How Do You Join Yarns?


There I was, merrily knitting away on my Miette cardigan, when I came across one of those really annoying knots in my ball of wool, where the manufacturer had joined two lengths of yarn. Don’t you hate it when that happens? As a child I’d been strictly taught to never, ever join two strands of yarn in the middle of a row of knitting. But I really didn’t want to frog all the way back a loooong line of knitting, so I turned to Google.

I came across this post and decided to try the second technique. Huzzah! All I need to do is weave my ends in. From the right side of the knit, you’d never know a join was there and I’ve avoided nasty knots on the edge of my cardigan.

Am I way behind the times? Did you all know about this technique anyway? Is this what any proper knitter does as a matter of course?

Learning all the time, people!

In other news, I was out on a stroll and found this heart-wrenching appeal for a lost baby blanket. Oh, I hope it’s found… If you live in Walthamstow and spot a striped, hand-knitted baby blanket, give Pamela a call.


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27 Responses to How Do You Join Yarns?

  1. Wendy says:

    Like you I used to think there was only one right way to join yarn, but recently I have used this method and even more recently I’ve used the spit splice method. That works well too on natural fibres. Looking forward to,seeing your finished Miette.

  2. I generally join at the edge but have spliced and used this method. I’ve also joined using something like a colour-weaving technique (for a Tencel yarn, I think, that had a tendency to slip and proved difficult for joins because I couldn’t guarantee they were secure enough) for about 12 stitches either side of the changeover point: so weaving the new yarn for about 12 stitches, then changing to the new yarn and weaving the end of the old one for about 12 stitches.

  3. Cameron says:

    Spit-splice for me, too. This method points for being unexpectedly gross, and for working so well, but mainly for eliminating the need to weave in extra ends.

  4. Sam says:

    I use the method you’ve just discovered, unless I’m knitting something where a join like this would come in the middle of a lace panel or such, in which case I would join at the edge.

    Once you’ve woven the ends in this method really is invisible.

  5. I use the method you’ve just used to join yarns and I find it works really well for all but the bulkiest yarns. Then I splice them together. I am by no means a “proper” knitter, but you find techniques that work for you 🙂

  6. LinB says:

    Back when all there was, was plastic yarn, in the 1960s, when my dear ol’ Ma and I taught ourselves to knit; we always just ended a skein at the end of a row, knit merrily on, then tied the ends into knots and then later squelched them somehow into submission with a darning needle. When I discovered wool — whose primary characteristic is that it sticks to itself — I learned any number of ways to splice. Most common way I use is simply to drop a few inches of yarn end, start a new ball at that spot, and knit merrily on. Later, I tie a loose overhand knot with the two yarn ends, and weave in each end. Weaving in is the way I start and end any darning I have to do later (handknits are well worth the little trouble it takes to mend or patch). I find that knitting even a few stitches with doubled yarn always leaves a lumpish bit that you can both feel and see from the right side. Weaving in only shows from the wrong side.

  7. punkmik says:

    I used this as a guide and chose to felt my two strands together as I struggled with the method above and I cant even tell where my joins are where I used the method. 🙂

  8. shivani says:

    I use this method for joining too – I’m still a relative beginner, but it works for me and feels nice and secure. (I live in constant dread of the cartoon-style unravelling of a knitted make.) I’ve heard a lot about the splice method and Russian join, so one day I’ll try those out.

  9. i’ve only ever joined at the side seam. i once made a blanket where you had to splice the different colours together but about 2 washes in and it was unravelling so i had to knot it untidily! i’m going to have a look at this method and the others mentioned in the comments and see if another way could be better!

  10. MariaDenmark says:

    If it’s wool I always spit-splice the yarn ends – leaving much less weaving in to do. But the method you mention is great too!

  11. gmariesews says:

    I do hate it when the manufacturer adds a knot in the middle of the ball. UGH. Happily knitting along – bam! – knot. Love this method. I too, also split splice when it will work. g

  12. Clio says:

    Oh! I use this method, although I was never sure that it was the “correct” way to join. So, good to know I’m doing at least one thing right!

  13. Claritalou says:

    You should check out TechKnitter,
    She has 10 different ways to join yarns several of them as you go, so you don’t have to weave in later!

  14. I use the spit/felt splice for wool too – no ends! Otherwise, whatever works, depending on how slippery the yarn is, etc. You’ve got a good list of options building up here!

  15. Laura R. says:

    I love the Russian join…no more ends to weave in at the end of a make.

  16. Lisa says:

    I’ve done that at the start…knit with the 2 yarns together for a couple of stitches, so that the end of the yarn isn’t right at the edge (which makes it easier to weave in ends, but never thought of doing it to join in the middle of a row! thanks for sharing!!

  17. Colleen says:

    Splicing all the way. Because I absolutely hate weaving in ends.

  18. gingermakes says:

    I always do felted joins, too (but not with spit cause, eww!). It’s nice to not have to worry about joining the ends. 🙂

  19. Grrr, I hate knots in the middle of yarn! Like many other commenters, I would go with the spit splice (although I use water, removing the gross factor!) provided your yarn is predominantly wool (but not superwash) as it requires fibres that will felt. My second choice would be joining in the middle of the row if you’re knitting the cardigan all in one piece. If you’re going to seam the garment then the edge is a good place to join, but if it’s all in one piece then I find joining at the edges can be a little messy and would rather do it in the middle, in the most inconspicuous spot I can find. This Knitty article might be useful:

  20. Susan says:

    I always join in the middle of a RS row (or at least, not at the end) by knitting one or two stitches with the old and new yarn together (you must remember this when you get to these double stitches in the next row, and not knit each ‘half’ separately). Then I weave in the yarn ends as I knit on, one in that row and one on the back of the next RS row. Google ‘weave in ends as you knit’ and you will find tons of tutorials; the one on the “sockpr0n” website is a good one. This leaves you with a virtually invisible join and no ends to deal with when you’re done! Also, those ends are pretty invisible too and very secure. Do try it – it seems tricky at first but once you get your head and fingers round it, it is simple to do and saves loads of time.

  21. Roobeedoo says:

    I have never used that method. I usually make my own loose knot and then weave the ends in after I have finished knitting.

  22. alice says:

    I have always used this method, and thought it was probably the Wrong Way to do it. Now I find I am cleverer than I thought! Thanks!

  23. That’s how I join yarn, but it was probably a few years into my knitting before I started to do that vs. joining at the beginning of a row which is sloppier to weave in, I think. Of course, whenever possible I spit slice so nooo ends!

  24. Karen S says:

    The technique I’ve used the most is to knit a few stitches with both yarns and weave in ends. When using wool, I like to felt the ends together and I like the Russian join. I think that’s a pretty neat trick.

  25. Louise says:

    I have just nearly finished a quite intricately cabled Aran jumper with only the top of the second sleeve to go……BIG KNOT……back track to the start of the row grumpily….knit for a couple of inches and discovered that the ‘new’ yarn is a different ply and colour!!!! Thanks to Hayfield/Sirdar I have a useless pile of cabled bits and can’t get a response from them. Grrrrr Grrrrrr and Grrrrrr again! Not knitting again.

  26. Pingback: Give Me A Child Until She Is Seven… | Did You Make That?

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