Kitchnering/grafting - NOT stockinette, though

Girls ! Please HELP !

I would LOVE to know if it is possible to do a kitchner seaming, but with the odd purl stitch in the row (ie not all knit stitches).

I am attempting to do a wicked cool 16-st cable pattern down the front & back centre of a pair of soakers (pure wool cloth diaper covers) for my wee 6 mth old girl, but I cannot start the soakers until I know that when the cable pattern meets up at the point where I would normally kitchner the front and back (at the crotch, very visible, right up front !), that I will still be able to do an invisible join (ie by kitchnering not just knit stitches, but a few purls, too).

I would, of course, work it out so that the row I do the kitchner for would only have knit and purl stitches (no cabling !), but there is no avoiding purl stitches at any point in the 20-row repeated pattern, so…

YOu can see I’m well and good in a jam here, right ? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Any pro knitters out there who can help me ???

Thank you soooooo much for your speedy responses - I am a SAHM to my 2 rambunctious girls and have so little time for knitting these days - your help would be so appreciated !

Mama Emma in Montréal

You can, just as you can graft garter, or reverse stocking stitch. I can’t give you step-by-step instructions, but first you need to know how to do duplicate stitch/Swiss darning, Google it if you need to learn. You should be able to do it in both knits and purls. Then instead of grafting while on the needles, put the live stitches onto a piece of wool or sewing cotton, like laceweight at the thickest, thinner is better. Put the work down right side up on a table, with the live stitches beside each other, so in the same orientation they will have when grafted. Now do a row of duplicate stitch to attach them! This is the way I do it and I don’t have to look up how to graft, or get lost, I can see what I need to do next and understand why, so without any references I can easily graft garter stitch or whatever.

ok, so if I understand duplicate stitch correctly, I’ll need to graft the pieces together first, then do duplicate over top of the knit stitches to get a purl where needed ?

Do you know if it is even possible to kitchner alternately between knit and purl stitches ?


If you can find a guide to kitchener on rib stitches, follow that because it will show how to work on purls as well as knit sts.

I’ve exhausted all Internet resources; all I can find is a guide to kitchnering for straight stockinette or straight garter…


I may just fuss with it when I get there (I haven’t even finished the top ribbing on the shorts yet !), but the duplicate stitch cannot possibly be the ONLY way to get the desired effect… can it ?

Any one out there who knows how to do this ?

Ah, it looks like my “me” time is up for now anyway (daughter awakens, wants to nurse…).

Hope to see tonnes of responses when I check back in later tonight !!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I think the only place I’ve seen ribbed kitchener is in The Big Book of Knitting. Send me a PM if you can’t find the instructions online, I might be able to help you out…

I have the BB of K…

the only thing it talks about is casting off in Kitchner rib (which is totally different that grafting, of course), and there’s no mention of grafting anything other than in stockinette :frowning:

For the dupe stich idea, will that really work ? Can I just dupe stich over a knit stitch with a purl where I need one ? It wont look funny ?

I’m skeptical. Or perhaps I don’t really get whatcha mean, redwitch ! :wink:


Maybe it was the BO I’m thinking of… <checks the file folder> Ooops, yes it was.
Never mind.

Sorry I wasn’t clear, you’re right that duplicate stitch is done on top of existing fabric like embroidery, but once you understand how to do duplicate stitch perfectly in stocking, reverse stocking, and garter (so that the wool you’re stitching with follows the same path as an actual knitted row), you’ll be able to do what I mean: when you graft pieces A and B together, you are doing a whole row with the needle and thread, so that the row you stitch with a sewing needle creates a row of knitting. It is exactly the same shape and stitches as if you had knitted the row. If you get the tension right, no-one will be able to tell which is which, because the row is actually identical to a knit row.

This way, I don’t have to think about grafting in stocking and how it changes when I come to a rib, a purl, or a cable. I just do a ‘duplicate stitch’ in place. It’s not duplicate stitch because it is not embroidering on top of fabric, you will in fact be creating a new row. But the technique/result will be the same.

So let’s say that you have a 6-row repeat for a cable, and you want to graft 2 pieces of fabric together having the same pattern, so the cable is ‘seamless’. Your grafted (‘duplicate stitch’) row is a new row added in, so if one live row is row 2, you graft it to a row 4, and your grafted row is going to be like a row 3, and indistinguishable from an ACTUAL KNITTED row 3. This way, you will get a perfect fabric. Of course you want to do this when the cabling is done on a row 6, for example, and the rows 2-4 are normal rows of just knit and purl.

If you have difficulty visualising it, do a tiny swatch (on bigger wool and needles is fine) where you do just one repeat, but row 3 is knitted in a bright colour, and the other rows are another colour, choose colours where you can see the stitches and the difference well, your grafted row will follow the same path as the bright colour. Say a light green for the swatch, except just one row in orange or red, or any combination where you can see the difference.

Sorry, does this make sense? If not, ask again about what I’m not expressing well and I will try to clarify.


That’s a good explanation, Sarah! I have done this (once) as well, and I think Sarah’s way sounds easier. I couldn’t find directions either. I just started out on the stockinette stitches in the K-P-P-K pattern, and switched to a P-K-K-P pattern when doing the reverse stockinette, and it pretty much works. I messed up the transition between the two and had to rip back a few stitches multiple times, I just kept messing around with it until it looked right!


If garter is P-K-K-P… and stock. is K-P-P-K… then for a purl stitch, I reckon I would just chant K-P-K-P…

whaddya think, should I try it ?

Does knitting ever feel like MATH sometimes ??? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Lemme know…

Thanks, girls !

I feel the need to re-post this and beg for help.

Can no one here help me with this ?

Really ?

I’m a bit stunned… has no one ever grafted in kitchner and wanted something other than a stockinette row ???

C’mon, master knitters ! I neeeeeeeed your help !


Have you tried the method I described? If you don’t feel duplicate stitch is intuitive, try knitting the row you need to graft in the brighter and different colour in a swatch.


Ok, so here it is – my cable soaker and my attempt to graft purl and knit stiches in the same row at the crotch :

Not perfect, but good enough.

I tried slipping the two rows to seam onto string, but I freaked out and put them, instead, onto 2mm needles and then chanted KNIT PURL, PURL KNIT for the knit parts and KNIT PURL, KNIT PURL for the purl stitches. It worked ok and felt more intuitive than sliding the 2 rows off onto string – too scary ! Yikes !

But as you can see, the stitches don’t line up exactly (vertically, I mean)… any one know why this is ? IS it the way I anchor the edge stitch before beginning to graft, or just how kitchnering works out ?


With that cable, it would always be tricky, as there are twists throughout, I’d say that’s pretty good and noone else will notice especially the wearer, which is who it’s for, right?


I have the [U]Vogue[/U] [U]Knitting The Ultimate Knitting Book[/U]–there’s a section for grafting on knit one, purl one ribbing which states:

"A grafted seam on knit one, purl one ribbing. You will need 4 double-pointed or circular needles for this technique.

  1. Separate the knit stitches from the purl stitches on each ribbed piece by slipping the knit stitches onto one needle and the purl stitches onto a second needle.

  2. Graft all the knit stitches on one side of the piece .

  3. Turn the work. Graft all knit stitches on the other side."

Don’t know if this is what you want–but thought it might help–have not tried it, though.


I don’t see why you couldn’t combine both stockinette and garter grafting, but I haven’t done it. Have you grafted stockinette before? If you have then you know the chant “knit purl, purl knit” or “knit on purl off, purl on knit off” as you work it. Well to graft garter you just chant “knit purl, knit purl”…so the back needle gets the same treatment as the front needle. Does that help?

that’s exactly what i did :wink:

(see previous post, # 14)

although… when to start the new “chant” (ie for when a purl --instead of a knit-- stitch to graft is coming up) is a bit tricky with grafting, as the point at which one grafted stitch could be considered “complete” is vague : it’s either when it is slipped off the needle, OR when the last part of the chant is complete.

This is my real problem, actually. IE How to get the stitches to line up (vertically) as they should, or in other words, at what point do I start the opposite chant ???

Regardless, this is an interesting topic to be discussing (IMO :wink:


Emma… I think you did a terrific job!