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Finishing Tip: For Those Who Hate the Kitchener Stitch

Dec 22, 2008

I don't have any magic words to help you get all your holiday knitting done on time. (Sorry about that.) However, I do have a nifty little grafting tip for those of you who love knitting socks but, like me, utterly despise the Kitchener Stitch. I ran this tip last year at Christmas time to help everyone finish up your holiday sock knitting projects, and so many folks have written in asking about it that I decided it was time to run it again, in the spirit of saving our collective gift-knitting sanity. This tip has helped me continue to love to knit socks (and to actually FINISH the socks!), so maybe it will save a few lonely hand-knit socks from the unfinished objects pile this year...





Grafting On The Needles

1.  Knit until the point in the sock pattern the instructions tell you to graft together the final stitches.
2.  Divide the remaining stitches evenly between two double-pointed needles.
3.  Hold both needles parallel in your left hand, so that the working yarn is on your right, and is coming off the rightmost stitch on the back needle.
4.  Cut the working yarn to a reasonable length, say, 12".
5.  Using a third dpn, PURL the first stitch on the FRONT needle.
6.  DROP the stitch off the left front needle, and pull the yarn all the way through the dropped stitch so that there is no longer a stitch on the right (working) needle.
7.  KNIT the next stitch on the FRONT needle, but this time LEAVE the stitch on the left front needle; pull the yarn all the way through as before.
8.  KNIT the first stitch on the BACK needle.
9.  DROP the stitch off the left back needle and pull the yarn all the way through.
10.  PURL the next stitch on the BACK needle.
11.  LEAVE that stitch on the left back needle and pull the yarn all the way through.

Repeat Steps 5 through 11 until you get to the last two stitches; work these two stitches together as established and drop both stitches off the needles. Pull the yarn all the way through. Thread yarn onto a tapestry needle, bring yarn to inside of sock, and weave in ends, tacking down the last "ear" loops as needed. (You can pull any excess loopage to the inside to make tacking it down a bit prettier.)




I made up a little shortcut chant for my sock-knitting husband Nicholas to help him remember what to do when:


PURL FRONT OFF — purl first st on front needle, drop st off
KNIT FRONT ON — knit next st on front needle, leave st on
KNIT BACK OFF — knit first st on back needle, drop st off
PURL BACK ON — purl next st on back needle, leave st on

Hopefully Helpful Hints:

1. Keep your tension a bit on the loose side when you are pulling the yarn through each stitch. Then, when you get to the end, before you weave in the end, use your tapestry needle to adjust the tension of the grafting stitches so that they match the rest of your work.

2. When you are working your knits and purls, pass the working yarn under and between the two left needles, not over them.

This method has been such a sanity saver for me. I know everyone has their little grafting tricks, so if you have another good tip to share, leave a comment! (The more sanity this time of year, the better, right?)

-- Sandi





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Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I have 15 more rows before I start the border on my Leaf and Nupp Shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. (I love this pattern. Have I mentioned that I LOVE this pattern?)





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Comments

virginia8489 wrote
on Nov 12, 2012 8:42 PM

I've been using this method since you first posted it and you've got it right -- it's a sanity saver!

Any suggestions for kitchener stitch with this method for garter stitch?

Maryjetta

OPCrafter wrote
on Feb 24, 2012 1:43 PM

This looks just like TECHknitter's way of grafting with a knitting needle rather than a tapestry needle - published on her blog back in May 2007

lamalu wrote
on Apr 11, 2011 10:47 AM

Lifesaver! I just finished my second bottom-up raglan all by myself! The kitchener stitch eludes me for some reason but I managed this method on the first try. Thanks thanks thanks!

Nora wrote
on Sep 2, 2010 12:33 PM

This is my favorite way of finishing.  It's easy, and I don't have to search for a needle (why can't I EVER find one when I want it?).  Here's another good tutorial if anyone is having trouble grasping the idea.  It's the one I actually used when I learned.

techknitting.blogspot.com/.../easier-way-to-kitchener-stitch-also.html

Zoe wrote
on Apr 30, 2010 11:26 PM

Hi to all you sock finishers.  This method is the kitchener stitch using dpns instead of a blunt needle.  No big deal folks.  My little chant:  Knit off, purl thru, under to the back, Purl off, knit thru, under to the front.  It can be used for knitting the kitchener stitch or for blunt needle kitchener.  I guess which ever way the kitchener works for you, that is the way to go.  For those of you who are using a circular needle, just arrange the stitches on the "needles" and use a dpn to knit the kitchener stitch or use the blunt needle to kitchener.  Look for Kelly's Socks on the web and her tutorial will demonstrate this.

