How to Attach New Yarn When Knitting

How to Attach New Yarn When Knitting

Knitting is a craft that allows you to create beautiful garments and accessories, but sometimes you may need to attach a new yarn to continue your project. Whether you’ve run out of yarn or you want to change colors, attaching a new yarn is a simple process that can be done with a few easy steps.

To attach a new yarn, start by cutting the old yarn, leaving a tail of about 6 inches. Take the end of the new yarn and tie it to the tail of the old yarn using a secure knot. This will ensure that the two yarns are securely attached and won’t come undone while you’re knitting.

Once the yarns are securely attached, you can continue knitting with the new yarn. Hold the tail of the old yarn and the new yarn together and knit the next stitch as usual. Knitting with both yarns for a few stitches will help secure the new yarn and prevent any gaps or loose stitches.

If you’re changing colors, you can simply cut the old yarn and start knitting with the new color. To prevent an abrupt transition, you can choose to overlap the old color and the new color for a few stitches. This will create a gradual color change and make the transition seamless.

Attaching a new yarn in knitting is a simple process that every knitter should learn. With these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to seamlessly attach a new yarn and continue your knitting projects with ease.

Choosing the Right Yarn

Choosing the right yarn for your knitting project is essential to ensure that your finished product has the desired look and feel. Here are some factors to consider when choosing yarn:

Fiber Content:

The first thing to consider is the fiber content of the yarn. Yarns can be made from various materials such as wool, cotton, acrylic, alpaca, and more. Each fiber has different properties and will affect the drape, warmth, and durability of your knitted item. Consider the characteristics you want for your project and choose a fiber that suits your needs.


Yarns come in different weights, which refers to the thickness or thinness of the yarn. Common yarn weights include lace, fingering, sport, DK, worsted, bulky, and super bulky. The weight of the yarn will determine how warm and bulky your knitted item will be, as well as the size of the stitches. Consider the pattern requirements and the desired outcome when selecting the weight of the yarn.


The color of the yarn will greatly affect the appearance of your knitted item. Consider the color scheme you want to achieve and choose a color that complements your project. Yarns come in a wide range of colors, from solid to variegated, and can completely transform the look of your knitting.


Some yarns have a smooth and even texture, while others have a more textured or boucle effect. Consider the texture of the yarn you want to work with and how it will affect the overall look of your project. A smooth yarn may be more suitable for intricate stitch patterns, while a textured yarn can add dimension to simpler designs.


The price of yarn can vary greatly depending on the brand, fiber content, and quality. Consider your budget when choosing yarn and weigh the cost against the desired outcome. Keep in mind that higher-quality yarns may be more expensive but can result in a better finish.

By considering these factors, you can choose the right yarn for your knitting project and create a finished item that is not only beautiful but also suits your needs and preferences.

Gathering the Necessary Supplies

Before you can attach new yarn in knitting, you will need to gather a few supplies. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn in the color of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle

Make sure you have the correct size knitting needles for your project. The size will depend on the pattern you are using and the type of yarn you are using. Check the pattern or label on the yarn for needle size recommendations.

Choose a yarn color that matches or complements your project. If you are attaching new yarn in the middle of a project, make sure the new yarn is the same weight and texture as the yarn you have been using.

Having a pair of scissors handy is important for cutting the yarn when you need to change colors or finish your project. Make sure the scissors are sharp and easy to handle.

A tapestry needle is a large-eyed blunt needle that is used for weaving in ends and joining pieces of knitted fabric. It is an essential tool for attaching new yarn in knitting.

Preparing the Tail of the New Yarn

Before attaching a new yarn in knitting, you need to prepare the tail of the new yarn.

Here are the steps to prepare the tail of the new yarn:

  1. Take the end of the new yarn and create a slip knot. To create a slip knot, make a loop with the yarn, insert the end of the yarn through the loop, and tighten the loop around the yarn.
  2. Leave a tail of about 6 inches (15 cm) for joining the yarn. This tail will be used later to weave in the ends.
  3. Hold the slip knot with your fingers and place it on the knitting needle next to the last stitch you knitted with the old yarn.
  4. Make sure the slip knot is not too tight or too loose. It should be snug enough to stay on the knitting needle but loose enough to easily slide off when needed.
  5. You are now ready to attach the new yarn to your knitting project and continue knitting with it.

