Russian grafting photo tutorial

by Elizabeth Sullivan July 07, 2017 4 Comments

Argyle Christmas Stocking with striped toe

Russian grafting is a method of joining live knitting stitches and is used as an alternative to Kitchener stitch in our Argyle Christmas Stocking pattern. It is a good choice here because the stripes on the toe would not align exactly if you grafted using Kitchener stitch, so the decorative Russian grafting is used instead.

This particular method of Russian grafting uses a crochet hook to join the stitches. Use a crochet hook that is the same size or slightly smaller than your knitting needles. Russian grafting can also be used to join two separate pieces of knitting.

1. Hold both needles in the left hand with one behind the other, with yarn tails at the left side (far end) of the needles

Russian grafting for knitting

2. Insert the crochet hook through the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl...

Russian grafting with crochet hook

and slide it off the needle.

Russian grafting toe of stocking

3. Insert the crochet hook through the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl, slide it off the needle...

Russian grafting method

and pull this stitch through the first stitch on the hook (1 loop will remain on crochet hook).

Russian grafting sock toe

4. Insert the crochet hook through the first back stitch as if to knit, slide it off the needle and it pull through the stitch on the hook.

Russian grafting in knitting

Russian grafting alternative to kitchener stitch

Russian grafting stocking toe

5. Insert the crochet hook through the first front stitch as if to knit, slide it off the needle and pull it through the stitch on the hook.

 Russian grafting crochet hook method

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all stitches have been grafted.

Christmas Stocking with Russian grafted toe

Pull yarn tail through the last stitch to secure (for the Argyle Christmas Stocking, just use one of the two yarn tails).

Pull yarn tail through last stitch

Pull yarn tail(s) to inside of toe and weave in ends. Admire your beautiful decorative seam!

Completed Russian graft in knitting



Elizabeth Sullivan
Elizabeth Sullivan


4 Responses

Cheryl De Ville
Cheryl De Ville

April 12, 2021

That’s a lovely technique and a very clear tutorial, thank you! It would also be a great solution you ran out of yarn without enough length left do the Kitchener stitch.

I actually love doing the Kitchener stitch, but I love learning new techniques too.


November 24, 2020

I used this to do sleeve seams on a cardigan rather than having to use the three-needle bind off from the pattern (which would have been a pretty thick underarm seam) or Kitchener (which I deplore). Yours were the clearest instructions I found and the seam came out perfectly, just the way I wanted. I’ll never have to do Kitchener again, thanks to you!


January 10, 2020

Thanks! I used this to finish the top of a hat. Very clear instructions.


September 02, 2019

Very nice tutorial—thank you!

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