GrannyJ wrote
on Apr 5, 2010 1:06 PM

Hi Sandi, My sister and I are new to sock knitting-- since fall 2009. We are in our mid and very late 60's (me), so no one can say old dogs can't learn new tricks! We have used the Kitchner stitch, but certainly will try your three needle method and the several others that have been described in these posts. We will get brave enough to learn the "toe-up" method soon.  Thanks for your tips.  Joyce

LaurieR@16 wrote
on Apr 4, 2010 6:28 PM

Sounds interesting, I hope I remember to try this on my next regular toe sock. I am working on a star toe now.

PatriciaH@62 wrote
on Feb 17, 2010 8:25 AM

I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!  Your instructions are the first that I actually understood and was able to follow.I loved the little shortcut chant, so helpful after I completed the first few stitches. I just finished my first sock!! I'm so excited.

Now I can finish the two socks I have hiding in the closet waiting for their toes to be grafted! Yeah!

Thank you so much!! :)

Trish

kate4 wrote
on Oct 24, 2009 9:35 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you....well... you get it, I'm sure!  

maknits wrote
on Feb 13, 2009 11:57 PM
I just finished my first pair of socks. I did two at once on circular needles. Since I'd never done any method I tried this and it was easy and looks great. Thanks!
SandraJ@3 wrote
on Jan 14, 2009 9:43 PM
I have tried and tried to follow these instructions, but there is no way I can make it work. So it is back to the Kitchener Stitch for me.
akaglorious wrote
on Jan 8, 2009 10:11 AM
Before any more time goes by I wanted to especially thank you for the alternative to Kitchener Stitch. Gloria J
Justine wrote
on Jan 6, 2009 6:11 PM
Just tried out this technique and while I'm fine with Kitchener stitch, I think this way IS a bit easier to get an even tension in the graft. Having said that, are you supposed to treat the last two stitches as one and purl them together? That's how I read the instructions and it left a big lump. I undid it and purled the front stitch and knit the back stitch, as per the rest of the instructions and it worked better.
KatherineC@2 wrote
on Jan 5, 2009 1:59 PM
Such a wonderful tip. I can't seem to use double pointed needles and took a class on socks on 2 circulars. Socks are my favorite thing to knit until I get to the end. This seems much like Kitchener, but comes out with a smoother look for some reason. I love it! Thanks!!
JudithB@3 wrote
on Jan 3, 2009 1:21 PM
Kitchener stitch is ok for the few stitches for sock toes. I can live with it even if I don't particulary care for it. But I was just finishing the second half of a scarf that needs the pieces grafted together and was dreading having to Kitchener it. The tip came just in time, it worked out beautifully and the scarf is wonderful...you can't even tell where the graft is.
TammyS wrote
on Jan 3, 2009 3:53 AM
I think this is great when you don't have a tapestry needle handy, but this is really just another way to do kitchener! If you can follow this instructions, you can kitchener.
PriscillaB wrote
on Dec 30, 2008 5:03 PM
First, let me say Thanks Sandi for your inventiveness. I;m sorry, but I don't get why people hate the Kitchener stitch. It does take a bit of concentration, but it is easy, and for heaven's stakes it's only for 8 to 16 sts. I learned it when I was 11 years old. For years, if there was a lag between times, I had to check instructions each time I did it, but now I've done it so many times, I can do it in my sleep. (My very old instructions start off a bit differently, but are essentially the same as those published now.) However, it's great to have another tool in my aresenal, so I will definitely save these instructions and use them. I also like the comment about reversing the order to get a garter stitch finish. Also, there are times when I don't have the yarn needle handy, so doing this with a third needle should be really neat. So again, Thanks, Sandi, for your inventiveness Priscilla
AnnaM wrote
on Dec 30, 2008 1:25 PM
From a grafting-impaired knitter comes an enormoust THANK YOU! I have been Kitchenered-out, trying to follow and then memorize and then "read my knitting" and then saying "Oh h..., I'll just do it my way," and everything else. So Thenks, Sandi
ShariZ wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 6:45 AM
Oh my, I'm doing my very first pair of socks and am "finishing challenged". Sure wish there was a video to see the steps in slow motion. For some techniques, I don't do as well with written instructions (like the Kitchener stitch). I'll give this a try and hopefully have a pair of socks to wear and not something to start a "ufo pile"! Shari
Barb@5 wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 6:45 AM
I just finished a pair of socks and closed the toes with Kitchener stitch. I finished the first one with the help of YouTube using the tapestry needle method. [BTW There are some very helpful tutorials there.] Watching the video helped immensely - but the stitches are a little too loose. I used the method above for the other sock and it came out perfectly! Thanks for the tip.
