Day 13: Grafting the Toe, History of the Kitchener Stitch

Well, I finished the sock last night, but wasn’t 100% satisfied with the grafting…that’s what I get for staying up after midnight to do it, though, I suppose! So, tonight I watched a few more tutorials and did some reading on different ways to graft the toe. This video is the clearest one I have found that demonstrates a Kitchener stitch. The interesting thing is, even though the directions are the same as many of the other videos and tutorials I have seen about the Kitchener stitch, it somehow makes more sense to me than to graft it as though I were knitting than to graft with the darning needle.

I also learned that the popularity of the Kitchener stitch soared because of World War I. This grafting technique was brought about because the bulkier closures of socks at the time were rubbing the soldiers’ feet raw and causing issues with infection. They needed a better way – something smoother that would cause fewer issues. Thinking about the potential infections those soldiers faced, my nurse-mind races, and a variety of possible infections come to mind, as do mental images of infected feet and toes I have helped care for over the years. Needless to say, I have a new-found respect for something I avoided, and loathed the only three times I used it for anything. Now I feel obligated to perfect my ability to perform it…

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