Grafting Stupid

I’m going to blame my inability to graft properly on the fact that I knit differently from everyone and everything I’ve ever seen. I knit by inserting the needle from the right into the back of the stitch, throwing on my yarn, then pulling it through. Yarn in the back, of course. I purl the usual way.

So, when I am grafting, I try to do it correctly, going slowly along with videos, but I’ll be hanged if I ever get it right.

Does anyone have any advice or should I just accept that my toes are going to have a seam?

That is actually a special stitch and is called KTBL…or knitting through the back loop. It twists the stitches. I’m not sure what you’d do if you come across a KTBL in a pattern since you are already twisting them all… :think:

Anyway… It’s fine if you don’t mind having twisted stitches when you do stockinette, but you might learn to do the “normal” untwisted knit stitch so you can do it when you need to do things like graft. There is a video under the videos tab/knit or you can look at this page with still photos. It will take some practice, but really…it’s better than seams in the toes!

You could also learn to do toe up socks and then it doesn’t matter for them at least. :thumbsup:

It sounds to me like you knit like a combined knitter would knit but if you are purling like everyone else, you are twisting your stitches. You should either look up combination knitting and see how to purl that way (they scoop the yarn in the opposite direction when they purl) or change the way you knit if you don’t want twisted stitches all the time.

I think it’s the fact that you are twisting your stitches that causes the seam.

Thanks for your help. I went and watched the videos until I was cross eyed, and it would appear that I am combine knitting and then purling as regular. So I’ve begun purling in the combine method, however since all of the patterns are for English or Continental knitters, I am going to have to learn to knit that way if I want things to look right.

Changing the way I knit after over 20 years of doing it this way is going to be… fun.

You don’t have to change the way you knit other than the purl, but you will need to tweak things a little in patterns. I found this that might help for some things at least.

Here’s what happened to me – just so you know you can change and it really won’t take all that long.

When I learned to knit, I learned from my mother, grandmother and aunt. They all knitted combined but since I was a novice knitter and they never mentioned that there were other ways to knit, I didn’t know any other method. When my kids were in preschool, I’d be at parent meetings or playgroups and a bunch of us would knit together and that’s when I noticed that I was knitting in the back of my stitch while everyone else was knitting in the front. So, not wanting to be knitting “wrong” I changed. But I wasn’t paying any attention to the fact that I was still purling “combination” style, so I was twisting my stitches. (knitting in the back of the stitch will twist the stitch but the combined purling method then straightens it back out. Unless of course, you are knitting in the front and purling combined – that will result in a twisted stitch)

I found that out at my first knitting class at a local yarn store. So I managed to fix my purling as well. Now I knit mostly continental but can knit English as well. I don’t knit combined any longer and don’t think I could remember how unless I worked at it.

My recommendation would be to continue purling as you are and change your knit stitch. That way you don’t have to deal with all the pattern revisions that come from the slant in the opposite direction.

Just my opinion!

I am finishing this last sock in my usual combine style so that they “match” (especially on the heel flap) and then I am going to sit down and practice Continental until it’s as second nature to me as Combine.

You gals have been so much help for me here. It’s always good to learn different ways to do the same thing.

Just an update to all you fabulous people who helped me here. I am now doing the heel flap for my daughter’s socks and using the combine purling method and… WOW! The knitting looks so neat and orderly.

I have still have no idea how I am going to reconcile this for grafting other than twisting all of the stitches so I can do the Kitchner stitch via Continental directionality. That’s really the only option open to me since combine always enters the loop from the right.

OK, just finished up some socks for my daughter, the new way of purling went fantastic and… when I got to the last stitches for grafting the toe… I twisted the stitches on to another needle on both sides and began my grafting. It’s not picture perfect yet, but it’s sooooo close!

Thanks to all of you who helped me get over this enormous hurdle. I owe you all BIG! :woot: