Kitchener Stitch Problem


Hi. I’ve used the Kitchener stitch to finish a couple pairs of socks so far (my first) and I don’t have a problem with actually doing the stitch, but rather after I’ve dropped it all off of the needles and it’s time to tighten it up. I haven’t figured out how to tighten it as I go and when I’m done and begin working through it, I become lost as to what’s what and just start pulling on stitches and hoping that something tightens going in the right direction. After a lot of pulling, loosening and tugging for many, many minutes, I got (fairly) lucky on the first four socks or so and finally snugged up a decent join. But it was a lot of trial and error and much more frustrating than any of the demonstrations I’ve watched. For one thing, the demos tend to use a contrasting color for the stitching, which is helpful for learning the technique, but also much easier than a real-world application in which the yarn will be the same color and tend to get lost among the old stitches being joined. If it’s a multicolored yarn and/or a little fuzzy, the difficulty is increased even more.

So, in summary, I can do the initial steps of the stitch, but when it comes to tightening it up, I seem to get lost in a jumble of criss-crossed stitches. This last time, the jumble got fuzzier and more tangled as I worked on joining a mere six stitches on each side and I basically ruined a sock that was so close to being finished. When it works, the Kitchener looks great, but if I’d known I’d mess up all that work, I would have just pulled a loop through those last stitches and draw them to the inside.

Has anybody else had this problem with the tightening part? Did you find a solution?

Thank you.


It may help to look at a diagram of stockinette stitch and then trace the path of the yarn in your own swatch. The Kitchener stitch follows the same path.
See Fig. 2 here:
I agree that a variegated yarn is going to make this more difficult so maybe practice with a solid yarn until you see the repeat path.


Somehow i seem to have good luck just keeping the tension right as i stitch–i normally don’t have to go through afterwards and tighten up. Actually, the first couple times i did a kitchener stitch graft i pulled TOO tight and had to go back and LOOSEN. go figure…:slight_smile:


This is how it went for me too. First I did it too tight, then slowly beginning to learn the right tension. By practicing it becomes better.


I think next time I graft I’m going to try removing the stitches from the needles beforehand and laying the work flat. For one thing, seems like that way you’d be able to actually see the path of the yarn more clearly so you’d automatically be adjusting it to visually match the gauge of the rest of the work as you go. i’m curious to see though if it’s actually any faster/easier.


You can always try this out on a swatch. These diagrams may help:


Kitchener is the stitch from hell! I prefer this grafting method. There’s no complicated memorizing!


Nice to see several ways of doing the Kitchener’s stitch! The method in this video will produce the normal Kitchener’s stitch, it is just another way to do the work.

Personally I avoid grafting needles because I often split the yarn with them. Instead I use normal knitting needles to purl and knit the Kitchener’s stitch.


This came through this morning from Mason-Dixon knitting and may help keeping the Kitchener in the brain: