I've been doing a lot of complaining about the grafting I've been doing on my Fabergé shawl project, calling it time-consuming and complicated. There may be some of you wondering how this can be - grafting really isn't that difficult, and why should it take a person upwards of two minutes to graft just one stitch? (Yes, that is really how long each stitch is taking. I timed it.) What's wrong with this knitter, you may be wondering? Hell, why doesn't she take her own advice and knit the damn graft?
Wonder no more. I shall now outline in excruciating detail (excruciating being the operative word) exactly what steps have to be taken in order to do a single stitch of this kind of grafting. (Why bother documenting the steps? Well, in case I ever have to do this again...although I can't imagine I'll ever want to. Or in case anyone else ever wants to do this...although I can't imagine why they would want to, either. Um...look, shut up, okay? Documenting process is important!)
Keep in mind that this is not ordinary knitting I'm trying to duplicate through grafting; I'm trying to duplicate a white braid worked simultaneously with a purple row of knitted stitches. This difference is what makes the suckage happen.
First of all, this is what the work looks like in the process of being joined together.
You see there are the ruffle section stitches on the bottom (front needle), and the beaded section stitches on the top (back needle). You will also notice that on the unjoined beaded section stitches, I have kept in the old white stitches from before, when the shawl was in one piece. I did this so that I would be able to correctly graft the purple yarn to the beaded section stitches, by simply following the path of that old white yarn with my new purple yarn.
Step 1: With the white yarn, knit the next (white) stitch on the front needle.
But knitting it the regular way doesn't work, oh no...in order to get the braid to lie nicely, I have to have the stitch placed on the needle with a counter-clockwise twist, and then knit the stitch. Like this:
Step 2: Place the just-worked new white stitch back on the front needle.
Step 3: Bring the tapestry needle (threaded with purple) through the second (variegated) stitch on the front needle from left-to-right.
Step 4: Go to the back of the chain of white stitches, and bring the tapestry needle through the bit behind the stitch which is below the first (white) stitch on the front needle from bottom-to-top.
(Is your mind reeling yet?)
Step 5: Follow the path of the white yarn with the tapestry needle through the first stitch on the back needle.
Step 6: Since you don't need it there anymore, pull out the bit of white yarn whose path you've just finished following.
(This is the downside of having the old white yarn still attached to show you where to thread the purple yarn.)
Step 7: Follow the path of the white yarn with the tapestry needle through the second stitch on the back needle.
Step 8: Since you don't need it there anymore, pull out the bit of white yarn whose path you've just finished following.
Actually, you'll need to do two pulls at this point, since the yarn also has to be undone from around itself, where it used to be as part of the "braid" from when the shawl was in one piece.
Step 9: Bring the tapestry needle back the opposite way through the bits on the bottom needle that you threaded it through before.
First thread it back through the white bit from Step 4, and then thread it back through the variegated stitch from Step 3.
Step 10: Slide the first two stitches off the front needle.
Step 11: But then slide the white stitch back onto the front needle.
The key here is to make sure to twist that white stitch counter-clockwise before putting it back onto the needle, so that you can knit it twisted when you begin all over again with Step 1.
Step 12: Slide the first stitch off the back needle.
Step 13: Curse, since there are a total of TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY ONE STITCHES TO DO THIS WITH.
Yes, I am probably a monumental idiot for doing things this way. When I decided to go the grafting route, I admit that I didn't fully realise how long this would all take. (It's just grafting! Of course it won't take long!) I'm now thinking it would perhaps have taken less time (and been way more fun) to rip the entire shawl out (including the beaded section!) and just do the shawl all over again.
However, too late now:
(I love how it's coming out. LOVE.)