SueM@2 wrote
on Dec 28, 2008 11:57 AM
I just did the posted bind off on my sock, and it works wonderfully! First time I don't have "grinch" toes pointing out! Thanks for posting it!
reina wrote
on Dec 28, 2008 3:44 AM
In the Netherlands we learned finishing of socks at home and in school the same way, no kitchener stitch, no darning needle , just four (or five) dpns. When you are reducing the stitches for the toe, stop at at least six stitches for children, ten or twelve for grown ups or in using very fine yarn a few more. The finished width should be what you want in front of your toes, like finished Kitchenerstitches. Now distribute your stitches over 3 dpns (four would be a bit easier) Now here comes the trick and if a twelve year old unwilling to knit schoolgirl (not me, I loved knitting from the start) can do this, you can too: pull your whole sock through the hole that is formed by your dpns, your sock is now inside out. Replace the stitches on two of your dpns and cast of, knittingwise one stitch of each needle knitting two together, then te next two one from each dpn and then pass over the first stitch over the second, again knit two stitches together, pass over the first over the last till the very last two stitches are knitted together, pass over the first stitch on your needle and pass the rest of your yarn through this stitsch the same waay you use always casting of. NOW you need that needle to hide the tail, but you needed that anyway for the tailleft by your casting on and you can do that the second before putting your socks on. BTW this does look very complicated by reading it, but it beats Kitchenerstitch by miles in simplicity, it just takes so many words to explain. Basics are, turn sock on the needles inside out, replace stitches on two dpns, cast off taking one stitch from both needles and knit those before the pass over procedure and bind off. Turn sock right side out. Cast on second sock, finish tails whenever you find time and needle. Reina.
GinnyB wrote
on Dec 26, 2008 10:33 AM
I Like this alternative; Seemed to take a bit longer, but finished off nicely; thanks.
AnnaP wrote
on Dec 24, 2008 4:09 AM
Whoops... I thought JoanS denied that this was (real) Kitchener stitch, but now I understand that it refers to the rest of her comment... Sorry Joan!
AnnaP wrote
on Dec 24, 2008 4:08 AM
@LindaP and JoanS: This *is* kitchener stitch, but 'knit' and 'purl' exchange meaning here... When you use a darning needle, 'knit' is taken to mean 'insert the darning needle the way you would insert a knitting needle in order to knit a stitch'. The yarn is then drawn through in that direction. When you use knitting needles, 'knit' just means 'make a knit stitch' and you'll insert the needle as if to knit (big surprise :P), grab the yarn, and pull it through - so the yarn ends up in the opposite direction (the way you pulled the needle back out, not the way you put it in). So a 'purl' for a threaded darning needle is a 'knit' for a knitting needle where you pull the yarn through all the way, and vice versa.
JoanS wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 2:07 PM
This has nothing to do with the Kitchener Stitch (which is cool, by the way). When you sell patterns that have been in the archives a while, could you give alternate yarns for those which are no longer in production?
Mary LouK wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 10:41 AM
I watched the Lucy Neatby DVD about knitting a sock "chimney" out of waste yarn and then just following the path of the waste yarn as it goes around the live toe stitches. This seems worth a try. I will also try your suggestion. My favorite sock method is hands-down toe-up! I use the Russian bind-off for elasticity at the cuff.
BelindaI wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 8:41 AM
I have discovered my own solution for grafting socks - I knit toe up socks! Merry Christmas from Belinda on snowy (can you believe it) Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Tamara O wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 8:15 AM
I used to HATE the Kitchener Stitch! That was until I read this mantra online: "Opposite on, same off." Now I can bounce back and forth between the needles and see the stitches forming!
MarilynH@2 wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 7:24 AM
This is the way I do my Kitcheners Toe. I put the sts on 2 dpn as you said, cut yarnand thread on tapestry needle. Then starting with the front needle I say to myself -- "purl slip knit. Then next is knit sllip purl" . [When you "purl slip" do as it says, then knit and leave it on the needle because it didn't tell you anything else to do.] etc. I hope you understand this. Marilyn H. From snowy Iowa
FeliciaS wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 7:21 AM
Thank you Sandi! I love this grafted toe and latched on to it the first time you ran it last year. It looks so clean and neat and dare I say, professional. I have a girlfriend who feels sock toes when she (gasp!) buys socks because a ridge really irritates her tender toes, but was thrilled when I prestented her with the perfect toe on a pair of hand knitted socks.