By preparing the tail of the new yarn in this way, you will ensure a secure and neat attachment, making it easier to weave in the ends later.

Keep the tail of the new yarn to the back of your work while knitting, so it doesn’t get in the way or accidentally get knitted into your stitches.

Inserting the New Yarn

Once you have reached the end of your current yarn, it’s time to attach the new yarn. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Cut the old yarn: Use a pair of scissors to cut the old yarn, leaving a tail of about 6-8 inches.
  2. Prepare the new yarn: Take your new yarn and unwind it from the ball or skein. Make sure to leave a tail of about 6-8 inches for weaving in later.
  3. Join the old and new yarn: Hold the tail of the old yarn and the tail of the new yarn together, making a loop and holding it securely in your hand.
  4. Insert the needle: Insert your knitting needle into the next stitch as if you were going to purl, but instead of purling with the old yarn, use the loop formed by the old and new yarn.
  5. Pull through: Pull the loop through the stitch, making sure to tighten it gently. This will secure the new yarn in place.

You have now successfully attached the new yarn and can continue knitting with the new yarn. Make sure to weave in any loose ends later to ensure that your project stays secure.

Securing the New Yarn

After attaching the new yarn, it’s important to secure it to prevent it from unravelling or coming loose while you continue knitting. Here are a few methods you can use to secure the new yarn:

  1. Knotting: One simple way to secure the new yarn is by tying a tight knot at the end of the old yarn and the beginning of the new yarn. This will hold the two yarns together securely.
  2. Weaving in: Another method is to weave the loose end of the new yarn into the stitches of your knitting. To do this, thread the end of the new yarn onto a yarn needle and weave it in and out of a few stitches along the edge. Make sure to weave it in a way that it doesn’t show on the right side of the work.
  3. Twisting: If you’re working with a smooth yarn, you can twist the old and new yarns together for a few inches. This will create a secure join without the need for knots or weaving in the ends.

Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, so choose the one that works best for your project and yarn type. It’s important to experiment and practice these methods to find the one that you’re most comfortable with.

Remember, securing the new yarn properly is essential to ensure that your knitting stays intact and doesn’t unravel. Take your time and make sure the join is secure before you continue with your project.

Weaving in the Yarn Ends

Once you have finished knitting with a particular yarn and are ready to attach a new one, it’s important to secure the ends of the old yarn to prevent unraveling. This process is called weaving in the yarn ends.

To weave in the yarn ends, follow these steps:

  1. Thread the yarn end onto a tapestry or yarn needle.
    • Make sure the eye of the needle is large enough to accommodate the yarn.
  2. Insert the needle into the back of the knitting fabric.
    • Avoid going through any strands of yarn in the stitches.
  3. Weave the needle in and out of the stitches.
    • Take care to distribute the yarn evenly across the back of the knitting.
    • This helps to ensure that the yarn end is securely woven in.
    • If the knitting fabric has a pattern, follow the pattern as closely as possible.
  4. Continue weaving for several inches or until the yarn end feels secure.
    • A good rule of thumb is to weave back and forth for at least 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm).
  5. Trim any excess yarn.
    • Leave a small tail of around 1 inch (2.5 cm) to prevent the yarn from coming undone.
  6. Repeat the above steps for any other yarn ends.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your knitting project looks neat and professional, with no loose ends or potential unraveling.

Continuing with the New Yarn

Once you have attached the new yarn to your project, you can continue knitting with it. Here are a few steps to follow:

  • Hold both yarns together: To transition from the old yarn to the new yarn, you need to hold both yarns together for a few stitches. This helps to secure the new yarn and prevent any gaps or loose ends.
  • Knit or purl the next stitch: Continue knitting or purling according to your pattern. Make sure to work the stitches tightly to maintain an even tension.
  • Drop the old yarn: Once you have worked a few stitches with both yarns held together, you can drop the old yarn. Make sure to leave a tail of about 6-8 inches so that you can weave it in later.
  • Weave in the old yarn: Take the tail of the old yarn and weave it into the knitted fabric using a tapestry needle. This helps to secure the loose end and prevent it from unraveling.
  • Continue knitting: Now that you have successfully attached the new yarn, you can continue knitting as usual. Follow your pattern instructions and enjoy working with your new yarn!

