Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Slaying the Kitchener Monster, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Graft

I used to think that grafting was too hard. Or weird. Or not worth the effort.

Last fall, I started teaching a sock workshop. I decided it was probably time to learn to graft, if only -- so I thought -- I could tell my students it wasn't worth it.

I discovered, as seemingly everyone does, that it's not actually that difficult. It's rather like baking a cake -- messy in process, but rather nice once it's done.

But I still don't use it to finish off the toes of my socks. I've got slender toes, so I just decrease down to 8 or so stitches, and then draw the yarn tail through them. Looks and fits just fine. And I have other ways to close up a mitten. (See my Knitty article for that discussion.)

But I'm knitting Rogue. And for Rogue, you really should graft. The genius of Rogue is in the cables. And to get the full effect of the cables on the hood, you need to graft the sides of the hood together. The idea is that the cables flow seamlessly together.

So I got up early, made a large pot of coffee, positioned a working light over the table, opened up Vogue Knitting to the right page. And then I grafted.

And my god, it worked. I followed my gut to make the change from a st st to a reverse st st. graft. The cables flow together like magic. (Any sufficiently advanced knitting is indistinguishable from magic?)

Ready to graft? I found this mini-lesson from socknitters.com very helpful.

(My hubby refers to this as the "Jedi head" shot.)

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