Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grafting Garter Stitch

Im just gonna put this out there....

I like to graft. There. I said it. I also like to seam, but that's another post entirely. 

Anyway, it occurred to me while I was getting ready to graft this project I'm working on that folks may not know how to graft a project that's garter stitch. It's different than the normal grafting. Not too bad, don't panic. 

So I went to do some research on the subject to see if there were ample videos and blog posts about this subject so I don't run this in the ground. There are a few, but in my opinion, most leave out a few key details. So I'm gonna try to do a short pictorial on this and add in those details. I am probably going to do a video on this too. Please comment that you would like one so it kicks me into gear on making it. And lets me know that it's actually wanted. LOL 

By the way, it's pretty important you have a firm grip on how to kitchener on stockinette first before you attempt this one. Not required per se, but incredibly helpful. Here is my video on stockinette kitchenering if you need it. 

So, you have this project that you have done in garter stitch, at least the edges are in garter and you want to magically put them together to where no one suspects they were ever two separate pieces! "Sneaky" or "Stealthy" knitting is what I call that, and make every effort to do that same thing in my knitting projects. 

Moving on.........

Exibit A: (click on any pics to embiggin)

I'm gonna graft these two pieces together using the dark pink. The light pink side is already done and sitting patiently waiting for its partner. 
To make the pattern Gods happy by keeping row counts correct, you will need to finish one side as specified and stop short one row on the other side.

More specifically, and in English, the row you're grafting TO or finished side is ready for a knit row and the other side is ready for a purl row. 

I feel compelled to mention at this point in the show, that this pictorial is strongly based on grafting two different colors together. If you are garter grafting the same color, disregard the placement and scroll down to the how to. Placement just doesn't matter for you. As long as you see purl bumps facing you on both needles like the next picture, your good.  

You would get your two pieces ready to graft by having the the piece you're grafting to in front and the piece you're grafting from in back. Wrong sides together. So that when you look at them, they both look like you just finished a purl row. 

Like this: 

This is a sample piece just so I can show you easier. 

The reason for the placement this way for the two color garter grafting is due to the....well, look at this picture.  

The white side represents the done side. The side you finished. The pink side represents the side you stopped one row short on. The green is the graft. You want the joining ridge to wind up in the back. See how the grafting tucks the white stitches in and pulls the pink out? This is what you want. You are sewing in the last row of the pink, unfinished side. If you did it with the pieces reversed, you would be tucking in the pink and pulling out the white, your joining row would be in the front, visible and it would look weird and not at all stealthy. And we want stealthy. Now, click on the picture so you can get a real good look.

Now you say, How did you do that and make it look sooo amazing?? 

Try to stop laughing now and read on.... 

So you have your piece all ready and you start it out normally, but after you get done with the "front knit off, purl through", take it to the back and repeat. Yes you read that right. You take your yarn to the back and do the same thing "back knit off, purl through"

This creates the last garter ridge and finishes your piece, tucks the finish piece in and joins them together all stealthy like. 

Observe the finished graft~Front:

and the finished graft back: 

The two color join is in the back. green(which would be pink had this been a real graft) over white. Green over pink in the front. Had this been pink grafting yarn, you wouldn't be able to see it.

Here it is on the project.

I finished up the required ridges minus one row of the dark pink and now my assistant and I are ready to graft the two.

Here is the close up of it grafted. The left is the front and the right is the back.  

Here is a full view of the graft layin there all stealthy like......

Graft done. And no one is the wiser they used to be two separate pieces. Even a knitter woudnt know. Now, go be stealthy.



  1. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. It helped me to create a more professional seam.

  2. Thanks! I looked all over the internet for advice on how to graft garter when joining different colors. Your six-year-old post is the only one on the subject that I managed to find. Your description let me know that to do away with the visible "seam" showing up on a join I'd started, I should flip it so it was wrong sides together. That did the trick. :-) Thank you.