Adventures in Grafting

I often see knitters who have a general disdain for grafting, or Kitchner stitch. I don’t know why. I love how it makes it easier to make things in the shape you want. Take these dishcloths, for example

I tried three times to get them square by working them corner to corner, but the knit corners were always rounded and the final corner always ended up way too long. Finally I just decided to work two halves at a time, making two triangles that I then grafted together. Perfect squares every time.

Here I’m going to take a little bunny trail to give you the basic formula:

Basic Diagonal Dischloth

Materials

  • 100% cotton yarn (I use Peaches and Cream from Michaels because it is readily available and feels nice on my fingers)
  • Size 7 or 8 knitting needles (preferably circular, but you can use whatever you can find)
  • Yarn needle

Instructions

  1. Cast on two sets of three stitches (either working from different ends of the same ball of yarn or two different balls). From now on, instructions are written once to be done on each set of stitches.
  2. Knit row
  3. Knit one, make one, knit one, make one, knit one
  4. Knit row
  5. (RS)Knit two, yarn over, knit to last two stitches, yarn over, knit two
  6. (WS)Knit two, purl to last two stitches, knit two
  7. Repeat last two rows until sides measure as long as you want them. I use my hand and make the sides reach from my wrist to the end of my middle finger. You can decide how long you want yours to be. End on RS row. Graft together with WS facing in. This is where having them on circular needles will help, but you can always transfer one side to the empty needle if using straight needles.

    This next one takes the grafting to the next level, though. I started on each point and made diamonds. Or at least aimed to make diamonds. I ran out of the self-striping yarn, so I continued on from that point as if I were making a regular two-sided square. Then I connected those two pieces, and grafted the outside pieces to the straight edges.

    I’m really liking the options making things in pieces gives me. I’ve always tried to make everything in as few pieces as possible, but perhaps having a little more flexibility makes the extra work in putting it all together at the end worth it.

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