This post is all about grafting together two pieces of knitting. I have done some research and still don’t know what this technique is called. I’m sure I didn’t invent it, but perhaps no-one has named it yet. I’m calling it 3 needle bind off grafting, although if you know what it’s really called, I’d love to hear from you.
3 needle bind off grafting can be used to add a two sided flap of knitting onto an existing piece of knitting. My Robot pattern will be published August 20th, 2012 and this technique is used to attach the arms and legs. I can also imagine it would be a good way to add ruffles to clothing.
Begin by knowing where you you want the grafting to be. There are stitch markers in the Robot pattern to help you get the arms and legs in the right place. In the photo below, the columns of stitches where the live stitches will be grafted are marked with dotted lines. Notice how the two marked columns of stitches are next to one another, but there is still an upside down column of stitches between them, this will give more stability to the graft.
Next, divide your live stitches in the round evenly between two double pointed needles. Make sure you are clear on the orientation of the piece with the live stitches. In this case, think about which set of live stitches will match up with which columns of stitches. Cut the live yarn end about 24″ from the knitting, you’ll need it later.
Here’s where it gets weird. Take a crochet hook and push it from back to front, through a stitch in one of the columns of the knitting. Then slip a stitch off one of the dpns and pull it through the finished fabric, as shown below. Keep doing this until all the stitches from one needle are pulled through the fabric. Keep them there and slip them off the crochet hook and back onto the dpn. Then repeat by pulling the other dpn of live stitches through the stitches in the other column.
Thread the live yarn end onto a tapestry needle and bring it through the fabric from front to back. Then use this yarn end to knit together one stitch from each dpn. When you have two stitches on your right needle, jump the first stitch over the last stitch, just as you would in a normal bind off. When you are finished the inside will look like the photo below. Very neat and very secure. Much better than sewing. Much better than my sewing anyway.