Kitchener stitch is a way of sewing two pieces of knitting together so that there is no seam. It creates a false row of knit stitches (or purls, or pattern stitches) using a threaded tapestry or bent-tip needle.
1. This is worked with a long tail and tapestry needle.
2. Whenever the directions say to go into a stitch, come up or go down into the center of the stitch.
3. This can be done with added yarn.
4. If this is done within a seam (say stitches are on either side like an underarm), you will need to work from the stitches next to the live stitches, and then into the stitches following the live stitches to close the gap. This blog post by Laura Chau has an excellent discussion of how to do that.
Kitchener Stitch – Grafting, in General
Tip: If you have trouble working off needles (I do!), take a piece of waste yarn (something that won’t leave fibers behind) and knit a row or two. You can bind these stitches off or just take the needle out. By doing this you have created a row of stitches that is now oriented flat instead of going over a needle. You can also follow the waste yarn to make your row of kitchener stitches. Do this on both sides if desired.
Setup for a Knit: Cut yarn, leaving a tail of sufficient length to kitchener your row. Thread a tapestry needle with the yarn tail. Orient the needles so the tops of the stitches on each are butting each other. Come up from underneath into middle of stitch adjacent to yarn tail (top needle). Bring needle to the right and go down into the middle of the stitch across. Go back to the original stitch and come up from —underneath into the middle of first stitch on needle opposite the yarn tail (bottom needle).
Repeat: *Go down into middle of opposite stitch (top needle) and up into adjacent stitch (top needle). Go down into first stitch on bottom needle, coming up in adjacent stitch on bottom needle. Slide the first stitch on each needle off. Rep from * across stitches, ending when all stitches are grafted. Work in end.
Kitchener Stitch – Live Stitches to an E-wrap Cast On
Setup: Put loops from e-wrap cast on onto needle. Hold so Needle 1 with stitches and Needle 2 with cast on loops are butted together.
Repeat: With yarn tail threaded into a Tapestry Needle, bring the needle up into middle of a loop Needle 2 and *take the Tapestry Needle across to Needle 1, going down into the middle of the stitch. Bring the Tapestry Needle up into the center of the adjoining stitch on Needle 1, across to Needle 2 going down into the loop and bringing the Tapestry Needle up into the center of the adjoining loop on Needle 2; rep from * until all stitches and loops are grafted together.
Kitchener Stitch – Live Stitches to a Bind Off
Setup: Thread tapestry needle with yarn tail. Orient the bound off stitches so the tops of the stitches on each are directed toward each other; the Top piece will be the one with the stitches facing down toward the bind off and the Bottom piece will be the one with the stitches facing upward. Come up from underneath into the middle of the stitch adjacent to first bound off stitch on Top piece. Bring needle to the right and come up from underneath into the middle of the mirrored stitch on the Bottom piece.
Repeat: Take the needle over to the Top piece. *Go down into middle of the first stitch sitting just under the bound off stitches and up into the adjacent stitch. Go across to the Bottom piece and go down into the first stitch and up into the adjacent stitch. Rep from * across the bound off stitches, ending when all stitches are grafted. Work in ends.