Friday, 4 September 2015

DIY: Kitchener Stitch

Kitchener stitch is a method by which to join two live edges of your knitting.  It's particularly useful for top-down socks, because it doesn't leave a bothersome seam at your toes.  I also use it at shoulders, because this technique gives an almost invisible finish, making the shoulder look like one continuous piece of knitting.  It's not the strongest seam, but I've yet to have any issues with my shoulders unravelling...

To do this technique, you'll need to get set up with:
tapestry/yarn needle
two sets of live stitches on their respective needles, wrong sides facing, with needle points facing the same direction

The first few times you use kitchener stitch you might feel like the tension is completely off, or that it's incredibly uneven.  This will probably just improve with practice, but a good tip is to remember not to pull your stitches too tight - there's a great draw to do this, but don't give in!



Starting - for the first st on each side you want to do the following:

Hold your wrong sides together, with needle points facing the same direction.
1. pop tapestry needle through 1st stitch on closest needle, purlwise.  Pull needle and yarn though, but leave the stitch on the needle.
2. pop needle through first st on back needle, knitwise. Again, leave st on needle and pull yarn through.


 

Continuing - for the rest of the stitches until the ones on the end, you'll want to do this:
1. Needle into first st on front needle, knitwise.  Slip stitch off needle. 
2. Needle into next st on front needle, purlwise.  Don't slip stitch off needle.  Pull yarn through. 
3. Needle into first st on back needle, purlwise.  Slip st off needle.
4. Needle into next st on back needle, knitwise.  Don't slip stitch off needle. Pull yarn through.

Repeat until 1st remains on each needle.






As you knit, your work will start to look like this in the image below - with a little practice your seam should look like just another row of knitting.  Pause every so often to adjust tension in your stitches, you can always do them loose individually and tighten them at regular intervals by pulling on your working yarn as required.

You want to keep kitchener-ing until you have one st left on each needle.




For your final stitches, you want to do step 1, then step 3 above. 
Now you have all the joy of sewing in your ends left.



Hopefully this was helpful!
I have a new DK cardigan pattern coming out on 1st October which uses this technique - please let me know (owlprintpanda@gmail.com) if you'd like to test-knit!


What have you been knitting recently?  Any favourite seams?



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this tutorial. I love the Kitchener stitch and my KAL knitters over at #knittinghour on Twitter will need it to finsih their beginner socks. I will have to point them to your post.

    It can be a tough stitch to remember. If it's been a while since I knitted it, I like to look up how to begin because I sometimes get that part wrong.

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