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Dear Ann,

Ann . . . I missed you, and the whole MDK team, so so much during our holiday week off. In 10 days, a person can accumulate a pretty big backlog of unexpressed knitting thoughts. And as you know, I am a person who wants to express her knitting thoughts freely and constantly, and preferably by sending you dozens of messages per day.

While we were off, I knit a lot, with most of my efforts devoted to finishing my 2022 temperature blanket. More about that on Monday, but to calm the public, I will just say that yes, I did finish knitting a color of Felted Tweed representing the high temperature of every day of 2022 in New York City. On January 1, I bound off like a boss. Still ahead for this epic project: eleventy-hundred ends to weave in, a restorative soak in a bathtub full of Soak, a couple of days of drying time. But soon my temperature blanket will be packed off to its new home with the person who scored it at the auction to benefit Groundwork Hudson Valley, a great environmental and educational organization that we only know about because a beloved knitter works there. (Thanks, Karen!)

What’s next on my knitting dance card is my Cuatro Wrap from MDK Field Guide No. 22: Grace. I’m still on the fourth triangle, due to the above-mentioned temperature blanket—and after that I’m in for  [cue dramatic music] the grafting of 720 edge stitches together to join the four triangles into a single magnificent parallelogram.

Even with one triangle still to go, it’s a big piece o’ knitting.

When faced with many, many stitches to graft, a knitter’s mind naturally turns to alternatives to grafting, such as the 3-needle bindoff. I’m a fan and maybe even a prophet of the 3NBO, so I would not discourage anyone who wanted to go that way for the Cuatro Wrap’s three long seams.

But I love the Cuatro Wrap just the way it is, and I want to join the triangles with the invisible perfection that designer Joji Locatelli envisioned.

And also: I’m not afraid of grafting.

Why I Am Not Afraid of Grafting

I will never tire of sharing the video that changed my grafting life forever. It’s Lorilee Beltman’s classic: Memorize the Kitchener Stitch.

This video is a total banger, but it is just one of Lorilee Beltman’s many gifts to knitters. Lorilee is not a one-trick pony. But neither was Shakespeare. He wrote a lot of great plays, but the only one is Henry V. For me,  Memorize the Kitchener Stitch is Lorilee’s Henry V. It’s downright stirring.

If you have struggled to memorize grafting, if you have ever known the despair of losing your place in the sequence of knit-off, purl-on, purl-off, knit-on—I am begging you to watch this video. Lorilee has figured it out and made it crystal clear. Just watching it lowers the blood pressure, raises the endorphins, and gets those stitches grafted effortlessly.

Oh look! I got so excited that I skipped ahead and grafted the first of the three seams.

How it started:

How it went:

Result: 120 stitches of smooth perfection that actually was fun and relaxing to do. Now I’m extra motivated to finish Cuatro’s last triangle and get the whole thing all done up.

Cuatro Wrap, here I come!




  • Lorilee Beltman desires an Elizabeth (knitting Emmy).
    That is the FIRST time Kitchener has ever made sense..who knew? Include “pop” and “pivot” and all kinds of helpful hints.

  • Ok, here’s my dumbness showing: I’ve used Kitchener for years for stockinette knitting, but are you saying it can be used just the same way for garter stitch? I wish I had known that when I grafted the four sections of my temp blanket together, by 3KBO, which took a long time. But in that case I wanted the seams (solstices and equinoxes) to show – if I didn’t I could have used Kitchener? Same on-and-off pattern? Really? Guess I’d better watch the video. Not to mention swatch. Duh.

    • Not quite! If you Kitchener garter stitch, you will end up with an extra valley between your garter ridges. To join garter stitch to garter stitch you simply do the same operation on both needles: knit off, purl on.

      • Wow! Thanks Therese!

      • The Cuatro Wrap is so cleverly designed that you do regular Kitchener and it melts perfectly into the garter stitch.

      • That’s where I have issues remembering!

    • Lorilee Beltman is one of the best teachers out there. I was fortunate to have her shop, City Knitting, as my LYS in Grand Rapids, MI for many years before she moved to the Northwest. If ever you have an opportunity to take a class from her, do it!

      • I took a class with her at MD Sheep and Wool last spring, and LOVED her! She is a wonderful teacher. Hoping she will be back this spring!

  • I love Kitchener, maybe because of all the socks I knit. Have to give a shoutout to the Quattro Wrap. The yarn is wonderful to work with. Such a good hand and makes a beautiful fabric. From the KAL Zooms you did, I started with Judy’s Magic Cast-on and I decided I would slip the edges. It reminded me to increase just like the stitch markers at the spine stitch. I am blocking each triangle separately just because it is a big piece. Should start joining Friday!!

  • I do fear Kitchener stitch and wimped out and did a three needle bindoff on my Quatro wrap – the effect is totally fine – smooth and quick (for me) but will watch the video for future reference. Happy new year to all.

  • I did 3NBO, not because I am afraid of grafting but because it is faster for me. Either way it is a beautiful wrap.

  • Kay, how do you prevent the yarn from wearing out, as you pull it through so many stitches?

