Kitchener stitch: how do I transition from Garter stitch to Stockinette?

I registered this morning hoping for an answer to a question that’s been driving me nuts. I spent hours yesterday trying to figure it out. No luck.

The piece to be grafted is a Stockinette rectangle with a Garter stitch border on both sides. I’m fine with Stockinette to Garter stitch (found a video online), but I can’t find instructions explaining the transition from Garter stitch to Stockinette. When I have one Garter stitch left, what do I do?

Thanks a bunch for the opportunity to pick your brains!

When I go from garter to stockinette I just do the knit stitch instead of a purl stitch. Basically you are purling to make a garter stitch so change it. Hope this helps some.

I guess I’m not understanding this question. Maybe it’s just me. It’s the kitchener stitch thing that’s throwing me. Are you wanting to graft garter stitches using the kitchener stitch, as in seaming them together with an invisible seam? Many times this is done for things like the toes of baby booties that are knit in garter stitch.

Here’s a great video that explains how to do kitchener stitch on garter stitches and make it blend in. This is Russian grafting. It’s a cheater kitchener stitch done with a crochet hook. I like to use this to close off the tops of mittens knit in stockinette stitch when I just have a few stitches left. It leaves a tiny bit of a ridge, but appearance isn’t that much of an issue in this spot.


The project I’m working on is a Feather and Fan scarf with Garter stitch borders. With this pattern, the cast on edge results in a scallop, but not so for the bind off edge. To produce a scallop on both ends of the scarf, I’m knitting the scarf in two lengths and want to join them together invisibly.

I know how to do the Kitchener stitch in both Garter stitch and in Stockinette, but it’s the transition from Garter stitch to Stockinette that I can’t figure out.

I hope this clarifies.

Thanks for the response, Kathy. I’m not certain that I know what you mean but I’ll knit a swatch and give it a try.

What I’m understanding is you have garter stitch borders and stockinette stitch middle. So when you kitchener you aren’t sure what do on that first stitch between them?

I don’t know of any tutorial that addresses that, but I would just do whatever stitch dictates like you normally do. Because of the detail in the pattern I think it will look fine.

Yes, and that middle part is going to be around the back of your neck so it won’t be noticeable anyway, except maybe to you. We knitters tend to get out the magnifying glass and freak out about every little imperfection when it’s not a big deal. There’s no knitting police and the “error”, if you want to call it that, isn’t noticeable to the recipient. They don’t knit.

Jay W,
What I meant to say is if you are just doing the same stitch on each side that is what makes the garter stitch. If you are just doing th knit stitch you can get the garter stitch when you flip the piece. To make the stockinette when you flip side you will do 1 side knit and the other side purl. You change the direction of the needle. Then you get the stockinette on 1 side and it looks garter on the other. I hope it makes sense, if this is what you are asking.

This video shows you the opposite transition, from stockinette to garter but maybe you can play around with the method to work the garter to stockinette (and you’ll need to do both I think for your scarf). The other method to consider is 3 needle bind off. It creates a seam but not a very obvious one.

Yes, you’re right, the intended recipient isn’t a knitter and won’t be feverishly going over the scarf with a magnifying glass on Christmas morning, then, cackling with glee, have me banished to the Dreadful Land of No Knitting where I may forever contemplate my lack of Kitchener expertise.

Perfectionism can be a curse.

salmonmac, thanks for finding the video link for me. For sure, when my brain is less like mush because I’m trying to finish too many projects before the 25th (can you say “over achiever”, boys and girls?), I’ll actually [U]enjoy[/U] dinking around with swatches to figure it out.

The 3 needle bind off is a good I-can-ace-that idea.

Kathy, you’ve been a big help. Thanks a bunch.

If you’re ever in the Hutchinson area, drop by Yarn, a wonderful, cosy store on east 14th Ave, just around the corner off Main Street. The goodies there will make your mouth water! 'Bout any time you show up you’ll find a friendly group of people sitting around a big table knitting, drinking coffee and shooting the breeze.

I actually think the kitchener stitch done well over the middle section even with a little wobble right at the transition will be less noticeable than a 3 needle bind off, but the 3 needle bind off will make a seam that will look intentional and not like a wobble, so that may satisfy you more. Up to you.

I once saw this expression: It’s done when you can leave it alone.