Learn How to Join Yarn When Knitting

Learn How to Join Yarn When Knitting

Joining yarn in knitting is an essential skill every knitter should have in their repertoire. Whether you’re running out of yarn or want to add a pop of color to your project, knowing how to seamlessly join yarn is key to achieving a polished finish.

In this step by step guide, we will walk you through the process of joining yarn in knitting, from preparing your yarn to weaving in the ends.

First, gather the materials you’ll need: the current yarn you’re working with, the new yarn you’re joining in, a pair of scissors, and a yarn needle. Once you have your materials ready, you’re ready to join in the new yarn.

Step 1: Prepare the new yarn

Start by cutting the new yarn, leaving a tail that is long enough to weave in later. Strip the end of the new yarn to remove any frayed edges, making it easier to join.

Step 2: Join the new yarn

Take the new yarn and loop it around the working yarn, leaving a small loop at the end. Insert your knitting needle through the loop and pull the new yarn snugly against the working yarn.

Step 3: Knit with the new yarn

Continue knitting with the new yarn, making sure to keep the tension consistent with the rest of your project. You can knit a few stitches with both the old and new yarns held together to ensure a secure join.

Once you’ve joined the new yarn and knitted a few rows, it’s time to weave in the ends. Using a yarn needle, thread the tail of the new yarn through the stitches on the wrong side of your work, following the path of the stitches. Trim any excess yarn, and voila – your joined yarn is complete!

Now that you know how to join yarn in knitting, you can confidently tackle any project, knowing that your joins will be seamless and secure.

Why Joining Yarn is Important

Joining yarn is a crucial technique in knitting that allows you to continue working on your project when you run out of yarn or want to incorporate a different color. It is essential to master this skill to ensure that your knitting looks seamless and professional.

There are a few reasons why joining yarn is important:

  1. Continuity: When you run out of yarn in the middle of a row or round, joining yarn allows you to seamlessly continue knitting without any noticeable breaks or knots. This ensures a smooth and uniform appearance in your finished project.
  2. Color changes: Joining a new color of yarn is necessary when you want to introduce color variations or create patterns in your knitting. By joining the new yarn correctly, you can create beautiful color transitions while maintaining the integrity of your stitches.
  3. Length adjustments: Sometimes, the length of your work may exceed the amount of yarn you have left, or you may want to add extra length to your project. Joining a new skein of yarn allows you to extend your knitting and complete your desired length.

It is important to note that joining yarn should be done in a way that ensures the yarn ends are secure and won’t unravel with use or washing. There are various techniques for joining yarn, such as the knit-on join, weaving in ends, or spit splice. Each technique has its own advantages and is suitable for different projects and yarn types.

To select the appropriate joining method, consider the texture and thickness of your yarn, as well as personal preference. Practice and experimentation will help you find the best joining technique for each knitting project you undertake.

In conclusion, joining yarn is an essential skill for knitters. It allows for continuity, color changes, and length adjustments in your knitting projects. By mastering the art of joining yarn, you can create seamless and professional-looking pieces that showcase your knitting skills.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

When joining yarn in knitting, there are a few tools and materials that you will need to have on hand. These include:

  • Knitting needles: You will need a pair of knitting needles to work with the yarn. The size of the needles will depend on the project you are working on and the type of yarn you are using.
  • Yarn: Choose the color and thickness of yarn that you want to join. Make sure you have enough yarn to complete your project.
  • Tapestry needle: A tapestry needle, also known as a yarn needle, is used to weave in loose ends of yarn and join pieces together.
  • Scissors: Scissors are necessary to cut the yarn when joining or finishing a project.

Having these tools and materials ready before you begin joining yarn will make the process easier and more efficient.

Step 1: Prepare the New Yarn

Before joining a new yarn to your knitting project, it’s essential to prepare the yarn to ensure a smooth and secure join. Follow these steps to prepare your new yarn:

  1. Inspect the Yarn: Check the new yarn for any knots, tangles, or imperfections. If you come across any, detangle the yarn and remove any knots or damaged areas before proceeding.
  2. Cut the Yarn: Cut a length of the new yarn, leaving a tail of about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm). This tail will be used later to weave in the ends, so make sure it’s long enough.
  3. Secure the Yarn End: To prevent the yarn from unraveling, secure the end by tying it loosely with an overhand knot. This will keep the yarn intact and make it easier to join to the existing yarn.
  4. Find the Live Stitch: Identify the live stitch in your knitting project where you need to join the new yarn. This is the stitch that is on the left needle and will receive the new yarn.

