Today, I’ll show you my favourite way to join yarn in knitting.
This method has served me well over the years. Not a single join has ever come undone (knock wood!)
Why Do You Need to Join Yarn?
Everything that has a beginning has an end. And so it is with yarn.
Balls of yarn inevitably run out, and when that happens you’ll need to join new yarn to your work.
There are many ways to join yarn ends together. Some involve knots while others involve weaving in ends.
However, two joining methods rise up above the rest. They require neither knots nor weaving.
They are the Russian Join and the Spit Splice.
In this post I’ll show you how to work the Russian Join, the most versatile of the two joins.
Joining Yarn with the Russian Join
With the Russian Join, you’re able to join any kind of yarn fibre together.
Animal, cellulose and synthetic fibres all work with the Russian Join, making it a perfect all-purpose join.
The Russian Join doesn’t discriminate. Yarns of any fibre, weight, colours and creed can be joined together. It’s a truly inclusive yarn join!
What You’ll Need for the Russian Join:
- tapestry needle (the sharper the better)
- two strands of yarn to join together
Russian Join Video Tutorial
For a detailed tutorial on how to work the Russian Join from beginning to end, watch the video above.
Step-by-Step Russian Join
This photo guide will walk you through the whole Russian Join process.
1. Interlock the Two Yarns Together
Hook together the two yarns you’d like to join, interlocking them.
2. Thread the Needle
Thread one end of the yarn with the tapestry needle
3. Position the Tapestry Needle
Gently push the tapestry needle into the yarn, starting at the point where the two yarns meet
4. Begin Burrowing into the Yarn
Carefully burrow the tapestry needle into the centre of the yarn. Imagine your needle is a gopher tunnelling into the yarn. Try to get the needle into the middle so that it’s fully embedded inside.
Make sure to catch the yarn. Untwisting the yarn slightly may make the burrowing process easier.
5. Bunch Up the Yarn
Once you’ve burrowed into about 3 inches of yarn, there will be some bunching on the needle. This is excellent. Bunching is good.
6. Pull the Yarn Through
Pull the needle through the yarn. Hold onto the other end of the yarn for stability as you pull.
7. Tug On the Longer Yarn End
Tug on the longer piece of yarn to spread out the bunching evenly across the yarn strand.
8. Trim and Neaten the Yarn
Trim off the short end of the yarn that’s sticking out. Give the yarn a few good tugs to even it out.
9. Repeat on the Other Side
Repeat Steps 2-8 on the other side of the yarn. In this example, begin the same steps with the pink yarn.
Common Mistakes and Fixes with the Russian Join
Sometimes, your join will be baggy and loose. Instead of a tight join, you’ll see a gap or a hole. This is no bueno.
Thankfully, there’s an easy fix for this.
Grab the shorter yarn tail and pull it so that it bunches up to the join. Then, grab the longer yarn and pull it down so that the bunching spreads evenly across it.
Like magic, the bunching has moved up to the join, making it tight and secure. Problem solved!
What are Alternative Yarn Joins?
Just as there’s more than one way to crack an egg, there are many ways to join yarns together.
If you’re looking for the fastest way to join yarn, then using the overlap method as outlined here is the best option.
With the overlap method, you overlap your working yarn with the new yarn and knit into the next few stitches with both yarns held together.
Then, just let go of the old yarn and continue knitting with the new yarn. Later, weave in the ends at the join and you’re good to go. Easy!
The only downside to the overlap method is that with chunkier yarns, the join can sometimes look bit bulky since two strands of yarn are held together.
For the most elegant and versatile join, my choice is still the Russian Join.
Now it’s your turn:
Will you use the Russian Join to join a new ball of yarn?
Or will you choose the split splice or overlap method?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.