December 27, 2010
There are many connective stitches in knitting but the Kitchener stitch is one of the most popular because it gives a seamless appearance and a quality joining. You can use the Kitchener stitch to connect two pieces of knitted fabric end to end not side to side. The Kitchener stitch would not be used to join 2 sides of a sweater (try the mattress stitch) but 2 ends together (like a toe of a sock or the bottom of a bag). You can use the Kitchener stitch with live stitches on your needles or with bound off edges (like demonstrated below). It can be tricky at first but practice, practice, practice will make you a pro in no time. You will be amazed once you get the hang of it how many applications you will discover for this handy stitch. I wished many times that I had known of it sooner.
To seam 2 bound off Stockingette edges first I recommend you steam as much of the curl out as possible. This will make it easier to line up your edges, see your stitches and make sure you keep them even as you go along. Next starting at the right side, look for the stitch closest to edge that forms a point at the edge, with the V upside down (knit stitches are in a V shape so either the point faces up, with the V upside down or the point faces down with the V right side up), with a threaded tapestry needle, slide your needle under the point and out.
Do the same on the other piece of fabric, finding the upside down V closest to the right side edge and go under the point with your needle. Repeat with the other side, going all the way down your fabric. It is not necessary to pull your stitches tight as you go but you may. You can always pull both tails to tighten them up and watch your fabric zip together. You will notice that you have seamless joined your fabric by sewing knit stitches to join your fabrics. This gives a nice sturdy seam and flawless appearance. You can use this seam to join 2 identical ends of a scarf, the back of a shawl collar or the finger ends of mittens. It is not only immensely satisfying to watch your stitches disappear but also quite relaxing in itself.
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