Remember to always check your tension and adjust as needed when switching to a new yarn. With practice, attaching new yarn will become second nature and you can confidently tackle larger knitting projects!

Finishing and Blocking Your Knitted Project

Once you have completed your knitted project, there are a few final steps you can take to ensure that it looks its best and maintains its shape. These steps include finishing and blocking your knitted piece.


  1. Weave in the ends: Use a yarn needle to weave in any loose yarn ends into the back of the fabric. This will help secure them and prevent them from unraveling.
  2. Seaming (if necessary): If your project consists of multiple pieces that need to be joined together, use the appropriate seaming technique to connect them. This could be mattress stitch, whip stitch, or any other suitable method.
  3. Trim excess yarn: If there are any yarn tails or excess yarn sticking out, carefully trim them using a pair of scissors. Be careful not to cut into the stitches.


Blocking is the process of shaping your knitted project to its desired dimensions. It helps even out stitches, relax the fibers, and give the finished piece a polished look. Here’s how you can block your knitted project:

  1. Wet blocking: Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a mild detergent suitable for handwashing knitted items. Place your knitted project in the water and gently press it down to let it soak. After a few minutes, gently squeeze out the excess water, without wringing or twisting the fabric. Lay the project on a clean towel and roll it up, pressing down to remove more moisture. Unroll the towel and lay the project flat on a blocking mat or clean surface.
  2. Dry blocking: Use blocking pins to gently stretch and pin the edges of your project to the desired dimensions. You can refer to the pattern or gauge to determine the correct measurements. Be careful not to overstretch or distort the fabric. Allow the project to dry completely before unpinning.
  3. Steam blocking: For more delicate yarns or projects that cannot be wet, you can use a steam iron or handheld steamer to gently steam the project. Hold the iron or steamer a few inches away from the fabric and apply steam evenly, moving the iron or steamer in a sweeping motion. Avoid touching the fabric with the iron or steamer to prevent damage.

Once your knitted project is completely dry or steamed, you can remove the pins and it will be ready to use or wear.


Why do I need to attach new yarn in knitting?

Attaching new yarn in knitting is necessary when you run out of yarn for your current project or when you want to change yarn colors. It allows you to continue knitting without interruption and achieve the desired design.

What is the best way to attach new yarn in knitting?

The best way to attach new yarn in knitting is to join the new yarn with the old yarn using a technique called “knitting in a new strand.” To do this, you start by holding the new yarn together with the old yarn and continue knitting with both strands for a few stitches. Then, you can drop the old yarn and continue knitting only with the new yarn. This creates a secure and seamless join.

Can I just tie a knot to attach new yarn in knitting?

Tying a knot is not the recommended way to attach new yarn in knitting. Knots can create bulkiness and an uneven surface in the finished project. They can also come undone over time, resulting in the yarn coming loose. It is better to use the “knitting in a new strand” technique or other secure joining methods to ensure a professional and durable finish.

What if my new yarn is a different weight or thickness than the old yarn?

If your new yarn is a different weight or thickness than the old yarn, it may affect the overall appearance and texture of your project. To minimize this difference, you can try using a smaller or larger needle size to match the gauge of the new yarn. You can also use the new yarn for specific sections or create intentional color-blocked effects to make the change in yarn less noticeable.

Are there any tricks to ensure a smooth transition when attaching new yarn in knitting?

Yes, there are a few tricks you can use to ensure a smooth transition when attaching new yarn in knitting. One trick is to weave in the loose ends of both the new yarn and the old yarn along the same row of stitches. This helps to secure the ends and hide them within the fabric. Another trick is to change yarns at the beginning or end of a row or in a less noticeable area of your project, such as the side or underarm seam.


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