Category: Bind-Offs

Video: Kitchener Stitch


Characteristics: recommended, sewn, slow

This is an advanced sewn bind-off that is completely flat and invisible. It is slow but it gets faster as you get better at it.

Not only is this a fabulous way to invisibly join two pieces of knitting, this technique is used in a lot of other advanced bind-offs, making it an investment in your future knitting happiness.

I would consider it “required reading” for intermediate knitters.

Abbreviation: Kitchener St


Instructions

  1. Cut yarn, leaving 3x the width of the sts to be bound off, + 6 in. for weaving in later.
  2. Thread yarn onto a tapestry needle.
  3. With tapestry needle, go purlwise into 1st st on front needle.
  4. Pull yarn through.
  5. Go knitwise into 1st st on back needle.
  6. Pull yarn through.
  7. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle. Take st off needle.
  8. Go purlwise into next st on front needle. Pull yarn through.
  9. Go purlwise into 1st st on back needle. Take st off needle.
  10. Go knitwise into next st on back needle. Pull yarn through.
  11. Repeat steps 7-10 to last 2 sts.
  12. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle. Take st off needle.
  13. Go purlwise into 1st st on back needle. Take st off needle.
  14. Pull yarn through.
  15. Poke tapestry needle down through inside of work and pull snug.
  16. Stretch and shape to neaten the corner.
  17. The finished bind-off.
  18. Lays perfectly flat and invisible.

Kitchener Stitch - Step-by-Step Photo Instructions

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Animated GIF: Kitchener Stitch

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More Information

Even if you've run into a lot of frustration with this bind-off before, I want you to put that aside and try this with a fresh, new outlook.

I promise you can do it, because I'm going to show you everything slowly and carefully.

Keeping it simple: There are only two basic movement groups that make up this bind-off, and you say them like a mantra in your mind as you work.

The moves are “knit-off purl” and “purl-off knit,” and I explain them in the video and the photo tutorial below.

About sewn bind-offs and delicate yarn: Any time that you're using a delicate yarn on a sewn bind-off, you'll want to be careful not to pull too fast or too tight, because the yarn could break. Just go slow.

To undo this bind-off if you mess up, take the tapestry needle and follow the path of yarn back through the stitches the way you came, putting the stitches back on the needles as you go.

If your bind-off ends up being too loose, use your tapestry needle to pick through the stitches one by one and pull them tighter down the seam to tighten them up. If it's too tight the best thing would be to take the bind-off out and start over.

Download an illustrated guide to Kitchener Stitch here.

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