Technique Series: Kitchener Stitch Instructions

The purpose of the Kitchener stitch is to create the look of knitting with a large eyed blunt needle and yarn.  The concept seems simple and very doable.  All you have to do is weave the needle & yarn through live stitches in the same pattern that is created by using knitting needles and yarn.

I haven’t tried the Kitchener stitch often and I haven’t been terribly successful, although my last attempt wasn’t too bad.  My main takeaway is that tension is the key to success with this technique.

My second takeaway is that this is a combination of sewing and weaving in order to create the look of knitting.  No matter how much it feels like sewing, it is NOT sewing.  This may be why so many knitters have trouble mastering this stitch.

In a way, that’s good news.  The problem isn’t that the technique is difficult, it’s that a change in mindset is required.

For the first step, look closely at how the stitches look on your needles.  Follow the yarn as it goes under and around the stitches in the row below.  That’s what you want your Kitchener stitch to look like.


You will need a piece of the project yarn 4x as long as the length you will be working with. (This is also true for long tail casting on and for when you are trying to figure out if you have enough yarn to finish a row.)

You will need a large-eyed blunt needle. The eye must be large enough for the project yarn.  The easiest way to thread the yarn onto the needle is to fold the yarn over the pointy end of the needle & draw it tight.  Hold it tight with your thumb and forefinger while you slide the needle out of the loop.  Then push the  loop through the eye.  Hint: It’s easier if you have nails, but they’re not absolutely necessary.

You’ve studied your knitting so you know how it should look.  You’ve assembled your supplies.  It’s time to jump in and do it.


Either hold both needles together with wrong sides together, or place them on a flat surface with wrong sides down.

1.  Insert the tip of the needle knitwise into the first stitch of the needle closest (front needle) to you.  Pull the yarn through the stitch, leaving a tail, and slip off the knitting needle.

2.  Insert the needle purlwise into the next stitch on the needle closest to you.  Pull the yarn through, but leave the stitch on the needle.

3.  Bring the yarn around the front of the work to reach the first stitch on the back needle.  Insert the needle purlwise again.  Slide the first stitch on the back needle off the knitting needle.

4.  Insert the needle knitwise into the next stitch on the back needle.  Leave the stitch on the needle.  Return to step 1 and repeat until the last stitch.

On the last stitch, simply pull the yarn through and weave in ends as usual.

I’ll try to add some video to this post.  Please share your experiences with Kitchener stitch and let me know what would be helpful to you.


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