Grafting a Drop Stitch Knitting Pattern

I love knitted garments with unusual construction and the Sedona Sweater by Allyson Dykhuizen from our latest issue of knit.purl fits the bill perfectly.

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The lower body is worked first from side to side to form a tube that is seamed at the center back. Stitches are then picked up along the straight (non-cabled) edge of the tube for the front and back upper body, which are worked separately back and forth. Stitches for the sleeves are picked up around the armholes and the sleeves are worked in the round from the top down.

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If you decide that you don’t want a visible seam at the center back, the stitches can be grafted instead. But it’s important to use the correct grafting method or you’ll still end up with a visible seam. For the grafting to be completely invisible, it needs to duplicate the Cable Drop Stitch pattern exactly, including the ladders on each side of the cables where the stitches were dropped.

The yarn strand at the left indicates the location of the grafted join

This is actually pretty easy to do. However, I recommend that you test the grafting out on a swatch before you attempt it on the sweater. So I’ve provided instructions below for grafting both a test swatch and the Sedona sweater.

TEST SWATCH
What you’ll need:

  • 16–24″ circular needle the size needed for the working yarn (so you can work from either end of the needle, not because you’ll be working in the round)
  • Spare cir needle
  • Cable needle (cn)
  • Contrasting cotton waste yarn for provisional CO
  • Crochet hook

Stitch Guide
3/3 RC: Sl 3 sts onto cn, hold in back, k3, k3 from cn.

Drop stitch: Drop next st off left needle and ravel down to its base, pick up and knit 1 st in space left after dropping st.

Top Half of Swatch
Using the crochet chain provisional method, and leaving a 6″ tail, CO 49 sts.

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Cast on by picking up stitches in a waste yarn chain

Beg Cable Drop St patt:
Set-up row
(RS) K7, yo, k2tog, [k7, yo, k2tog, k5, yo, k2tog] 2 times, k8.
Row 1 (WS) Sl 1 pwise wyf, purl to end.
Row 2 (RS) Sl 1 kwise wyb, [3/3 RC (see Stitch Guide), k10] 3 times.
Row 3 Sl 1 pwise wyf, purl to end.
Row 4 Sl 1 kwise wyb, knit to end.
Rows 5 and 6 Rep Rows 3 and 4.
Rep Rows 1–6 two more times, then work Rows 1–5 once more.

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Top half of swatch before dropping stitches

Next row (RS) BO all sts as foll: BO 6 sts, *Drop st (see Stitch Guide), BO 9 sts (including st picked up in gap left by dropped st), Drop st, BO 7 sts; rep from * once more, Drop st, BO 10 sts.

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Bind off first 6 stitches, drop next stitch off left needle
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Pick up and knit one stitch in space left after dropping stitch
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Top half of swatch after binding off and dropping stitches

Bottom Half of Swatch
Using the long-tail method, CO 49 sts. Work Rows 1–6 of Cable Drop St patt 3 times, then work Rows 1–3 once more. Break yarn, leaving a length of yarn 4 times the width of the piece for grafting. Next row (RS) Without working any sts, and slipping all sts pwise, work as foll: Sl 7, drop next st from left needle but do not pick up a st in gap, [sl 8, drop next st, sl 6, drop next st] 2 times, sl 9—44 sts rem. Ravel all dropped sts down to CO.

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Bottom half of swatch after dropping stitches

Remove waste yarn chain from provisional CO of top half and place 49 sts on spare cir needle (give last loop on waste yarn a twist before placing it on the needle).

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Remove waste yarn chain and place cast-on stitches on spare needle

 

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Give last loop a twist before placing it on needle

Thread 6″ CO tail on a tapestry needle and create an extra st on needle—50 sts total.

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Create an extra stitch on needle using cast-on tail

Graft the sts:
Hold needles tog, with needle holding 50 CO sts in back and needle holding 44 live sts in front, WS tog (the extra sts on the back needle will be decreased during grafting by going through 2 sts at once). With grafting yarn threaded on a tapestry needle, graft sts as foll:

(Note: The 4-step sequences appear first, followed by the order in which the sequences are worked.)

Sequence A
Step 1 Pwise through st on front needle, leave st on needle.

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1) Pwise through st on front needle, leave

Step 2 Pwise through st on back needle, remove st from needle.

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2) Pwise through st on back needle, remove

Step 3 Kwise through next st on back needle, leave st on needle.

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3) Kwise through next st on back needle, leave

Step 4 Kwise through st on front needle, remove st from needle.

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4) Kwise through st on front needle, remove

 

Sequence B
Step 1 Pwise through st on front needle, leaving a long strand between sts to bridge gap left by dropped sts, leave st on needle.

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1) Pwise through st on front needle, leaving a long strand between sts, leave

Step 2 Pwise through 2 sts on back needle (to dec 1 st), remove st from needle.

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2) Pwise through 2 stitches on back needle, remove

Step 3 Kwise through next st on back needle, leave st on needle.

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3) Kwise through next st on back needle, leave

Step 4 Kwise through st on front needle, remove st from needle

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4) Kwise through st on front needle, remove

Sequence B results in a grafted knit stitch with a drop stitch ladder to the right of it. On Step 2, you need to go through 2 stitches to get rid of the extra stitches on the back needle.

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Grafted knit stitch with ladder

Order of grafting sequences:
Work Sequence A 7 times, work Sequence B once, *work Sequence A 7 times, work Sequence B once, work Sequence A 5 times, work Sequence B once; rep from * once more, work Sequence A 8 times.

GRAFTING THE SEDONA SWEATER
Lower body
Using the crochet chain provisional method, and leaving a 6″ tail, CO 49 sts.
Set-up row (RS) K7, yo, k2tog, [k7, yo, k2tog, k5, yo, k2tog] 2 times, k8.
Beg Cable Drop St patt:
Row 1
(WS) Sl 1 pwise wyf, purl to end.
Row 2 (RS) Sl 1 kwise wyb, [3/3 RC, k10] 3 times.
Row 3 Sl 1 pwise wyf, purl to end.
Row 4 Sl 1 kwise wyb, knit to end.
Rows 5 and 6 Rep Rows 3 and 4.
Rep Rows 1–6 until piece measures 29.75 (33.5, 37.25, 41, 46.5)” from CO, ending with Row 3 of patt.

Break yarn, leaving a length of yarn 4 times the width of the piece for grafting. Next row (RS) Without working any sts, and slipping sts pwise, work as foll: Sl 7, drop next st from left needle but do not pick up a st, [sl 8, drop next st, sl 6, drop next st] 2 times, sl 9—44 sts rem. Ravel all dropped sts down to chain CO. Remove chain from provisional CO sts and graft sts as for test swatch.

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About Joni Coniglio

I'm senior project editor for Interweave Knits and knitscene. My husband and I moved to Colorado from Nebraska in January of 2011. We packed the moving truck in blizzard conditions, but the weather was sunny and dry when we unpacked on the other end. We took that as a good omen!

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