Flags Tradewind Knitwear Designs by Lucy Neatby

Waste Yarn

My favourite tool for new grafters and those tackling a difficult situation (yarn-overs, cables, knit/ purl stitch patterns and sock toes) is good old Waste Yarn. (To be known as WY hereafter!)

Waste yarn can be anything at all. It is best to use a contrasting coloured yarn without fluff, and of a similar weight to that used in the knitting. It is simply an aid to grafting (also known as Kitchener St) and will be removed completely once the graft is complete.

After completion of a shoulder, knit in stocking st. with waste yarn for four rows, and then bind off with WY (or slip the sts onto a thread), all the stitches to graft are laid out flat and looking just like any picture of grafting you might see in a book.

Another bonus is that tracing the path of the WY in and out of the last row of the real knitting, shows you exactly the path that the grafting thread should take. You may graft as many times as you like until you are completely happy with it, and then just rip out the WY; it also prevents the stitches from splitting into plies as you insert your darning needle.

Grafting Sock Toes with Total Security

Try this! Complete the sock knitting until you have 16 sts or so awaiting humane disposal. Take a brightly coloured WY and work circularly on these remaining sts, producing a little tube of St st, and slip these sts onto a thread.

Tuck the tube of WY inside the sock. Begin with a fresh piece of sock yarn and start grafting in the middle of the toe (it is easy enough to match mid point to mid point ) leaving a tail of yarn for working in the other direction.

Work your graft outwards to the edge stitches first, with one end of the piece of yarn, and then the other. The fiddliest sts are at the edges. From inside the sock insert your finger into the corners to see what is going on and once you are happy with the graft, check that all sts are secure - at least one piece of grafting yarn through them in the case of the outer edges. Rip out the WY.

Now decide where to pull the grafting thread through to the inside of the sock to best tidy any tatty stitches at the extremities; this is why I prefer to use another separate piece of yarn rather than the tail left over from the knitting, you have a tail on either side to tidy with.

Next topic - Intarsia Hints
Back to the Bosun's Locker and the full topic listing.

45 Dorothea Drive, Dartmouth, NS, B2W 5X4, Canada
All images and text Copyright © 2004; Lucy Neatby, Tradewind Knitwear Designs