Master simple grafting
Add Kitchener stitch to your skill set.
G rafting or Kitchener stitch as it’s also known, is claimed to have been invented under the orders of Lord Kitchener, during the First World War. It is said he noticed that Ã!"`#iÀÃ$Ü!Õ"`$Li%iwÌ$vÀ!&$ seamless socks to prevent sores and blisters brought about by rubbing. Luckily for us, grafting is used to this very day to make socks, in particular, super snuggly at the toes. But that’s not all grafting can be used for. Read on to discover the different techniques used for stocking stitch, garter stitch, sock grafting and when not to graft. With a little practice you’ll soon be an expert.
WHAT IS GRAFTING?
Grafting is joining two sets of knitting stitches in a seamless, and practically invisible way using yarn and a darning needle. By working back and forth with the darning needle and yarn across the divide between the stitches, you create a new set of ‘knitted’ stitches. Not only does this grafted row do a great job of joining two sets of stitches together, if it’s worked at the same tension as the original stitches, it should be impossible to spot.
WHAT IS GRAFTING GOOD FOR?
Grafting is most often used to join the top and bottom stitches together on the toe of a sock. However, it’s also useful for other things. Grafting can be used to join the first and last rows of a cowl to make it seamless. Lace scarves with a decorative border at both ends sometimes need grafting as the border at either end has to be worked in one direction. After making the first border, and working the main section of the scarf, the live stitches are set aside and a second border is worked on separate needles. When this border is finished it can be joined to the end of the first knitted piece using grafting.
Grafting can also be used to change the length of a garment. You can cut the cuff from a garment with sleeves that are too short for you (or the bottom rib of a jumper that’s riding a little high) and slide the ‘live’ stitches of the main section onto your needles, leaving the cuff or welt on spare yarn or a stitch holder. Knit down to your new chosen length of sleeve or jumper, then graft the cuff or rib back on!