contributed by Shawn
Recently I was putting orders together and realized that I was packing a parcel headed to Kitchener, Ontario in Canada. Yes, Kitchener, as in the Kitchener stitch! Do you think everyone there is an expert at using the Kitchener stitch for their knitting projects? Do they teach this technique to all knitters there?
For those of you who haven't yet taken the plunge to work on a project that involves this technique, the Kitchener stitch is a joining method of grafting two pieces of knitted fabric together using live stitches so that there is no noticeable seam when you are finished. It can be a bit of a love-hate experience at first, but it is a wonderful bit of knowledge for finishing and is often used in socks so that there is no 'toe seam' to irritate the wearer.
I will admit, I still look this up to be sure that I am forming the graft correctly every time I have to do it. Once I get started I'm usually fine but I still find it is best done with no interruptions!
We carry a favorite book that gives great Kitchener instructions: The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques. There is also a good tutorial available through Knitty.com.
In any case, I was curious enough about Kitchener, Ontario to take a look into why there is a place named after the Kitchener stitch.
It turns out that Kitchener started out named Berlin and in 1916 the name of the city was changed to Kitchener; named after the late British Field Marshal The 1st Earl Kitchener (wikipedia) not the Kitchener Stitch. Oh well, it was fun thinking it, even if only for a short while. :(
But the Kitchener Stitch is named after the Earl of Kitchener! (Also from wikipedia:) Apparently Kitchener "encouraged British and American women to knit for the war efforts, and contributed a sock pattern featuring a new technique for a seamless join of the toe, still known as the Kitchener stitch."
Wonderful, can't wait to ship more parcels to Kitchener, Ontario!