JenniferA wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 6:53 AM
Thank you for this kitchener stitch help as well as the free sock patterns. One of my new year's resolutions is to enter the world of sock knitting -- I'm just chicken of the kitchener and that it could become an obsession.
Joan J wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 5:48 AM
Joan J I go with LindaP and KnitKC. The mantra is neat BUT it is what you would use for garter stitch grafting and leaves a ridge in the right side. Reverse the directions KNIT FRONT OFF PURL FRONTON PURL BACK OFF KNIT FRONT ON which will give you a stockinette stitch graft like the one pictured.
Shannah wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 5:46 AM
I hate kitchener so much I always, always flip my socks inside out while they are still on the needles and finish with a three needle bind off. It's easy and wonderful and no needles involved.
CherylA@2 wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 5:02 AM
I've used this many times. And I've discovered if you reverse the order to Knit off, Purl on; Purl off, Knit on it finishes in garter stitch, too! Good for Garter St slippers and such, instead of St St bind off. Happy Knitting!
DremaO wrote
on Dec 23, 2008 4:53 AM
Thank you so much for sharing this tip. Just finished a pair of socks. Sure could of used this earlier. I just printed it out. I won't have any trouble with my next sock on needles now.
dvcrztb wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 7:05 PM
Thank you, this is a great Christmas present. I have several pair waiting to get relaxed enough to tackle the Kitchner. I will try it on the pair for my daughter-in-law's present. Doris, NJ
TamaraH wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 7:03 PM
I have used the mantra from Nona Knits May 21, 2007, boiils down to: IN and Off OUT and ON http://nonaknits.typepad.com/nonaknits/tips_and_techniques/index.html
SunaK wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 6:28 PM
Woo hoo! I have always felt a little ashamed that my grafting always got messed up--it's the only standard knitting skill that keeps eluding me. But I am happy to report that I finished a pair of worsted-weight house socks tonight, which were a perfect candidate to try the knitted grafting technique. And I did it! I won't have to resort to three-needle bind-offs or toe-up socks only from now on!
N.T wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 5:14 PM
I hate grafting so much that I only knit toe up socks! The added benefit is that you never run out of yarn before you finish the length of the foot! Socks can just be shorter.
CarolR wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 4:57 PM
I think the cast-on Charlotte mentions above (scroll way up) is the figure 8, and I agree with her. That's a great cast-on for a toe-up sock, because it's truly seamless. But for binding off, looks like grafting and kitchener produce a neat, seamless finish, too. A 3-needle bind-off is easier to remember, BUT it's bulkier. One or two people mentioned the technique of decreasing until you have a tiny number of stitches, then use a tapestry needles to run the yarn through those stitches and pull them tight. I really hate that bind-off and try to avoid it; the resulting little circle eventually ALWAYS loosens up, and I end up with a hole. Feh! Looks like grafting could be used in place of that technique, right?
MargaretJ wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 4:45 PM
Nifty tip - I'll have to try that. But you know you can always make a German round toe (search internet) or the Star round toe which is in Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks (p. 74). Both only require running the tail end thru the last 8 stitches twice, pulling up and tying off (like the top of a hat). I love Knitting Daily. Thanks for the work and have a happy holiday.
KerriF wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 3:42 PM
No Socks about done here.. I bought the yarn , wrapped it, addressed it to me and plan the act surprised with a big "OH I SHOULDN'T HAVE" oh Christmas morning.. but I will keep this tip in mind..or maybe in favorites...just Wanted to wish all a Merry Christmas and to tell you life before knitting daily wasn't nearly as fun..Thanks for all your hard work and efforts..
LaurieV wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 3:40 PM
it took me awhile to get used to kitchener but this is the "song" I sing: ...knit off, purl on ..purl off, knit on....(repeat both lines until you are done) what I mean is: on the front needle, put the threaded needle thru the first st as if to knit, drop st off needle, put the threaded needle thru the 2ns st as if to purl and leave st on the needle... on the back needle, put the threaded needle thru the 1st st as if to purl, drop the stitch off the needle, put the threaded needle thru the 2nd st as if to knit and leave st on the needle...
on Dec 22, 2008 3:37 PM
