL -front – ON
PURL – back – OFF
KNIT – back – ON
It really is as simple as that 🙂