    • It just doesn’t, maybe that would happen with a very lightly twisted yarn but was not an issue at all with the Tynd.

  • Kay, I love to read the missives between you and Ann. It’s a bit of morning magic! Thanks for this!

  • All I can say is wow,it makes it so much easier after watching her video.

  • That is truly the very best tutorial ever! I learn so much from MDK, thank you for continuing to be the best daily thing in my inbox! And congratulations on finishing your temperature blanket!

  • Lorilee Beltman is the Bomb Digity! I have learned other tricks of hers and she is a great teacher—I had the pleasure of taking a class taught by her.

  • I just love reading your posts. “Eleventy hundred”
    How do you know how much yarn tail to leave for each piece you need to graft?

    • Four times the length of the seam

  • Kay, I totally agree with you—this video is the best!!! As a senior new knitter, I was first introduced to it thanks to a similar MDK article a few years ago. I refer other knitters to it whenever I hear “kitchenor, ugh.” And when I don’t trust my memory, I rewatch the video and go confidently to my kitchenoring. Your wrap is lovely!

  • Major accomplishments Kay, congratulations! Ever since you first turned me on to LLB’s Kitchener video, I have it saved in my phone and use it exclusively. Thank you for that and all your delightful letters and info!

  • Kay, your article today is packed with all kinds of wonderful ideas and projects. How very kind of you to donate your temperature blanket to the awarded recipient. That’s a mighty lucky person! Also, your Cuatro Wrap is GORGEOUS! Those colors are just lovely together. Also, I agree about Lori Beltman’s teaching. She is so gifted in bringing knitting techniques down to the basics that make “common sense” to the viewer. Thank you for reminding me again about her. I so love the MDK site and the info that pops up on my screen every morning with my cup of coffee! It’s a great way to start the day.

  • Congratulations on your 2022 Temp. Blanket.I have started my 2023 blanket, and here in Buffalo the 1st three day were all the same color. So fewer ends to weave in. I am doing one end each day. I am also trying to knit during Lester on the Evening New each night. 2 rows are easy. I can do that during the commercials. Thanks for posting the You Tube on the Kitchener ,I will remembering on the Knit side take it off and on the Purl side take it off will help Thank You

    • Starting my 2023 scarf today. In the round. No ends to weave in,

      • As did I, we seem to be behind the times. Best of luck with your project

  • Finchley Graft! I looked it up once and haven’t had to check it again! You do work it from the wrong side (so with socks you have to turn them inside out, but it is so very easy to do, it’s totally worth that little inconvenience.

    • Oh, that’s nice! Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks so much! Great information and it’s so much easier on the yarn, too.

  • Excellent video! Thanks for sharing.

  • Sometimes it just takes awhile….today I realized something about MDK. Each morning I get up, make tea, pray & journal then open MDK. After that it is a quick scan of NYT. For some reason today it hit me, modern DAILY knitting. Yes, yes, I know you have written about your mission of daily knitting news. Yes, yes, I have been following you since the olden days of “two friends writing letters back and forth.” But today I realized. DAILY. This is a DAILY read for me. You are part of my routine. And I am grateful. The writing, the inspiration, the humor, the challenges, the kindness, the adventures, the art; community is all of this. Thank you Ann & Kay for the gift that is you – for the gift you gave us from the moment you two said “Yes” to this creative venture to the gift you give us with each new “Yes”. To quote Mary Engelbreit, “Life is just so DAILY.” I’m so in. Thank you.

    • Very well said!

  • Brava!

  • Oh, perfect timing!! Thanks for that video & endorsement! I have grafting of the 5-Point Bomber collar coming up soon!

  • Not afraid, more of a “it’s not knitting so I don’t wanna” kinda thing! But I’ve now embraced sewn bind off for my toe-up socks . . . so anything can happen! This is one for the handy-dandy ‘save this page to my account’ button for sure!

  • I finished my Cuatro Wrap and I loved the smooth grafted look.

    I couldn’t even BELIEVE there were liters knitted from small to big because omg the magic of miters is not just the graphic beauty but that they get QUICKER as they go.
    Now there’s something about the beauty of your SEAM than makes me reconsider my life and knitting orientation.

    I mean, aren’t you the knitter from whom we learned to make entire unseamed-just-picked-up blankets?

    And yet…

  • Going down a rabbit hole once, I came across Rox Richards and her description of the Finchley Graft – it is WAAAAYYYYYY easier and much less fussy than the Kitchner stitch. It is on youtube. Try it out, you will like it 🙂

  • I’ve been meaning to thank you for your original the memorize the Kitchener post — it’s amazing! And how did I never realize that before? Plus when you add Kate Atherley’s Post which suggests skipping the “set up” it’s even easier!
    Thank you!

  • Once I figured out that you don’t have to start in the middle of the knit off/ purl on pattern the kitchen stitch became easy for me. Just start with knit off/purl on and keep going. There is no noticable change in the look of the stitches I think it’s the ‘start in the middle’ thing that is confusing. That thing looks big enough to bury anyone trying to wear it. It will wear you!

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