I hate the Kitchener stich,and must admitt that I carry a yarn needle at all times. I just weave the needle like you graph,and then run it all back through the loops missing the last one I came out of,stick it all back in the sox,and then weave down into the stiches. Hope everyone finishes their soxs by Wednesday night.I hate to brag,but I've made two adult male,two adult female,one child,and three premies in one month.If I can get a kid to leave me alone for the rest of this evening I'll have another pair done. Must confess though, that I still have a pair of mittens to go. Merry Christmas Ya'll! from the not so warm and sunny south.It was 15 this morning and never made it past 33 today.Made it easy to stay inside and knit.
HelenA@2 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 3:05 PM
Oooh, I've been doing this for years and all along I thought that this was the Kitchener Stitch! Live and learn.
knitkc wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 2:44 PM
Hi , I like reading Knitting Daily. I have always done the kitchener stitch the oppositeway. I just tested the directions that are provided here and they produce a ridge instead of the smooth stitch. I believe what might have happened is that your mantra begins with the "setup stitch". If one dives straight into the kitchener stitch, the first stitch is only entered one time and can leave the edge stitch loose and dangly so many knitter do a "set up" before they actually begin the kitchener stitch. The 'set up' is purl on the front and leave it on, knit on the back and leave it on. The rest of the stitch proceeds as follows: Knit front off, purl front on, purl back off, knit back on. This produces a smooth stitch. A good reference for this can be found in The Knitter's Companion (from interweave) on pages 82 & 83. I hope you will print a correction.
CarolC@2 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 2:11 PM
Hi, I am with AnneL I had such a time getting it in the first place, but was so determined, that when I finally did, I absolutely love it, so neat! Thanks for all the tips. cece @ knit2
CarolC@2 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 2:11 PM
Hi, I am with AnneL I had such a time getting it in the first place, but was so determined, that when I finally did, I absolutely love it, so neat! Thanks for all the tips. cece @ knit2l
RandyA wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 1:45 PM
I had trouble learning the Kitchener stitch at first, but when I made up a little saying for myself, similar to Sandy's it worked like magic. I learned a new trick from this tip: knit the last two stitches together. I am also going to try this stitch with shoulders on sweaters. Randy
Cindy Bawdon wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 1:39 PM
That's so funny - I love Kitchener stitch but I had figured this out one day when I was at a football game and finished knitting the first sock as soon as I got there, but had forgotten my sewing needle. I'm glad to know I hadn't been doing something sacrilegious or something. ;-) And I want to second HarriettT - You look mahvelous, dahling!
Wanda@2 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 1:09 PM
This is an awesome gift. Thank you for all your wonderful tips and tricks. Happy holidays to you all!
MaryE@4 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 12:29 PM
I refuse to graft socks. I knit my socks with five needles. When they are almost as long as I want them to be. I start decreasing the last stitch on each needle every other row until each needle has only nine stitches. Then I decrease at the end of each needle every row until there are only three left on each needle. I then break off the yarn leaving about ten inches and thread it through a yarn needle and thread that needle through all the stiches, pull tightly and finish off. This makes a very nice toe on my socks. I don't ever do it any other way.
DorindaS wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 11:23 AM
This technique is still Kitchner stitch the motions are the same only using a knitting needle. So you do know how to do Kitchner grafting!!! You still have to find the tapestry needle to work in the ends. Think of grafting as a sequence instead of one stitch at a time; you can guide the needle through several stitiches at a time..front to back to front to back. Also, a way to remember the sequence; the stitch is dropped off when it is in the place of the "usual" stitch. Dropped off if pearlwise at the back needle and dropped of if knitwise if a knit stitch (pearls are back of work and knits are front of work). Dorinda
B.L wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 11:16 AM
Bless you -- and Nicholas.
PegR wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 11:12 AM
Thanks Sandi, I've been using this since you printed it last year. Here's my additional tip... get a Dritz Pop Top Container to pop in the sock toe while adjusting the tension. Toes and their associated socks are a kind of flattened oval, not round like a traditional darning egg, so this container makes the process less fiddly. I use the inside to hold my whole "sock kit" of a crochet hook, ruler, lifeline floss, darning needle, card with the chant on it, pencil and paper. I found mine at some craft store but here's a link so you can see what it is... http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat3421&PRODID=prd49261.
