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The Kitchener Stitch Bind-Off is probably the most common way to graft two pieces of knitting together seamlessly. In fact, the Kitchener Stitch is always done on live stitches.
Whereas this method of joining two pieces together is most commonly used for the toe of a sock, the technique can also be used for many other grafting projects.
For instance, you can use it to join two halves of a scarf or cowl together as well as grafting shoulder seams together. It can also be used as the final step of tubular bind-off.
Note: You always need to have an equal number of stitches on each of the two needles!
- Invisible edge (seamless in stockinette)
- Grafts to sets of live stitches
- Finishing the toes of socks
- Joining two pieces of knitting together
Extra Tools Needed
- You will need a blunt tapestry or yarn needle to perform this bind-off technique.
Step-by-Step Kitchener Stitch Bind-Off Knitting Tutorial
Hold the two needles together so that the wrong sides are facing each other, and your knitting needles are at the top.
If you are right-handed, point the needles to the right. Conversely, if you are left-handed, reverse them.
Use a yarn needled treaded with either a matching yarn or with the yarn tail (working yarn) from the back needle. We have highlighted the working yarn in red to make it easier to see in the tutorial.
Insert the yarn needle into first stitch on the front needle as if to purl. Draw the yarn through. Leave the stitch on the needle.
Insert the yarn needle knitwise into the first stitch on the back needle. Draw the yarn through and leave the stitch on the knitting needle.
Insert the needle into the first stitch on the front needle as to knit. You have now gone through the first stitch twice.
Pull the yarn through and slip the stitch off the needle.
Next, insert the yarn needle purlwise into the next stitch on the front needle. Leave the stitch on the needle.
On the back needle, insert the needle into the first stitch as to purl. This is the second time you go through this first stitch.
Slip the stitch off the back needle.
Insert the yarn needle into the next stitch on the back needle knitwise.
Repeat 5 to 10 until you have 1 stitch left on the back needle. Go through this last stitch purlwise and finish by weaving in the ends.
The graft should look something like this and be virtually seamless. If you find the Kitchener stitch confusing, you may want to memorize this:
Front: Knit off, purl on
Back: Purl off, knit on
Enjoyed reading this tutorial? Why not check out our equally excellent tutorial on how to do a yarnover bind-off?
Thank you! This process has always been very intimidating!! Your instructions & visuals are excellent. Saving this to my knitting folder!!
Step 9. After slipping the stitch off the back needle, where does the stitch go? Is it dropped or still on the needle? Thank you.