How to Graft in Tunisian Crochet

The Plains Hat by Suzanne Hirth, in the Fall 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet, is a fantastic slouchy hat that is worked sideways in Tunisian crochet. The brim is worked with textured stitches, then the body of the hat is worked in Tunisian simple stitch, and the crown is shaped with short-row wedges. To finish it, instead of binding off the last row of Tunisian stitches, the stitches of the last row are sewn to the foundation chain, inserting the yarn needle in a specific pattern that will help hide the seam. This kind of seam is called grafting, and is similar to working the Kitchener Stitch in knitting. The instructions for how to insert the needle throughout the row are given in the pattern, but here are some photos to help walk you through it. 

In my swatch, the foundation chain is worked in orange, the swatch is worked in black/brown, and the seam is worked in yellow, to give better visibility. My swatch is worked in Tunisian simple stitch, so I am following the seaming instructions for the hat body.

You begin by inserting the yarn needle, which is threaded with the long tail left after fastening off, behind the vertical bar for the first stitch of the first row you worked. 

Then insert it behind the first vertical bar of the first stitch from the last row. Draw the seaming yarn through both stitches. 

Then, to bring the yarn back to the front, insert it from back to front between the vertical bar just used and the next vertical bar of the last row. 
Repeat this across the row of stitches, and you will have a smooth, nearly invisible seam. The insertion of the needle is different for different stitch patterns-so be sure to follow the directions carefully for seaming the brim stitches and the short rows in the crown.

Enjoy your Plains Hat! And enjoy this great technique that is sure to come in handy for future projects as well.

Happy crocheting! 




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