MelanieF wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 11:11 AM
Sandi, I love this trick. I have passed it along to many friends too. I tried regular Kitchener one time before receiving this tip last year around Christmas (when your hubby was doing the socks for your gift), and never again had to use it...this is soooooooo much easier. Thanks for your great ideas. Melanie
SusanR@4 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 11:07 AM
Nifty trick!! Would a three-needle bind off work here also? I recently learned it for some long shoulder/sleeve seams and it is nearly invisible!! Susan in the Redwoods
LindaP@6 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 11:03 AM
This is just the opposite of what I teach. I have always done: 1. Front knit remove 2. Front purl leave 3. Back purl remove 4. Back knit leave I will have to try this and see how it differs. Thanks, Linda
TerryW wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 10:54 AM
Hi Sandi, I teach knitting on a small island, Fire Island NY. In the winter it's a small group and the summer a large group. When you printed the tip last year I was very excited to teach it to both my classes as everyone hands down HATED doing the Kitchener stitch and some never got the hang of it. We do lots of socks and some even tried it on shoulder seam. Well let me tell you it was a big success! I hardly have to help someone anymore when it comes to the finishing. As for me, I find it very use full in many way and you can teach an old dog new tricks. Thanks again! Terry
AlisonW@2 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 10:53 AM
Great mantra!! And can I just ask, Sandi ,what the gorgeous yarn is that the socks are made from??? They are BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Have a great holiday!! Ali x
CandiR wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 10:51 AM
I hate Kitchener stitch because mine always looks horrible. I can never get it right. But this method comes out right every single time. Thank you Sandy for sharing this method and making my knitting life so much easier.
EleanorA wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 10:13 AM
This method sounds like the Kitchener stitch, but the stitches are dropped before the yarn is passed through them rather than after. I think that this sounds like asking for trouble. Don't you still need a tapestry needle to pass the yarn through the stitch?
PatF@2 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 10:05 AM
For me, Kitchner stitch depends very much on the yarn character and my state of mind so it's not 100% dependable. This is, is very strong, and and leaves a raised line on the outside of the toe. It is a knit join bind off. Get to the point where you are told to begin the Kitchner. Do not break off your yarn. Line up your two parallel DPN with a third DPN in hand. The stitches with the live thread should be on the botom. Use the third DPN to lift one stitch off the top needle and place it on the bottom needle in front of the stitch with the live thread. Knit the two stitches together and hold the just completed stitch on the right hand DPN. Use the right hand DPN to lift the next stitch off the top needle and plance on the bottom needle in front of the next stitch in line. Knit these two stitches together. Pass the first stitch knitted over the second stitch knit. Continue to the end, break off thread, drawing the thread through the last stitch leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through a yarn needle and pull it down through into the inside of the sock toe to neaten up the little cats ear that you kind of get at the end of this "knit together bind off". Weave through to the beginning end and neaten up anything that needs neatening there. This method involves working with the three needles with very few stitches - but it gives a very strong, neat and clean finish with none of the fiddle fussing of the Kitchner stitch. I learned by myself though - mayble if siomeone who knew how to do it had shown me I wouldn't have gotten so frustrated and done this instead!
LeslieH@2 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 9:58 AM
I just do a 3 needle bind off. Easy and I don't forget how to do it. I have been doing this for years and never have a problem with the toe. Leslie in snowy Vancouver, WA
SaraT wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 9:54 AM
Sandi, I am anxious to try this method. Kitchener stitch does not bother me but it looks like I might not get the little ears with this method. SueT
RebeccaL@4 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 9:54 AM
NOT having to graft is one reason I LOVE toe-up socks! But this will help out so much with mittens and other things that need grafting--thanks so much!
REGINAR wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 9:45 AM
Sandi I am seriously grafting impaired, lol, so I either do a three needle bind off-and make very rounded toe socks, or knit socks toe-up, of course I am still trying to figure out how to do the heels for those, lol...
