Kitchener Basic – Reverse Stocking Stitch

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This tutorial is an extract from my first book, ‘Going Straight – A New Generation of Knitted Hats’, a book which contains kitchener/grafting instructions for 8 different combinations including reverse stocking stitch, garter stitch, reverse garter stitch, combining St.St and garter in one graft and much more!

Below are the four basic steps for kitchener stitch for reverse stocking stitch. To prepare for grafting, we need to ensure that our stitches are held together and parallel on the needles, with right sides of the work facing out.

When we graft, we work first on the front needle and then on the back needle. It’s quite important to remember to stop after step 4 should you need to have a break or tighten up the slack, so that you can start again at a convenient point. Whenever I teach this technique, the most common problem that occurs is stopping mid way through the 4 step process which causes confusion for the knitter.

To start the graft and create the beginning selvedge edge, work steps 2 & 4 once. The work steps 1 to 4 until all stitches have been grafted, then finish with steps 1 & 3.

1) Stitch 1, front needle – insert the needle purlwise, pull the yarn through then slip the stitch off the needle.
2) Stitch 2, front needle – insert the needle knitwise, pull the yarn through but leave the stitch on the needle.
3) Stitch 3, back needle – insert the needle knitwise, pull the yarn through then slip the stitch off the needle.
4) Stitch 4, back needle – insert the needle purlwise, pull the yarn through but leave the stitch on the needle.
5) Graft prior to taking up slack (i.e. prior to tightening)
6) Finished graft after slack has been taken up.

Other helpful tips to ensure your graft goes smoothly

Try to take up the slack (i.e. tighten your stitches) every 5 to 10 stitches. Leaving this until the end will likely cause problems with your tension and cause the graft to look uneven. When taking up the slack, do it slowly, stitch by stitch – don’t try pulling from the end as this will tighten some stitches and not others and may even cause your yarn to break!

Always remember to start on the front needle first. If your working yarn is on the front needle, slip it through the base of the first stitch on the back needle, to ensure it connects correctly when starting the graft.

A quick way to remember stocking stitch grafting method is this:

(front): knit off, purl on; (back) purl off, knit on

Support

As always, if you have a question about this technique or need some help with it, leave a comment below! I’m afraid I’m unable to offer help via email or private message, but you’re welcome to post in our forum.

 

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