Learn it: The Kitchener Stitch
|The Ardwinna sock knitting pattern is free! Download it today and make these beautiful, lacy socks.|
I've talked before about how I struggle with the Kitchener stitch (also known as grafting). For the longest time, I've avoided it, and when I was forced to use it, my efforts were not rewarding. I ended up missing a stitch, working way too tight, or loosing my way mid-row and having to pick out all of my progress to start over.
I defaulted to the three-needle bind-off, which is a great technique, but it lacks the seamlessness, if you will, of the Kitchener stitch. The three-needle bind-off also leaves a ridge on the inside of your work, which isn't always desirable. On the toes of socks, for instance, you want a smooth, round finish, not a ridge that might irritate your toes.
Recently, I've decided to embrace the Kitchener stitch. If I have to try a couple of times to get it right, who cares? Practice makes perfect; avoidance will never help me improve. And like I said, there are times when you really need to use it!
Ardwinna, the sock knitting pattern shown at left, uses an afterthought heel (pretty cool!), which needs to be grafted in the middle. You really can't use any other stitch than the Kitchener. If I want to make this socks, I must get some practice!
Here are my favorite illustrated instructions, from another fabulous Vicki, Vicki Square and her must-have reference book, The Knitter's Companion.
The Kitchener stitch is so useful. And once you get started, working it becomes kind of meditative because you repeat the same steps over and over.
Join me and conquer your fear of Kitchener stitch! Download KDTV episode 1204, "What a Heel!" today. Check out the other single episode downloads, too. I've already downloaded and watched several of them!
And if you're looking for more free sock knitting patterns, check out our free eBook!