In the first post of this series on joining yarn, we discussed why knotting isn’t a good way to add more yarn to your knitting project, and when you should join yarn. Now it’s time to get to the meat of this series with a whole slew of great ways to join yarn!
Methods for Joining Yarn
The many ways of joining yarn range from the perfectly simple to the “I probably need to watch a video several times first” methods. We’ll start with the easiest and gradually work our way to the most complex. (However, none of these methods are difficult; some just take a few more steps than others.)
Pick up and Join: I’m not sure this method really has a name other than “pick up and join.” You pick up the end of your new ball of yarn, you hold it against the needle, and you start knitting. If you’ve never done this before, it’s hard to describe just with words, but fortunately, we live in the Internet era. We have videos!
Here’s a video from KnitPurlHunter called “Join New Yarn,” and it demonstrates this method.
You’ll notice she does mention tying the yarn, but the idea is just to secure the yarn while you’re still knitting. Later, you’ll untie the yarn and weave in your ends.
Here’s the same method demonstrated in knitting in the round, from Howcast.
Join and Knit In: The next method is almost as simple and goes by many names. I’ve seen it called “Join and double stitch,” “Join and double knit in,” or “join and knit in.” It’s similar to “pick up and knit,” only with this method you’re holding both old and new yarns and knitting them together. Then, when you come to these stitches in the next row or round, you’ll knit them together as one stitch each.
Knit Picks has a great video that will show you exactly how this is done.
Both of these methods will require you to weave in ends at some point afterwards. If you’ve struggled with this (I still do, even after years of knitting!), I highly recommend this fantastic video from KnitPurlHunter.
Join and Twist: If you’re knitting horizontal stripes with flat knitting, you can use the first method quite easily. If you’re knitting intarsia or vertical stripes and want to join a new color mid-row, you’ll need a slightly different method, and it’s the twisting method. This method is demonstrated here by SweetKM.
Spit Slice or Felted Join: I’m not going to type that first term again because I find it kind of gross, to be honest! But I’ll gladly use the second term, so gracefully called “Felted Join.” It works best with 100% animal fiber, although according to the video below, you can actually use a yarn that isn’t 100% animal fiber. But because the process involves felting two pieces of yarn together, it will work best with pure animal fiber.
Cheryl Brunette’s charming video will show you exactly how to do this.
Russian Join: I’ve recently learned this join method myself, and I love it. It’s pretty much impossible to describe in words, so suffice it to say that it produces a practically invisible join that requires – hold onto your chair – no weaving. Let me say this again: you won’t have to weave in any ends!
Intrigued? Of course you are. Check out the extremely handy Jimmy Beans Wool video to see how this is done.
Braided Join: I only just learned of the existence of this method a few minutes ago, while looking for videos for the other methods listed here. I’m very intrigued by it and plan to try it the next time I need to join yarn. It’s similar to Russian Join, but it may add less bulk. Lorraine L’s video is a beautiful demonstration of this method.
Want to do a braided join with 2 colors? Try Lorraine L’s method in this video. (She explains a little more thoroughly how she incorporates the second color in the comments below the video.)
So there you have it, fearless knitters! Several ways to join a new ball of yarn (either the same color or a different color) without knotting. If you know of any other ways to join yarn while knitting, feel free to let me know. In the meantime, try some new methods and become a more confident joining knitter!