Ask Patty: Grafting FTW

October 26, 2020

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  • Thank you Patty, for clear details on no ear Kitchner!

    • I discovered the same thing when I had to knit about 25 hats over the course of 2 weeks and they all required kitchenering. I hadn’t used that stitch very often and every time I did I had to look it up because the beginning confused me. So after doing a few hats I caught on to the knit off purl on purl on knit off pattern except for the beginning which always threw me for some reason. So for reasons of speed I just decided to leave that off and start where I could understand what I was doing and I saw that the beginning and end looked neater. I had never seen anybody tell someone just to start doing the stitch without the setup rows so I I felt a little bit lazy but I continue doing it and it turned out fine. So thank you for ‘validating’ my laziness and I still wonder why I’ve never seen anyone else point this out.

    • Brilliant as always! I avoid cuff down socks due to the dreaded grafting. Maybe i’ll give them a try after seeing this!

      • You can always draw the yarn through the last (8 or so) stitches, which looks quite neat !

    • I have been knitting since childhood (a long time ago) and have never read a better article about grafting. The visuals were wonderful. Thanks, A Minnesota Yarnball.

  • This was great Patty, but I wish you had not turned the sock around so fast on the last stitch. I couldn’t exactly see where you poked the needle through to bring the yarn to the inside. I repeated the last few seconds, and still couldn’t see exactly where that needle tip went before weaving in!

    • Me too, I could use a little more explanation of where you poke the needle through at the end. But I can’t wait to try this myself!

    • Don’t stress about it too much just try it. Just tug on the yarn and see where it’s coming from and then poke it through the next stitch over

    • If I understood correctly/the way I do it: When you only have one stich left on each needle (front and back), you enter the stich on the front needle as if to knit and pull the yarn through to the inside of the sock. Then take both knitting needles out and you should have the same result.

    • If you want to see that very last step in great detail, watch one of Kay Litton’s (The Crazy Sock Lady) tutorials at YouTube. The one I remember was knitting socks on a 9″ circular, but I think any one of them will have a Kitchener section at the end, where she is very precise about how she finishes off the last two stitches and where she takes the yarn to the inside of the sock. She was the first person I saw advise skipping the set-up and finishing steps, and she has made many many socks (hence the moniker).

  • Love it Patty, such a clear explanation.

  • This makes so much sense! I’ve been struggling to get an intuitive feel for the Kitchener stitch and you’ve made it so clear. Thank you Patty.

  • That is exactly how I discovered what I learned, years later, was kitchener stitch. A knitting friend, which was a rarity back in the 60s, had a pattern from England that said to graft front and back together to form the shoulder. We put pieces out on a table, and worked it out. “Ears” were not a problem with shoulder seam, but when i did my first sock, I followed the same logic: read your knitting and just recreate another row.

  • I have always loved Kitchener – it feels magical to me – but I never could work out what exactly what the set up and last steps were for. Now I don’t have to worry about figuring it out any more. As always, thank you.

  • I love Kitchener. I’ve never gotten ears on socks and I don’t understand why. I guess I should be grateful. But won’t the ears stretch out on first wearing? And in any case, aren’t they inside your shoes?

  • Thanks as always for such a great explanation Patti. I’m a lazy sock knitter. The first sock I knit was about 35 years ago from a Nancy Bush book (one of the few out there at the time). It happens that this pattern (top down, heel flap) closes at the toe with the last 8 stitches just drawn together. For years I never heard of grafting the toe together. I’ve since grafted in other situations but continue to close this way as the fit and look (for me) is perfect.

    • Thanks – looks great. I’ve seen other avoid-the-ears techniques, and yours is much less complicated.

  • Thank you, Patty! You are always so clear and helpful, especially explaining the “why” in the engineering. I’ve struggled with my stitches lining up neatly when attempting a 2×2 rib bind off, setting up for a tubular bind off. It looks like it leans a bit and isn’t aligned like this beautiful kitchener. In watching this, I wonder if I’ve thrown things off with the first setup stitches that I could’ve ignored. Hmm. Learning to read my knitting, thanks to you and MDK.

  • Yay!

  • You are a wonder. I always bookmark your articles because they always add value, even for this experienced knitter. I appreciate your process orientation. It’s so much easier to own a technique once you understand the how and why of it.

  • This is the best. The set up and ending always confused me and now I know why. They are totally unnecessary and ugly as well. Thanks so much. I always learn something from your columns!

  • Can we just call this the Patty stitch now and leave Kitchener out of it altogether? : )

    • Yes! Way past time to rename a technique named after a British general responsible for executing five Australian officers for following his orders (the Breaker Morant case)

  • I have a bunch of top-down Xmas present socks to graft and what perfect timing for this article! Many thanks to Patty and MDK!

  • I just added length to a cable front sweater I knitted bottom up. It ended up to short for my body so I started the hem again and added another repeat of the cable and grafted it on Some of the stitches were twisted which was hard to see on the needles. I think I will go back over the cabled area and try doing it visually, I think the purl ribs will look better.

  • hallelujah! Thank you Patty!

  • I just used your tutortial for grafting baby sweater shoulder seam. Magnifico!!!!