Grafting for Cheaters

Grafting is hard enough when it's stockinette stitch. But when it's time to graft something in a pattern like moss stitch, seed stitch or worse ... mercy!
Thankfully, for those times when a knitter just doesn't care to wrap her brain around such things, here's a simple cheat.

The key to this method is to start with a provisional cast on in a contrasting color (CC) yarn, and count that CC row as the 1st pattern row. Then at the end of the piece work that same pattern row in a contrasting color.

Now all you need to do is to follow the path made by that contrasting color yarn where its stitches integrate with the working yarn at the beginning of the piece and where its stitches integrate with the working yarn at the end of the piece.

In this example I'm using my Slanted Gansey cowl design - grafting head to toe and working through the biased moss stitch edge stitches and through a center garter strip without even batting an eyelash.
Try this method any time you need to graft in pattern. Here's how it's done ...



Preparing the scene



Initially, when working the provisional cast on, use a simple scrap-yarn method, not a crochet chain. The scrap yarn will run straight through each of the provisionally-cast-on contrasting color stitches

At the end, before working the last row in CC yarn, cut working yarn to a length about 3 times the width of the piece to be grafted and thread it onto a tapestry needle. After working the last row in CC yarn, run a strand of scrap yarn through those stitches to hold them while grafting.




Beginning on the piece with the threaded strand, follow the end of the CC strand through the first stitch it enters.




Draw the threaded strand through and remove the CC strand to that point.
(Notice that the CC strand had been looped around the scrap strand before but is now released. This confirms that it's time to move to the other piece to follow the CC strand there.)




On this provisionally-cast-on piece, the CC yarn appears to spiral around the first stitch of working yarn. No problem. Just follow the end through the stitch, following whatever path the CC yarn takes.




We continue following CC yarn on this piece through another stitch to the point where the CC yarn loops around the scrap yarn.




Draw the threaded strand through and remove the CC strand to that point.
(Notice that the CC strand, where it had been looped around the scrap strand is now released. This confirms that it's time to move to the other piece to follow the CC strand there.)




Continue to follow the CC yarn as it passes through the next 2 stitches, after which point it loops around the scrap yarn, indicating it's time to move to the other piece.
Draw the threaded strand through and remove the CC strand to that point.




Continue following CC yarn on this piece through 2 more stitches, to the point where the CC yarn loops around the scrap yarn. Draw working yarn through and remove CC yarn.




Back to the other side to follow the CC yarn through 2 sts. Draw strand through and remove CC yarn.



And so on, back and forth ...



... until it's done. Even out graft stitches as needed.