Grafting (Joining) Two Stocking Stitch Pieces Together

Grafting is a versatile technique that produces an invisible join between two stocking stitch pieces. It can be used when lengthening (by inserting rows) or shortening a garment in the middle. If a garment were found to be too long across the center back, you could cut across the stitches, unravel a few rows and then rejoin the two portions by grafting. Read more... to see the grafting stitch used to attach lace trim to a hand towel.

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  1. A piece of yarn of at least 3 times the width of the seam is required. I left a yarn tail 6 times the seam length on the lace edging because I was both joining the trim and then embellishing it with crochet. This minimized the number of yarn tails that had to be later woven in.
  2. The original pieces were knitted on 4.5 mm needles. I transferred the stitches for both pieces to 3.0 mm needles to make it easier to grab the stitches.
  3. Lay the work on a flat area, so that you can see and adjust the tension of the new loops as you work across. You want to pull the new loops to the match the size of the existing stocking stitches.
  4. I leave all stitches except the two being worked on the needles, so that the stitches don't run. In addition, after sliding the stitches to be worked from the knitting needle, I extend the knitting needle tip, so that the remaining stitches are far from the edge and less likely to slip off inadvertently.
    Instructions for Grafting Stocking Stitch (Refer to the photos below.)
  1. Anchor the yarn tail, one stitch in from the edge prior to joining the two pieces.
  2. Using a darning needle, bring the yarn up through the first loop of the bottom piece.
  3. Bring the yarn up through the first loop of the top piece.
  4. The yarn has been pulled through the upper loop, forming half of a new loop (knit stitch) between the top piece and the bottom piece. Once anchored in the original bottom loop, the new stitch will be complete. Grafting creates a new row of stocking stitch between the top and bottom pieces.
  5. From now on the darning needle is passed through two loops each time, whether working on the top portion or the bottom portion, however the needle passes down through the first bottom loop and up through the second bottom loop. In the photo, the first new knit stitch has been completed and the second one begun.
  6. The needle is passed down through the 1st loop of the top piece and up through the second loop of the top piece.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all the loops have been worked and the two pieces are completely joined. The photo at the top shows the process after a number of grafting (new knit) stitches have been completed.

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