Tuesday Tutorial: Kitchener Stitch

Aaaahhhh everyone’s favorite:  Kitchener Stitch 🙂

I have found, that Kitchener stitch isn’t really as scary as many claim (or fear) it is.  Basically, it is fiddly, and requires repetition to get the hang of it.  If you only pull it out to try once a year, chances are, you might not get the hang of it very quickly.

If, on the other hand, you are a die-hard cuff-down sock maker, or obsessed with tube cowls (like I am!), you will find that after you do it on a few projects in a row, it becomes so much easier!

Last week’s share, the free Sloop Cowl Pattern, uses Kitchener stitch to finish up at the end so you have a seamless loop with no wrong side showing.  It’s sort of magical.

Can you see my line of kitchener in the photo below???  It’s right below the short dark blue row, where I’ve drawn the arrow!

Almost impossible to spot for the untrained eye!  That’s one reason I love this technique, it really stumps people!  Here’s my video showing how to graft together the ends of this cowl pattern using kitchener.

Here’s my little chant that I say in my head as I go along with kitchener:

Front, Knit, drop

Front, Purl, stay

Back, Purl, drop

Back, Knit, stay

The “Front/Back” refer to which needle you are working a stitch from, “Knit/Purl” tells you which way you go through the stitch (as if to knit or as if to purl), and “Drop/Stay” tells you whether you drop the stitch off the needle after threading your tapestry needle through, or have it stay on the needle to be worked again in the next repeat!

At the end, you’ll end up with one stitch on each needle, that have each been gone through once, and to complete it, you’ll go through each one more time, with the first half of the instructions for that needle.  Meaning:  On the front stitch you’ll go knitwise and drop, and on the back stitch you’ll go purlwise and drop!  Then you’ll tighten things up, and weave in your ends.  Easy enough!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  What do you think?  Do you love kitchener, or are you still intimidated by it?

Tell me in the comments below!

Happy Knitting!

-Sasha @ Stitch Space

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