How to Graft Garter Stitch

Are you a knitter who runs away as fast as you can from a pattern that requires grafting on garter stitch? I’ll show you how to graft garter stitch. Never fear, it’s easier than you think! (And I think it’s easier than grafting stockinette stitch.)

Grafting, also known as Kitchener Stitch, uses a yarn needle to join two pieces of knitting invisibly. The short and sweet written version of how to graft garter stitch follows, but scroll on down for the more in-depth video description.

The Set-Up

How to Graft Garter Stitch-two pieces of garter stitch

Because you’ll be creating a row of “knitting” , one of your garter stitch pieces needs to be one row shorter than the other. If you have ended one piece with a right side row, you’ll need to end the other piece with a wrong side row. (See the video to help you recognize which piece is which.)

Hold pieces with knitting needles parallel, with wrong sides together and with the shorter piece in back.

Grafting Step-by-Step

Cut a yarn tail at least 3 times the length of the pieces you are joining.  In my example my working yarn is the yarn tail from the blue swatch.

Thread a blunt-tip yarn needle (tapestry needle).

How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 1Step 1. On the front needle: Insert the needle purlwise (as if to purl) through the first stitch and pull the yarn through.
How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 3

Step 2. On the back needle: Insert the needle purlwise through the first stitch and pull the yarn through.

How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 3A

Step 3. On the front needle: Insert the needle knitwise through the first stitch and drop that stitch off the needle;
How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 3Binsert the needle purlwise through the next stitch and pull the yarn through.

How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 4BStep 4.  On the back needle: Insert the needle knitwise through the first stitch and drop that stitch off the needle;
insert the needle purlwise through the next stitch and pull the yarn through. Note that this is the exact same thing you did on the front needle!

How to Graft Garter Stitch adjusting stitchesRepeat Steps 3 and 4 across. Every few stitches, stop and adjust the tension of your stitches so that they match the size of the surrounding stitches. 

On the last two stitches (one front and one back), insert the needle knitwise through the last stitch on the front needle and pull the yarn through, then insert the needle knitwise through the last stitch on the back needle and pull the yarn through.

How to Graft Garter Stitch completedTake one more look at your grafted stitches and adjust them to size. If you know how to graft garter stitch carefully, no one will be able to tell that the stitches were grafted and not knit!


To see grafting in action, watch the video:

Looking for more knitting resources? Check out Knit: Basics & Beyond.

 

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