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The first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging.

- Molly Ivins


Grafting garter stitch

If you can graft in Stockinette stitch, you can just as easily graft in garter stitch.
This tutorial is for grafting in garter stitch head to head (the last row knit of one piece to the last row knit of a second piece).





With any grafting project, make sure that all the stitches are on the needles with right shoulders forward.


And since using a tapesty needle is different from using knitting needles, just to clarify what we mean by knitwise and purlwise ... when we insert the tapestry needle knitwise, it enters the front face of the stitch, approaching it from the left.

   

When we insert the tapestry needle purlwise, it enters the back of the stitch, approaching it from the right.



For garter stitch grafting specifically, if the pieces being worked have a right side (RS) and a wrong side (WS), it's important that the last row worked of one piece be a RS row, while the last row worked of the other piece must be a WS row.



On one needle (we'll call it Needle 1) the working strand of yarn is threaded onto a tapestry needle whose length is 3 times as long as the width to be grafted plus a few inches to spare, the needle tip is facing right;




On the other needle (Needle 2) the needle tip is facing right and if the fabric on Needle 1 had its RS facing, then this one has its WS facing, or vice versa.




The cut strand on Needle 2 may be woven in before grafting as show here, or later is okay too.


One quick tip before starting: make your graft stitches a little loose - it will be much easier to tighten them later than to loosen them!


With Needle 1 placed in front of Needle 2 ...



Needle 1: Insert purlwise into first stitch; draw through.




Needle 2: Insert purlwise into first stitch; draw through.




* Needle 1: Insert knitwise into first stitch removing stitch;




Needle 1: Insert purlwise into next stitch; draw through.




Needle 2: Insert knitwise into first stitch removing stitch;




Needle 2: Insert purlwise into next stitch; draw through.


Repeat from *, working both needles the same until 1 stitch remains on each needle.


Needle 1: Insert knitwise into last stitch removing stitch.
Needle 2: Insert knitwise into last stitch removing stitch.





Here's our rough graft, viewed here from the WS. (The strand end, although not showing, is still there and has not been woven in yet.)





Beginning at the start of the graft, use the tapestry needle to adjust stitches one leg at a time to create a nice even tension along the graft




Trim and weave in remaining yarn end ... not bad.
(Note that with any head-to-head graft there will be a half-stitch jog.)


I hope you found this tutorial helpful, and I especially hope you may discover, as I have, that grafting can be as enjoyable as it is magical!