Join a New Yarn Two Ways

Mar 6, 2014

For years I avoided colorwork projects and dreaded see the end of my skein. I didn't know how to properly join a new yarn. Yes, I simply tied the end of the old yarn and the beginning of the new yarn together in a knot and tried to work around the horrible bump. I wish Interweave Crochet had been around. I now primarily use the yarn over method for joining a new yarn, whether for colorwork or to move to the next skein-no bump or messy knot.

In the Fall 2013 issue, I learned two new methods, and I'm so excited I want to share them with you.

Joining a New Yarn

 
 
 
     

The Russian Join

This method works for joining new colors or a new ball of the same color. The Russian join creates a knotless join with no ends to weave in.

To work this technique, you'll need a small yarn needle. Using the working yarn, thread a few inches of the yarn end through the yarn needle. Work back into the same strand, leaving a small loop, and insert the needle through the plies of yarn and thread the yarn back through itself. Leave the loop at the end open, but pull the yarn tail all the way through the plies.

Using the second ball of yarn, thread one end through the yarn needle and then put the needle through the created loop on the end of the first strand. Repeat the same process as above, threading the yarn back through itself to create a loop.

You now have two interlocking loops of yarn. Pull the tail ends of each strand to close the loops of yarn around each other. Trim the tails, or work over them for extra security against raveling.

 

   

Standing Stitches

The standing stitch, particularly useful when joining a new color in a motif, is more stable and more attractive than joining with a slip stitch and chaining up to the height of the stitch. To work the stitch, hold the yarn end against the hook, and then start the stitch in midair (in fact, Doris Chan calls this an "air stitch"). Yarn over one more time than you normally would for the stitch (two here for the double crochet shown). Insert the hook into the desired place and complete the stitch as usual. If it makes you sweat to loop in midair, start with a slipknot, and then either pull out the slipknot when you're finished or work over it.

-Sarah Read, Interweave Crochet Fall 2013

Order the Interweave Crochet 2013-2014 Collection today for more great crocheting techniques, tips, and patterns.

Best wishes,

P.S. What is your favorite method of joining.

       
   


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Comments

mcrochets wrote
on Mar 6, 2014 10:11 AM

The Russian join can be very attractive with the many yarns that are thick enough to have a middle into which the ends can be threaded and with wool-ish yarns that felt together easily.  It can be a challenge with slippery yarns that don't catch onto themselves and thin yarns.  

I like to finish my ends at the end of the project.  At the end of one ball of yarn, I pull the tail through the last stitch so it won't come undone.  Then I re-insert the hook in the last stitch and draw up the loop of the new yarn, as if I were re-finishing the stitch.  Yes, the two tails are hanging out there, but I enjoy weaving them in later.  

With super-bulky weight yarns, I use a felting needle to felt the two strands together, overlapping them just an inch or so, to minimize the additional bulk of the two strands.

mcrochets wrote
on Mar 6, 2014 10:11 AM

The Russian join can be very attractive with the many yarns that are thick enough to have a middle into which the ends can be threaded and with wool-ish yarns that felt together easily.  It can be a challenge with slippery yarns that don't catch onto themselves and thin yarns.  

I like to finish my ends at the end of the project.  At the end of one ball of yarn, I pull the tail through the last stitch so it won't come undone.  Then I re-insert the hook in the last stitch and draw up the loop of the new yarn, as if I were re-finishing the stitch.  Yes, the two tails are hanging out there, but I enjoy weaving them in later.  

With super-bulky weight yarns, I use a felting needle to felt the two strands together, overlapping them just an inch or so, to minimize the additional bulk of the two strands.

Pattys76 wrote
on Mar 6, 2014 4:17 PM

I absolutely love the Russian Join, and have used it for over a year, (since I first learned it).  The standing stitch is new to me, but it looks very simple and I'll be using it from now on!!

wendygoerl wrote
on Mar 6, 2014 4:31 PM

That Russian join is interesting, but I worry about how well you can control where exactly the color change occurs.

This "standing stitch" though,  I think somebody nneds to revise this explanation. Even with the photos, I'm not sure what you're talking about. I THINK you're talking about the same thing as what I do when directions say, "Join yarn at (some point where the old yarn wasn't)," but if that's the case, you're not really "joining" old and new yarns.

My favorite "join" is to simply lay down the new yarn a few stitches before the change and crochet over the top of it until the change, then pick up the new yarn and crochet over the top of the old one. No knots, no tucking! Works great in solid stitches (like basic sc, dc, etc.), might not be the best choice for lacy stuff.

n7lqk wrote
on Mar 7, 2014 3:17 AM

Different joins have different traits so it is handy to have several in your bag of tricks so you can use the best one for that project.

I have used the Russian Join but the problem is that there is a thicker section where the join is.  This can be quite noticeable so I only use it where it won't be noticed (like using multiple strands of yarn) or where I don't care (like in making pet blankets).  It is quite a sturdy join.

I sometimes just knot the ends together and stuff them to the inside when making stuffed dog toys.

I usually just crochet over the ends of the yarn.  If I want to make the join stronger, I leave about three inches of yarn sticking out and then weave it back through the direction it came from.  This makes it much harder to pull out if caught.  This also adds a bit of thickness but it can be worth it if I am making something that I figure will be loved but abused (like an afghan for a two year-old)

judynish wrote
on Mar 9, 2014 7:48 PM

I can't understand what is happening in the demos. I would like to see a video of both of the methods to change color or start new ball of yarn.

Anna345 wrote
on Mar 13, 2014 1:15 PM

do you have a video of these joinings? I don't follow it too well and wonder if seeing it in (SLOW MOTION) would be great. Thank you

Anna345 wrote
on Mar 13, 2014 5:07 PM

PLEASE!   I agree with 'judynish,' a video would help tremendously.  THANK YOU.

Anna345 wrote
on Mar 13, 2014 5:08 PM

PLEASE!   I agree with 'judynish,' a video would help tremendously.  THANK YOU.

Anna345 wrote
on Mar 13, 2014 5:08 PM

PLEASE!   I agree with 'judynish,' a video would help tremendously.  THANK YOU.

birdtoys wrote
on Mar 14, 2014 11:25 AM

The Russian join is great, even for threads if you use a needle small enough. I have seen it explained but never quite understood until the photos. I have been working on a large table topper and with so many ends to weave in, it was becoming a bit of a task.  With the Russian join, even though it takes me a bit of time, it saves me from going back to weave in the ends. If you can crochet over the ends, it would also work. If the piece is fairly open, having to skip stitches, you really can't crochet over the ends without them showing. This is a great method to add to your skill portfolio.