Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kitchener Stitch for Linda

Linda of From the Purlside requested a video on how I do Kitchener stitch.  Originally I'd planned on finishing up the sock I'm making and using that for the video, but then I decided it was really too small to be able to show clearly, so I knitted up a little swatch and demonstrated with that.

In the video I talk about the proper orientation of the stitches and show a little "mantra"  I use to keep myself on track while grafting.  So that it's easily accessible, I wanted to reproduce it here:

  f p
  b k
*f k - drop
 f p
 b p - drop
 b k *

I explain what all this means and how to do it in the video, but here's a little key as well:

front purl
back knit
*front knit - drop
front purl
back purl - drop
back knit*

(ETA:  the first two stitches are set-up stitches, and the remaining four stitches between the asterisks are repeated to the end of the row.)

I call this a mantra because I literally repeat this over and over to myself while I'm doing the Kitchener stitch!  For a long time I had to have it written out in front of me too, but now I can just do it while thinking my mantra.  I must be illumined - at least, knitwise!

There's one caveat here:  this method only works for stockinette stitch.  If you are grafting some other stitch, say 2 x 2 ribbing, then this won't work.  That is:  it will work to hold the knitting together, but it won't be invisible like it is on stockinette.  But since the most frequent use of Kitchener is for the toes (or heels) of socks, and those tend to be in stockinette, this method will get you pretty far.

I've got two videos because my memory card crapped out on me when I was almost at the end!  There's only a bit on the second video.

Also, there are times when my hands shift upwards.  When I made the videos, I was standing up behind the tripod and looking at the camera screen and occasionally over at my hands.  It's really awkward to do it that way:  I'm never sure where to look and my hands shift up to where I can see them!  I checked the videos though and you can always see what you need to see.  So much for the myth that my videos are super professional - this is all just seat-of-the-pants stuff, kids!




16 comments:

  1. This is great! Thanks for showing the last two stitches, that part always confused me a bit.

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  2. I keep a notecard with nearly these exact instructions in my notions kit in my knitting bag. I also have them stored in evernote. Though not mentioned here (probably mentioned in the video I didn't watch), the first two lines only happen with the first two stitches.

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    1. Cool!

      Yes, I did discuss that in the video (first two stitches) but I should have put it here too. Will go back and edit!

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  3. Thanks for this video Gail, Kitchener stitch always confuses me totally, this has made it much clearer.

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    1. Thank you, Sam! Glad it is useful!

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  4. Oh my god. You just might be the very BEST EVER!!! Thanks so much for this Gail.

    I can't wait to follow this along on my current pair of socks now. And now I have to make myself a notecard with your mantra, as well.

    Yipppeee!

    ;-D

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    1. So glad you like it and will find it useful!

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  5. Very helpful! Thank you Gail!

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  6. The typed out mantra made me smile because I usually talk to myself out loud when Kitchener stitching a sock toe.

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    1. Hehehe - and if I get interrupted in the middle of it, I STILL get very confused about where to pick up!!

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  7. i'm over from linda, such a wonderful video with a clear explantion! (you have such beautiful hands and your polish is so pretty!) at the end of kitchener stitch i sometimes need to even out the stitches, and do that by pulling gently at the working thread or going back and snugging up each stitch one by one. works a charm!

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    1. Excellent point, Lori! Thank you! I generally don't go back and fix it if it's just socks :-) But if I were grafting together something like two pieces of a shawl, or a collar, I would definitely adjust the stitches so they were perfect.

      And thank you for the lovely compliments!

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  8. Thanks again Gail, I just used this today for a hood!

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