Saturday, 21 July 2007

Russian grafting - now with pictures

I’ve been hearing an increasing amount about this over the last couple of weeks, and decided that a little research would be in order, as it sounded interesting. If I’ve understood things correctly, this is how it works. Pictures soon. I wrote this out in the early hours of this morning - I couldn't sleep, and our net access is abysmal then. Pictures soon! - (ETA: now added)

Russian grafting is very different from Kitchener stitch, or ‘normal’ grafting. To begin with, you start with the two needles side by side with the points facing each other, as if you were perhaps part way thru knitting a row. This contrasts with Kitchener stitch, where you hold the two needles together with the wrong sides of the work in contact, or perhaps on a flat surface so that they are in the same relative position as they will be when the grafting is finished.

So, you have the two needles side by side. I’m looking at stocking stitch here, for simplicity. It is easier if one piece has just had a wrong side row worked, and the other piece has just had a right side row worked. You hold the two pieces side by side, with one needle in each hand as if you were going to knit with them, and making sure that the working yarn tails are at the outside edge of each piece - like this.

As this comes together, you will start to see that the stitches from the two needles are linked together very much like the interlocking teeth of a zip, and there is throughout a single working stitch, which is moved from one needle to the other.....

Slip the first stitch on the RH needle onto the LH needle. This stitch is the working stitch, and it is now the first stitch on the LH needle - like this.

Now place the tip of the RH needle into that working stitch purlwise........

...... and into the next stitch on the LH needle knitwise.

Slip that knitwise stitch onto the RH needle, taking it thru the loop of the working stitch ......

......and letting the old working stitch drop. This is the new working stitch.

This is actually very easy to do. You’ve pulled a stitch from the LH needle thru the working stitch, and the new working stitch is now the first stitch on the RH needle.

Now, place the tip of the LH needle thru the working stitch as if to purl.....

......and pick up the back loop of the second stitch on the RH needle, taking the LH needle behind the trailing leg of that second stitch .....

.....and bringing it up thru the loop of the working stitch.....

.......and letting the old working stitch drop. This is the new working stitch.

Now, you have pulled a stitch from the RH needle through the working stitch, and the new working stitch is now the first stitch on the LH needle.

And so it continues, with the stitches from each needle alternately being taken through the working stitch. With just a little practice, this becomes very quick – and it is certainly very easy.

It produces a visible seam, looking like a neat little zigzag across the joined pieces. Rather pleasing, actually.


LittleBerry said...

You're very good at writing out complicated things Fiona.... and with the addition of photos it makes a lot more sense, I will be bookmarking this for future reference. Thanks.

Queen of the froggers. said...

I had never heard of Russian grafting. Thank you for the little tutorial.

SnowGoose said...

I've just been reading your moving posts - gawd, it brings back the nightmare of our move, something I'm dreading repeating one day!!

Glad you're in and settled now though - happy knitting!

deborah greenaway said...

I want try this as it is knitting and therefor maybe easier for me to follow than sewing grafting.

Anonymous said...


The Russian Graft is nothing short of AMAZING!!! Since I HATE (bold and underscore that!) Kitchener so much, I have done everything in my power to avoid it... like the plague.

I LOVE one-piece garment construction but not everything is written that way. I have had to pass up some things due to the NECESSARY K-work (Kitchener).

With the help of your great tutorial and this easy graft, I can have my cake and eat it, too, thanks to you. Would you like to share my cake? You have richly earned it.

Now I'm off to explore the rest of your wonderful site.

Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Fiona, I may have to retract my statement made yesterday about HATING Kitchener Stitch.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your "Three needle grafting - how to do it - (or, Kitchener stitch without a yarn needle!)" Something about doing Kitchener as a 'knit' project makes it make so much more sense to me.

I haven't tried it out yet, but I have a feeling that since it is worked as a 'knit' there will be less struggle smoothing out the grafted portion as compared to 'sewing' the graft.

I have enjoyed perusing your blog.

Again, thank you very much for another wonderful tutorial.