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Upgrade your seaming with Kitchener stitch

by Michelle Nussey

When I went over the Faux Fair Isle Cowl yesterday, I was thinking about the pattern and how it was set up. It’s knit back and forth until the end and then the two ends are bound off and seamed up. For me, this is an opportunity to practice your Kitchener stitch.

The Faux Fair Isle Knit Cowl with a provisional cast on

The Faux Fair Isle Knit Cowl with a provisional cast on

In order to Kitchener stitch two ends together live stitches on both ends are required. At the end of the garment, that’s no problem, but the process begins the moment you cast on. A provisional cast on, is one you can take apart and put back on needles when ready to finish your garment.

In this post, I’ll review one way, but there are many ways to create a provisional cast on and if this one doesn’t work for you, I strongly encourage you to get on YouTube and find one that works best for you.

Judy’s Magic Cast-On – YouTube

Judy Becker shows how to do the basic Judy’s Magic Cast-On, with tips and tricks to help you get started.

I like it when I can do a technique without a bunch of extra steps or fuss. I don’t use a crochet hook, or any tools at all. All that’s needed for this technique is yarn and circular needles. This is technically called the Judy’s Magic cast on and it’s usually used for sock toes. See the video below for full visual instructions.

Now the most important thing is to end off on the right side. The stitches are only secured by the ones next to them so if you set it down before you start knitting your first row, the whole thing will unravel. When you wrap your yarn around the needle for your last cast on stitch, that is the side you start knitting from. Otherwise, your cast on will slide right off the needles. After this, I slide the live stitches onto a stitch holder and clip it shut. This prevents any loss of stitches.

Finished! You can just see where the seam is, but once you block it, the seam will be completely invisible.

Finished! You can just see where the seam is, but once you block it, the seam will be completely invisible.

Now that you’ve got a super easy provisional cast on in your pocket, let’s talk Kitchener stitch. I know it’s really intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy. I find it’s easiest to go through a video and watch someone do it. You can rewind and pause all you like in that case. It might take a few tries, but you’ll get it.

The most important thing is to remember your rhythm; purl wise, knit wise, then, knit wise, purl wise. Say it out loud if necessary! Remember the quote repetitio mater studiorum est, repetition is the mother of learning.

How to Seam with Kitchener Stitch – YouTube

When you’ve got two pieces of knitting on live stitches that need to be grafted together, turn to the Kitchener Stitch! On stockinette stitch, it creates an…

With these two techniques, it makes the seam completely invisible. If you’re looking to spice up a pattern a little bit, check and see if there are any techniques you can substitute like this one! The Faux Fair Isle Cowl is a great pattern, but even with something so simple, you could learn a new skill.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Fair Isle, Flecks and Stripes yarns make the gift making season easy!

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