Kitchener Stitch

3 Easy Stitches To Create Edges and Joins Between Fabric

Easy StitchesThere are many knit pieces that simply cannot be completed without some form of seam. Items such as sweaters, pillow covers, and dresses are bound to employ some of the techniques used to create edges and joins between fabric in order to complete the project. There are many ways to do create edges and joins between fabric, so you can pick the one that works best on your project. We’ll walk you through three of them here.

Use Kitchener Stitch for Joining Fabrics

The kitchener stitch, or grafting, is a good way to attach two fabrics seamlessly. In order to complete this seam, you need two needles held parallel, with the same amount of live stitches on each needle and a darning or tapestry needle. The working yarn should be attached to your back needle and then connected to the tapestry needle.

The kitchener stitch, while not too hard to complete, can be a bit confusing the first few times you try it. You may want to practice this a couple of times on some swatches before you attempt it on a big project. To get started with the kitchener stitch, you first use your tapestry needle to go into the first stitch on the front needle like a purl stitch and pull the yarn through. Then use the tapestry needle to go through the first stitch on the back needle like a knit stitch and pull the yarn through, making sure the yarn goes under the knitting needle. You can now begin grafting the two pieces together. To complete the kitchener stitch, follow these steps:

  • Using the tapestry needle, go through the first stitch on the front needle knit-wise.
  • Pull yarn through and slide stitch off knitting needle.
  • Go through the second stitch on your front needle purl-wise.
  • Pull yarn through, leaving stitch on needle.
  • Go through first stitch on the back needle purl-wise.
  • Pull yarn through and slide stitch off knitting needle.
  • Go through second stitch on back needle knit-wise.
  • Pull yarn through, leaving stitch on needle.
Kitchener Stitch

Repeat this process across your row. Each “first stitch” will be the stitch you left on your needle during the last step, so it will already have one stitch through it. When you only have 1 stitch left on each needle, go through stitch on front needle knit-wise, and pull the stitch off the needle. Then go through the stitch on the back needle purl-wise and slide it off the needle. If the stitches are a little uneven, you can go through and tighten each stitch down the row. When done correctly, this seam will be invisible.

Mattress Stitch Tutorial

The mattress stitch is another seam that is practically invisible and very flexible. To create this seam, lay out both pieces right side up, with the bottom closest to you. Find the running thread between the first two stitches in the bottom row. The running thread is the horizontal thread between the two stitches. Using a tapestry needle and matching yarn, join the bottom stitches using a figure eight around the running thread. From there, bring the tapestry needle under the running thread and pick it up between first and second stitches on the opposite piece. Work back and forth up the entire piece repeating the same process on each row. Make sure that you keep your tension firm but easy the whole way up.

How to do a Three-Needle Bind Off

The three-needle bind off is a great way to create edges and joins between fabrics. This method binds off 2 rows of live stitches and is often used to join the shoulders and front and back pieces of sweaters, using three knitting needles instead of two. If you hold the right sides of your fabric together, you’ll end up with a seam on the inside of the piece so it’s not as noticeable. To create this seam, insert your third needle-or the needle without any live stitches-into the first stitch on each needle knit-wise. Work the knit stitch through both stitches and slide the first stitch off both needles. This stitch is now joined by one finished stitch that is resting on the third needle.

Repeat this with the next stitch on both needles, then take the back stitch on the third needle and “leapfrog” it over the front stitch and off the needle, just like a regular bind off. Repeat this same process all the way across your fabric, and after a few stitches you’ll begin to see the seam.

These are three great options for creating edges and joins between fabrics when knitting. Each technique has its own benefits and works for different projects. Try out each of these methods for creating edges and joins between fabrics to see which one will work best for your needs.

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