Kitchener stitch tutorial

Let's master Kitchener stitch to get a beautiful finish to the toes of your knitted shoes.

Kitchener stitch tutorial

Download your PDF instructions here

All of my shoes feature Kitchener Stitch as a way of finishing the toes. It's a stitch that gives a beautiful, seamless finish to blend the top and bottom of the shoe. The stitch itself isn't hard, but you need to keep track of where you are, so find a quite space without distractions. The baby shoes are a brilliant way to be introduced to Kitchener Stitch as there aren’t many stitches at the end of the toe! If you would like a printable copy of the instructions, click on the download button above for the PDF.

The instructions are tailored to my shoes but they are also general enough to work on other projects. General Kitchener Stitch instructions always include a set-up stage and if you were joining/grafting two flat panels you definitely need the set-up stage. However, on footwear where the sides, top and bottom gently decrease and curve together, doing the set-up stage will leave little ears of fabric at either end. So in some patterns I recommend leaving it out and go straight to step 1. Within each pattern I give instructions on whether to include it or not. Let's begin.

Set-up

Setting up stitches on needles Kitchener Stitch

Divide the stitches between two needles. The base of the shoe faces towards you and the knitting needles point to the right. The tail of the yarn should be on the back needle (see image). Note: from image 2 onwards I'll be using a contrast colour but you will work the seam with your working yarn.

Set–up: step 1 of Kitchener Stitch

Set-up: step 1

Insert yarn needle into the first stitch on the front needle (as if to purl). Leave the stitch on the needle. 

Set–up: step 2 of Kitchener Stitch

Set-up: step 2

Insert yarn needle into the first stitch on the back needle (as if to knit). Pull the yarn through but leave the stitch on the needle.

The following steps 1 to 4 are repeated until all stitches on the needles are worked.

Step 1 of Kitchener Stitch

Step 1

Insert yarn needle into the first stitch on the front needle (as if to knit). Pull the yarn through and slip the stitch off the needle.

Step 2 of Kitchener Stitch

Step 2

Insert yarn needle into the next stitch on the front needle (as if to purl). Pull the yarn through but leave the stitch on the needle.

Step 3 of Kitchener Stitch

Step 3

Insert yarn needle into the first stitch on the back needle (as if to purl). Pull the yarn through and slip the stitch off the needle. 

Step 4 of Kitchener Stitch

Step 4

Insert yarn needle into the next stitch on the back needle (as if to knit). Pull the yarn through but leave the stitch on the needle.

Example of Kitchener Stitch repeating

Repeat

Continue repeating the 4 steps until the last 2 stitches. Do steps 1 and 3 only on the last 2 stitches.

example of matching tension in Kitchener Stitch

Match tension

Tighten or loosen stitches as required, so the tension matches the rest of the work.

Sewing in the ends after doing Kitchener Stitch

Sew in corner

Put the yarn needle through the last stitch from the front needle and take the yarn through to the inside of the shoe. Sew in ends. I hope you've found the tutorial useful and good luck with your new toes!

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