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

- Molly Ivins


Grafting wide ribs

If you can graft in Stockinette stitch, you can graft wide ribs.


For a very wide rib as in my Sonoma and Pueblo stoles: Treat each wide rib as stockinette st, beginning the graft with a knit rib. After working the last knit stitch of this knitwise rib, turn the fabric over (both pieces) to the “WS”. The next rib, which had been a purl rib on the other side, is now a knit rib and can again be worked as stockinette st through the last knit stitch of the rib. And so on


For a less wide rib, one may prefer to work the graft all from the same side of the fabric. The following tutorial is for grafting in rib head to toe (the end of a piece grafted to the beginning of a provisionally cast-on piece).



Before beginning to graft, make sure that all the stitches recently knitted are on the needle with right shoulders forward.




On the provisionally cast on edge, the loops on the needle will also have their right sides forward when viewed with the needle on top, but it's helpful to realize that these loops are not complete stitches as they are on the other needle. Rather, a loop consists of the bottom or elbow of one stitch where it connects to the elbow of her sister stitch.

So while a rib on the needle that was just knitted may be made up of 6 full stitches, its matching rib on the provisionally cast-on edge is made up of one half stitch, 5 full stitches, and another half stitch.




We'll refer to the needle with the row that has been most recently knit as Needle 1; the needle with the initial provisionally cast-on row will be Needle 2.

Before beginning to graft, make sure the two rows match up for grafting. They should fit together like a zipper, with the ribs lined up to meet up just right, and beginning with the initial half stitch on Needle 2.


And 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.


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


Let's begin ...



Needle 1: With a tapestry needle threaded on the strand from Needle 1, insert tapestry needle purlwise into the first stitch on Needle 1 and draw through.




Needle 2: Working now with both needles above and fabric below, insert purlwise into first stitch removing stitch,



Needle 2 (cont): insert knitwise into next stitch; draw through.


**



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



Needle 1 (cont): insert purlwise into next stitch; draw through.




Needle 2: Insert purlwise into first stitch removing stitch; insert knitwise into next stitch; draw through.


Repeat from *, working the knit stitches on Needle 1 as knitwise then purlwise, and the stitches that present as purl stitches on Needle 2 as purlwise then knitwise. Continue until the second stitch on Needle 1 is a purl stitch.




Needle 1: Insert knitwise into first stitch removing stitch (this finishes up the last arm of the last knit stitch of the rib),



Needle 1 (cont): insert knitwise into next stitch; draw through.




Needle 2: Now the stitches on Needle 2 should present as knit stitches. Insert knitwise into first stitch removing stitch,



Needle 2 (cont): insert purlwise into next stitch; draw through.




*Needle 1: Insert purlwise into first stitch removing stitch, insert knitwise into next stitch; draw through. (Notice that the purl stitches on Needle 1 are now being treated exactly the same as the stitches that had appeared as purl stitches on Needle 2 during the first rib!)




Needle 2: Insert knitwise into first stitch removing stitch, insert purlwise into next stitch; draw through. (And now the knit stitches on Needle 2 are now being treated exactly the same as the knit stitches on Needle 1 during the first rib!)


Repeat from *, working the purl stitches on Needle 1 as purlwise then knitwise, and the knit-appearing stitches on Needle 2 as knitwise then purlwise.




Take a break now and then to check out your work, evening out stitches and making sure that the ribs are lining up as they should.


Continue until the next stitch on Needle 1 is a knit stitch.


Needle 1: Insert purlwise into first stitch removing stitch (this finishes up the last arm of the last purl stitch of the rib),



Needle 1 (cont): insert purlwise into next stitch; draw through.




Needle 2: Now the stitches on Needle 2 should present as purl stitches. Insert purlwise into first stitch removing stitch, insert knitwise into next stitch; draw through.


Repeat from **, continuing to work all knit stitches as knitwise then purlwise, and all purl stitches as purlwise and then knitwise.

Work until one stitch remains on each needle. Last graft stitches worked will have been on Needle 1.



Needle 2: Insert knitwise into first stitch, remove knitting needle, draw through.



Needle 1: Bring down the tail from the provisional cast on over top of the grafting yarn strand, then insert knitwise into last stitch, remove knitting needle; draw through.



Here's how it should look along the edge.




Stitches all evened out and fabric washed ... not bad.