Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Grafting for Dummies Continued--With Pictures!

Bubble Bath Directions (Incredibly Frothy)

Okay, here we go for the folks who couldn't picture what I was talking about in the last post.

Let us recall that I suggested you select a simple row in your border pattern as the one you will both begin and end with. The reason I said to do this is because the graft you will create replaces both these rows with a single row.

Here we have the two ends of a border that was knit around the edge of a shawl. I am afraid that you will have to imagine a shawl connected to the right side of these two edging bits. Much as I love my readers, I refuse to knit an entire shawl to illustrate this process.

The border segment on the top is the beginning of the edging. I knitted the last row (labelled row 578,985), first. Please note the "5" at the end of the number. It was knitted in purple waste yarn. This is the row that I decided would be the final row of the border. I chose this as the simplest row in my border repeat.

I then knitted the rest of the border, carefully calculating repeats so that when I finished the entire border, I was back at the same row I started with, which, as you recall, is row 578,985.

On the bottom, you see the end of the border. Row 578,985 is knitted in pink. Note that the ending segment is still connected to the ball of yarn with which you knitted all 578,986 rows. That is, 578,985 rows plus the extra row you knit at the beginning.

When you do the graft, you will be following the paths of the two waste yarn rows. Instead of going around the needle, you will be making a continuous path between the two segments, ending up with a single row 578,985 that is the graft.

Three Important Notes

  • To see really big pictures, click on the smaller ones shown in this post.

  • I positioned the end and beginning segments arbitrarily. You can flip everything over or rotate everything 90 degrees. It doesn't matter. You do not need to identify purls, knits, or yarnovers.

  • Be incredibly careful that you run the needle cleanly through each stitch. Do not catch the waste yarn with the needle! If you do, you will not be able to withdraw the waste yarn. Also be incredibly careful not to catch any strand of the live stitches with the grafting needle. I will, unfortunately, show you what happens if your needle catches other threads.
Step 1
Leaving a long length of yarn to perform the graft, detach the working yarn from the ball. The usual amount given is 4 or 5 times the width of the graft. If you are nervous, make the length 10 times the width of the graft. You can always make it shorter, but it's not so easy to make it longer if you run out of yarn before you have completed the graft.

Step 2
Thread the working yarn into a needle.

Step 3
Someone recommended that you clean your glasses at this point. If you do not wear glasses, have a cookie, instead. Or, clean your glasses and have a cookie (I said these were Incredibly frothy directions.)

Step 4
Examine the picture below for a sec. The white working yarn is partially out of the photo. The orange dotted line shows where it would have been if I hadn't cropped the photo so closely.

The green dotted line is following the purple waste yarn as it goes through the white stitches. Notice that the needle is also following the green dotted line that is following the purple waste yarn.

The purple yarn now goes around the upper needle, as its current job is be be a live knitting stitch. Knitting stitches go around knitting needles. You can cogitate about this concept later, but now, it's time to do the first stitch on the lower needle.

Step 5
As above, the orange dotted line represents the working yarn and the green dotted line is following the path of the pink waste yarn as it wanders through the live stitch on the bottom needle.

We see that the pink yarn then goes around the lower needle, so it's back up to the upper section with the grafting needle (whose job is not to go around knitting needles, but between them).

Step 6
The photo below shows the working thread going up to the top fragment, following the purple waste yarn back down, and then entering a stitch on the lower needle. If you are actually following along, you will suddenly discover that each grafting stitch enters each live stitch twice.

Step Seven
Now we follow the pink waste yarn down through the live stitch, across to the next live stitch, and up through that.


And So On

Notice how the white working thread follows along the paths of the pink and purple waste yarns.

Here's a picture with the working yarn snugged up a bit.

Almost Finished!
The row is done. All that's left is to remove the waste yarn and knitting needles, then adjust the tension of the grafted stitches.

Well, It Is a Sample...
Here's the finished product, complete with an example of what not to do. Notice that when I pulled out the waste yarn, it I completely ruined the tension of the stitches on the right. That's because the grafting yarn caught a bit of the waste yarn, so when I yanked on it, thrilled to be finished with this exercise, some of the graft squirrzled as it tried to follow the waste yarn home. Oops! It's not so difficult to fix, so don't panic. Or, panic if you want to, then come back and readjust the tension of the grafting yarn.

And now, go have an entire box of cookies!


Sandy said...

I love both the frothiest and pithiest descriptions. For all the videos and written descriptions of grafting I have seen, this is the best and also broke the tension by making me laugh the hardest.

thank you for your illustrated work

Dave said...

Aha! C= < That's the lightbulb that just went off in my head.


Laritza said...

Great! that is how I did it with the WRS it made perfect sense to me :D
Thanks for the pictures and the explanation. Feels really good to validate practice!

Romi said...

Wow! Very very frothy! That's a great tutorial. Thank you! :)

LittleBerry said...

excellent... bookmarked for future reference...... :)

when you going to do a book for all these useful tips?????

StashDiva said...

Great tutorial, thanks for putting all that work into it and sharing it with us

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, I think I can move on from the beginner type shawls armed w. this great tutorial. I really could use this. Terry

Judith said...

hi Fleegle -

great descriptions and pics - thanks so much for posting all that. Seems like it would've been a logical thing for Harry to demo - doesn't he ever graft webs??

Lacefreak said...

Thank you for such wonderful instructions! It made sense when you wrote it but it really made even more sense when you got the pictures, lines and arrows. Wonderful Job!

BadCatDesigns said...

Very excellent instructions, great pictures and funny too. The frothiest... Some friends of mine were just discussing grafting instructions around on the internet and I will send them this link. Thanks!

LUL said...

Thanks. I have to try that to see if it really is that easy. But at least it was fun reading about it which is pretty amazing as somewhere around 99,9999% of the human population probably would find it boring. (or maybe it's just 50.0001 where the .0001 is the small amount of men who knit)

Suna Kendall said...

You've made my day. I am no longer afraid to graft borders together. I feel liberated. And I am the world's worst grafter! Or I WAS.

Your writing style is really enjoyable. Thanks for sharing.

Batty said...

Yay, grafting for dummies! I'm the dummy who still needs to consult a book before she can remember how to start the kitchener stitch on the toe of an almost-finished sock. I haven't had to graft lace yet... but it's coming up. All the beautiful pieces in Victorian Lace Today refuse to be ignored any longer.