Grafting with Knitting Needles

A knitting technique I feel is underrated is grafting.

Many patterns I have seen tell you to make pieces separately and then use a darning needle to mattress stitch pieces together. While this works well, I love grafting pieces together where possible, as I think it leaves a cleaner finish.

Grafting is a technique whereby pieces are joined with a row of knit stitches, so you cannot really tell where the join is. I use this technique to close off the toes of my socks, and it works wonders.

To take this one step further, most of the instructions I have seen online teach you how to graft using a darning needle, but I prefer doing so with knitting needles! When I am knitting socks in the round, I have my double pointed needles with me, though I don’t always have my darning needle handy. I’d like to share with you the step by step instructions on how to graft using only knitting needles.

Set up:

Step 1: cut yarn leaving a long tail and line up pieces with purl sides facing together (equal number of stitches on front and back needle)

Step 2: in front needle, insert another needle as if to knit; yarn over and pull through

Step 3: in back needle, insert needle as if to purl; yarn over and pull through

Begin grafting:

Step 4: in front needle, insert needle as if to purl; yarn over and pull through; slip the stitch off the needle

Step 5: in front needle, insert needle as if to knit; yarn over and pull through

Step 6: in back needle, insert needle as if to knit; yarn over and pull through; slip the stitch off the needle

Step 7: in back needle, insert needle as if to purl; yarn over and pull through

Repeat steps 4-7 until only one stitch remains on the front and back needles.

Finishing:

When you reach the last stitch on each needle, you will have just finished purling into the stitch on the back needle. Insert needle into front stitch as if to purl, yarn over and pull through. Slip the stitches on both the front and back needle off. Pull tight and tie off.

I learned this technique by watching this video. If you need additional instruction, check it out!

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