Grafting head to side

Grafting head to side makes a smooth and weightless seam. As in head-to-head grafting, you make a mock knit stitch, but instead of going in and out of stitches lined up head to head, you graft the heads of stitches on one piece to the sides of stitches on the other piece. (Actually, as in the mattress stitch, you pick up running threads when you're joining to the sides of the stitches; the next section covers the mattress stitch.) It's a great method for joining a sleeve top to a sweater body on a dropped shoulder sweater, which has no shaped armhole or sleeve cap.

Before working this graft, make sure that you can recognize the running thread between the 2 side stitches. (See the later section, "Mattress stitch," for help identifying running threads.) Then line up your pieces, heads on the bottom and sides above, as shown in Figure 16-15.

Keep in mind that 1 square inch of stockinette fabric has more vertical rows of stitches than stitches across. For every 1 inch of heads, you need to pick up 1 inch of sides (running threads). This is actually quite easy. For example, if your gauge is 5 stitches and 7 rows to the inch, you should pick up five running threads out of every seven as follows: Pick up one running thread, then two running threads together, one running thread, then two together, then one running thread. Then start over. If you look closely at Figure 16-15, you can see that two running threads have been picked up every few stitches to compensate for the difference in vertical and horizontal stitches per inch.

Follow these steps to graft heads of stitches to sides of stitches:

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