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Russian Grafting: The Alternative to Kitchener Stitch

Liat Gat - Founder

September 2, 2011

Russian Grafting is a clever alternative to Kitchener stitch. It uses a crochet hook to seam up two live edges of knitting without ever having to get out your tapestry needle. It also creates a decorative, criss-crossed finish.

An alternative to Kitchener Stitch? Did I hear you right?

Sample of Russian Grafting

YES! It’s called Russian Grafting, and until KnitFreedom Forum moderator Rich requested a video on this unique stitch in the Video Suggestions thread – I have to admit, I’d never even heard of it.

This is a really easy and fast way to close live stitches, without using a tapestry needle or mumbling to yourself repeatedly, “Knit off Purl, Purl off Knit…”

It just requires a crochet hook and a secret move at the beginning to get things set up right. It leaves a lovely little braid of twisted stitches along the seam, which I love for adding an element of decoration to something simple like garter-stitch baby booties.

Here’s how to close your live stitches fast with Russian Grafting:

[KnitFreedom] Russian Grafting: How To Join Live Stitches With A Crochet Hook
[KnitFreedom] Russian Grafting: How To Join Live Stitches With A Crochet Hook

Saartje’s Booties are a great project to try this on:

Saartje's Booties - green and blue baby booties
Saartje's Booties - Perfect for Russian Grafting

The seams in these booties are up the BACKS of each bootie, so you will end up with a cute little braid detail to decorate the heels – adorable!

In local news, the adventure continues in Argentina

this week, Liat tries to introduce the concept of “to go” into a culture deeply steeped in a tradition of “to stay.”

Now, maybe this is a sign that I need to slow down and smell the roses, but sometimes, I just want to take my coffee with me! Normally, orders of coffee “to go” are met with double-takes, and worried, confused expressions.

“Um, we could give it to you to go, but we don’t have any lids…”

“Okay that’s fine, I’m prepared for that.”

This week, the response was, “Um, I could give it to you to go but we don’t have any cups. No, nothing at all resembling a to-go cup. Are you sure you don’t just want to stay?”

Undeterred, I walked to a kiosk across the street, borrowed two plastic cups from the nice lady that runs it, and returned triumphantly.

The croissant-and-coffee order was completed by wrapping the croissants in paper and stapling the paper shut. The girl did look for some tape, but apparently they were all out of tape, too.

Two coffees and some croissants, to-go, Argentina-style

I felt quite successful, in a sort of salmon-having-made-it-all-the-way-upstream sort of way, when I returned home with my scalded fingers and paper-wrapped croissants. But it was worth it. “¡Qué rico!”

Read More of My Journey Through Argentina:

Related Tutorials:

If you liked this tutorial on Russian Grafting, post in the comments.

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