Ladymark wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 9:42 AM
I find it difficult to believe that this is easier than Kitchener! For me, it would substitute 11 steps for 4 in K-stitch. Why would I, altho' it is always nice to know a new technique?
HarriettT wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 9:42 AM
Sandi, thanks so much for your kitchener advice. I think I'll find it helpful. And in case no one has told you, you really look GREAT!!! Have meant to tell you for quite a while. But I guess you don't mind hearing it over and over!! Have a wonderful Christmas.
AnneL wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 9:40 AM
I too must be a sickko...I love the kitchener stitch, and I think it is because it took me FOR EVER to figure it out! But once I did, it was one of those DUH! / AH HA! moments. Now when I finish anything that needs grafting, I look forward to it because it is my little visual reminder that yes, indeed, I can still learn something! HAHAHA! But I am anxious to try your three needle method, since there might come a day when it would be more appropriate. Knowledge is power! Thanks!
JayelF wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 9:14 AM
Your shortcut chant is especially useful for us (ahem!) "backward" southpaw knitters--no irritating left & right instructions that have to be reversed! As someone who loves 3-needle bindoff and has studied and studied and studied Kitchener whenever I needed it, a hearty THANK YOU!! I no longer need to Fear the Kitchener!
Janet@4 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:56 AM
Knitting toe up saves an awful lot of "toe-motion" and angst! Now if I could just get the tension at the top right so the socks stay up for hubby and don't bind into my ballerina-legs daughter's ankles! They tell me that socks aren't my forte!
CharlotteL wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:54 AM
Great trick. Since I knit socks from the toe up, I found a great tip on the internet (forgot which site) to knit from the toe up using a knit on method that knits the seam at the same time. It has to do with wrapping the yarn around two needles 16 times and then knitting 16 stitches off the needles, then knitting the same 16 stitches again. I know I am not explaining it very well, but maybe you can find the site on the internet again. It is really very simple, and leaves no seams!
on Dec 22, 2008 8:45 AM
Could possibly use Kitchener stitch for finishing the top of a hat, usually not too many stitches left. Then add tassles at beginning and end of seam Julia ENGLAND
LeslieH wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:43 AM
I have never been pleased with the Kitchener Stitch using a needle. Just didn't seem to get a handle on it. Your grafting on needles is wonderful.
JeanneM@2 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:41 AM
I don't hate kitchener, but can't tell you how many times I've finished a sock and didn't have a sewing needle to really finish it... usually when I have 45 minutes to wait for my kids music lessons. This is great!
Kchealy wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:38 AM
What a cool trick! I really don't hate the kitchener stitch, but it's always good to have another technique in your arsenal. I also sometimes turn my socks inside out and finish with a three needle bind off. Easy and it looks nice.
AnneG wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:38 AM
Great tip. But ENOUGH with the socks already! How about mittens or hats if you're going to do a free e-book? Or better yet, sweaters? Happy holidays!
JEANS@4 wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:37 AM
I finally decided I need to reverse the stiches on the front needle (just pick them off onto a spare needle as if to knit, then slide them back on the original needle). The leading side of the loop is then behind the needle - closer to the back needle. I no longer need to fight with the yarn getting on the wrong side of the needle. I have the right angle of the stitches to make the weaving work. Works for me!
AmyCM wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:32 AM
That's brilliant!
Suze wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:31 AM
I guess I should feel like a freak - but I LOVE the Kitchener Stitch! I like how neat and clean it leaves the finished side of work. It puts me in a meditative state, since you have to focus on nothing but the stitches. (PS - I love your new hair style, Sandi!)
knit_fiend wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:23 AM
Yay - I knew there must be a simple knitting mantra but I never took the time to distill it for myself AND this saves me from having to stop and find a needle too! knit_fiend in MA
vthorselover wrote
on Dec 22, 2008 8:17 AM
Hi Sandi, How DID you know that I have a pair of socks that only have to be finished at the toe....and I have left them for a year??? You are wonderful! Thank you so much...I hate the kitchener and can't even follow the supposedly easy instructions!! Lin Reuther, in snowy Vermont