By preparing the new yarn properly, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step of joining the yarn to your knitting project seamlessly.

Step 2: Locate the Knitting Stitch

Before joining a new yarn in knitting, it is important to locate the stitch where you want to make the join. This stitch will be the first stitch of the new row or section of your knitting project.

Here are the steps to locate the knitting stitch:

  1. Hold your knitting project with the working yarn on the right side.
  2. Look for the last stitch you worked, which is the one closest to the right needle.
  3. Inspect the stitch carefully to ensure it is the correct one for the join. It should be the stitch that matches the stitch pattern you are using.

Note: If you are joining yarn in the middle of a row, you will need to count the stitches from the edge of your project to determine the exact stitch where you want to make the join.

Step 3: Insert the New Yarn

Once you have prepared the new yarn by creating a slipknot and leaving a tail, it’s time to insert it into your knitting project. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hold your knitting project with the wrong side facing you, and make sure the working yarn is coming from the last stitch you made.
  2. Take the new yarn and insert it into the next stitch on your left-hand needle, from front to back.
  3. Hold both the old yarn and the new yarn together in your right hand.
  4. Use the right-hand needle to knit the next stitch with both yarns held together as one. This will create a secure connection between the old and new yarn.

After completing these steps, you can continue knitting with the new yarn. Make sure to leave a long enough tail of the new yarn so that you can weave it in later to secure it even further.

Step 4: Secure the Yarn Ends

After joining your new yarn to your knitting project, it’s important to secure the yarn ends to prevent them from unraveling or becoming loose. Here are a few methods you can use to secure your yarn ends:

  • Weaving in the Ends: Thread the yarn end onto a yarn needle. Insert the needle under a few stitches on the wrong side of your work, following the path of the stitches. Then bring the needle back out a few stitches away. Repeat this process a few times, making sure to weave in the ends on the wrong side of your work.
  • Knotting: If you’re working with a yarn that doesn’t easily unravel, you can simply knot the yarn ends together. Make sure to leave a tail of a few inches so that the knot doesn’t come undone during wear or washing.
  • Using Fray Check or Fabric Glue: Another option is to apply fray check or fabric glue to the yarn ends to secure them. This is especially helpful for slippery or delicate yarns that may not knot well.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to trim any excess yarn closely to your work to create a neat and tidy finish. Be careful not to cut any necessary stitches when trimming your yarn ends!

Step 5: Continue Knitting

Once you have joined your new yarn to your knitting project, it’s time to continue knitting.

  1. Hold the working yarn in your right hand and the knitting needle with the stitches in your left hand.
  2. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, from left to right.
  3. Take the working yarn and wrap it around the right needle, moving it from back to front.
  4. Use the right needle to pull the wrapped yarn through the stitch, creating a new loop on the right needle.
  5. Slide the original stitch off the left needle, transferring it to the right needle. You now have one knit stitch on the right needle.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for each stitch in the row.
  7. Continue knitting in your desired stitch pattern until you have reached the desired length or have completed the pattern.

Note: It is important to maintain tension in your knitting to ensure consistent stitch size. If your tension is too loose, your stitches may be uneven or have holes. If your tension is too tight, it may be difficult to insert the needle into the stitches.

Tip: If you are knitting in the round, you will need to join your rounds by knitting the first stitch of each round with both the old and new yarn held together. This will help prevent any gaps or holes in your knitting.

Remember to take breaks and stretch your hands and wrists if you start to feel any discomfort. Enjoy the process of knitting and watching your project grow!


What is joining yarn in knitting?

Joining yarn in knitting is the process of attaching a new ball or skein of yarn to your existing work. This is necessary when you run out of yarn or need to change colors.

Why do I need to join yarn in knitting?

You need to join yarn in knitting when you run out of yarn or when you want to change colors. By joining a new ball or skein of yarn, you can continue knitting without any gaps or interruptions in your work.

What are the different methods to join yarn in knitting?

There are several different methods to join yarn in knitting, including the knot method, the Russian join, the felted join, and the spit splice. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the method that works best for your project and yarn type.

Can I join different types of yarn together?

Yes, you can join different types of yarn together, but it’s important to consider the thickness, texture, and weight of the yarn. Joining different types of yarn can create interesting effects and textures in your knitting, but it’s important to make sure the yarns are compatible and will knit together well.

What is the best method to join yarn in knitting?

The best method to join yarn in knitting depends on the project, yarn type, and personal preference. Some knitters prefer the knot method for its simplicity, while others prefer more advanced methods like the Russian join or the felted join for their durability and seamless finish. It’s important to experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for you.


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