A Last-Minute Finishing Trick For You

Ann Budd's Broken Cable Rib Socks

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 like me, completely and utterly despise the Kitchener Stitch.

Up until a few years ago, I literally whimpered every time I had to face those cursed Kitcheners. Since grafting has been voted the most comfy sock seam by all ten of my sensitive little toes, poor Nicholas, when finishing the Broken Cable Rib Socks for me, gamely attempted the K-stitch several times, until finally I showed him a trick some kind knitter had once shown me: how to graft on the needles.

This holiday season, in the spirit of saving our collective gift-kintting sanity, I now pass on this wonderful tip to all of you.

Grafting On The Needles

Step 1: Knit your socks to the point where the instructions tell you to graft together the final stitches.
Step 2: Divide the remaining stitches evenly between two double-pointed needles.
Step 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.
Step 4: Cut the working yarn to a reasonable length, say, 12".
Step 5: Using a third dpn, PURL the first stitch on the FRONT needle.
Step 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.
Step 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.
Step 8: KNIT the first stitch on the BACK needle.
Step 9: DROP the stitch off the left back needle and pull the yarn all the way through.
Step 10: PURL the next stitch on the BACK needle.
Step 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 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:
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. 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! We could all use a little knitting sanity right about now…

New in the Store: Annetrelac Socks

New to the Store: Annetrelac Socks!

We're still pulling patterns out of the sold-out Holiday Knits 2007 issue to put into the KD Pattern Store, and today, in honor of the flood of requests for them, we have loaded up the Annetrelac Socks for you! I know, I know, it really is not fair to tempt you with one more pretty pair of socks when it is six days before the Big Jolly Dude comes down the chimney, but lots and lots of folks have been asking for this one. More to come as soon as the KD Store elves can convert the patterns and load 'em up!

Great Free Sock Pattern eBook:
Knitting Socks with Knitting Daily:
5 Free Sock Knitting Patterns

Need a new sock knitting pattern? Want a great free sock pattern? I've chosen five of our top sock knitting downloads and put them all together in one FREE ebook for you.

So what kind of sock patterns are in this eBook? Let's see. There's a knitted lace sock pattern, a cabled sock pattern, a colorwork sock pattern, a men's sock pattern, and an easy beginner sock pattern. Something for everyone!

Download Knitting Socks with Knitting Daily: 5 Free Sock Knitting Patterns

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Ten (!) inches of the Gathered Pullover; a pair of socks on two circulars with partial heel flaps, and ten inches of the hood of my husband's cabled hoodie. Whoo! Progress!

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