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Russian Grafting: The Alternative to Kitchener Stitch

Blog » Bind-Offs » Russian Grafting: The Alternative to Kitchener Stitch

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:

ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode

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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25 thoughts on “Russian Grafting: The Alternative to Kitchener Stitch”

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  1. Cmon Liat—what’s wrong with mumbling to yourself? I do it all the time. Seriously though, I’ve sworn by the Kitchener stitch for years and this is the first time I’ve seen the Russian Grafting, not to be confused with the Russian Join which is also excellent, so Russians can be good for other things besides svigging Wodka.. It doesn’t seem nearly so prone to mistakes (Was that a slip purlwise or knitwise? Wait, where did my loop go? And why do I have more stitches on the front needle than the back needle at the end?”) I’m adding this to my “Amazing Tips from Leat and Others” file. THANS!

  2. LOVE IT! And you are so right Kitchener stitch is not something to do talking to friends or watching tv for that matter. Thank you thank you. I always learn so much from your videos.

    1. Hi Valerie,

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate the comment. Thank you for following my videos. And hey, don’t keep me a secret! Please do tell your knitting friends about KnitFreedom 😃🙏🏼


  3. Thats fantastic, thankyou. I hate, hate, hate that Kitchener stitch. I just can’t concentrate on it when knitting in my group. That’s a life changer and watching once I can remember what to do.???

  4. I’d like to have the wirtten instructions for the Russian bind off rather than having to pull up the video each time. Do you have a link pls? thanks :-)

  5. Absolutely awesome!!!
    Found your video great. I was reseaching alternatives for grafting. My go to way of finishing socks now❤

    P.s. i never usually leave comments but this is so awesomr

  6. I wanted a quick cheat sheet for this Russian Graft BO for my iPhone notes.
    Thought would share it. Please correct any inaccuracies before posting.

    2 rows on ndls (or in round half/half on ea ndl),
    work from needle ends away from tail (if in round, transfer st to opposite ndls to put tail at other end.

    SL first st from bk-ndl Pwise onto hook.
    Repeat for front ndl. PSSO.

    1. SL first st from bk-ndl Kwise onto hook. PSSO.
    2. SL first st from front-ndl Kwise onto hook. PSSO.

    Rep steps 1-2 til all done. Pull tail thru last loop.

    This looks so easy & fluid. Thanks again, Liat.
    Susie in Phx

  7. Love, love, love! I just wanted to let you know that you are teaching me to knit. I could do some stuff before, but I just finished two sets of socks (toe up and cuff down) learning techniques from you. Thank you so much! Love your instructions, patterns and videos. :)

  8. theresa milstead

    Thanks. I know how to kitchener but keeping the tension even is a challenge for me. It looks like this technique will solve that issue. Fortunately, I have a pair of socks pining to be free of their dpns.

  9. I’m on the same page as Becky. But I love it that it doesn’t matter, purl or knit! I’ve spent 40 years crocheting so using a hook is very natural. Thanks! I’ve avoided the need for a “grafting” but now, it’s “anything goes”!

  10. Love this Russian Grafting! And of course I just got the “knit off Purl on” bit memorized! lol Love anything to make the knitting go faster as there are so many projects and so little time!

  11. I noticed that the first set of stitches were slipped (as if to purl), but the rest of the sets of stitches were slipped as if to knit. Is that correct?

    BTW, I love the way it looks!

    – Becky

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