For some reason, the Kitchener Stitch and I have never really been on speaking terms. And something had to be done. Really. I know I am not the first to try this, but I may be the one who uses this trick most often! For all of those of you out there who cannot seem to graft without dozens of little errors, this is for you: grafting using a waste piece of yarn as a path through the stitches.
Shown below are the two halves of my soon to be released Delta Queen scarf, knit from Habu bamboo lace (my current favorite thing in the world!). The scarf is grafted in the middle. When I finished the sides, I worked a row of stitches in a different colored waste yarn (ETA: in pattern, which in this case was a plain knitted row). When I grafted them together, I followed the pathway of the waste yarn. Here's how it's done....
First, keep a tail at least three times the width of the piece you will be grafting. I always tie the waste yarn to the working yarn with a slip knot, just to make things easier. I undo it later.
I lay out the two sides...
and pin them out. I have tried this with both right sides and with both wrong sides facing, or with one right and one wrong side facing. It didn't seem to make much difference in garter stitch. This is a right side and a wrong side.
With the working yarn tail (at least 3x width of the scarf) threaded through a blunt tapestry needle, begin following the path of the waste yarn, working loosely so you can see where you have joined the pieces. It is important to keep in mind here that you are "knitting" the row that holds these two pieces together.
As you go, you can keep the waste yarn in the stitches. You will be able to unzip it later.
I also often leave the needles in while I work the initial loose row of kitchener, being very careful to follow the path of that waste yarn through the stitch! Note: this is regular old kitchener stitch, and a great tutorial can be seen here. My little trick is just that: a little trick so that I don't get lost in the middle of what I am doing when the kids call me. :)
When you have worked around five inches or so, go back to start tightening up the grafting. Don't over-do it though, as it is very easy to go back to tighten things up again, but very difficult to loosen the row once it is too tight.
Here it is tightened up a bit more.
After the initial tightening, go back and, if you have not already done so, unzip the waste yarn so that you can check how well the row of kitchener stitch blends.
Tighten it more if necessary.
Repeat these steps and at the end, you will have a lovely join! (Unfortunately my last pic of the join was blurry, and the scarf is now at Knitterly on display, but you can imagine it, right? Instead we have the requisite cheesecake shot.)
Delta Queen, comin' soon. :)
Labels: beads, delta queen, lace, tutorials