Kitchener Stitch

Dad alerted me that I slipped into some knitting jargon in my last post, and since I finished up my socks today, it seemed like a good time to clarify.  I’m not sure if “kitchenering” is a word, but I used it to mean that I was about to use the Kitchener Stitch to close up the toes on my cuff-down socks.

The benefit of cuff-down socks is that the cast on is nice and straightforward, but once you get to the end – the toe – there is the problem of how to finish them.  Store bought socks have, almost universally, a flap that’s seamed along the top of the toes … but that’s a pretty  crude way of doing it, and there are better solutions when knitting by hand, my favorite of which is the Kitchener Stitch.

It gets you from an open tube, with two rows of dangling stitches…

Toe, needing to be closed.

… to a nice, neat closed end …

Kitchenered Toe

… by means of weaving an end of yarn through the live stitches of both rows so that what looks like a row of knitting forms between them.

The second sock.

It’s usually done with a darning needle, threading the yarn in and out and around, but I prefer the method that’s more like knitting so I can avoid having to sew.  (Of course, the moment I get done I have to get out my darning needle anyway to weave in the ends, so I haven’t really saved much there, have I?)

I hope that explains it.  If not, the Techknitting link has better photos and a better description, and a little history thrown in to boot.

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6 thoughts on “Kitchener Stitch

    • That question is enough to make me want to say YES and throw away the rest of the yarn. I am so sick of it, and so eager to be done with the project! But I am still considering picking up the stitches around the top, and knitting upward until the yarn is gone, just to get it all used up so I never have to deal with it again.

      …. decisions, decisions.

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