From the first time you make a project bigger than a washcloth, you realize that yarn is finite (which is sad). When you get to the end of your yarn, you have to join another skein to keep knitting. It’s annoying, and if you don’t do it right, it will ruin your beautiful scarf/hat/sweater/sock.
Some people just tie the old yarn to the new yarn. I think that looks terrible. And, it leaves you with a icky bumpy knot in the middle of your knitting. No bueno.
Yes, tying on a new ball of yarn is easy, but there are such better options. So, over the next couple weeks I’m going to do a series of posts about joining, with pros, cons, and how-tos.
Let’s jump right in and get started! Here’s one of my favorite super basic joining techniques. I’ll call it Holding the Yarn Double, because I don’t think it actually has a name. That’s how basic it is.
All you do is hold the new yarn (orange in this picture, but usually you’d just use the same color yarn. I’m using two colors here so you can see what I’m doing) next to the the old yarn (gray). Then, using both strands, you’ll knit a few stitches (three or four is usually plenty).
Leave an inch or two of tail from both the new and the old yarn. Once you’ve knit a couple stitches with both strands, drop the old yarn and continue knitting like normal with the new yarn.
Pros: Super easy. Almost invisible (especially in stockinet and ribbing). No weaving in of ends when you’re done with your project (just trim the ends to 1-1.5 inches when you’re done).
Cons: The joining stitches are thicker than your regular stitches, so if you’re doing any sort of openwork it can slightly mess up the look of your project (but only on a couple stitches, so as long as you put the join in a hidden spot, like an armpit or close to an edge, you won’t really notice it). You are left with ends peeking out the back side of the project. If you’re doing something which has two public sides (like a scarf), this might not be the joining technique for you. If you’re making something with an obvious back side (like a sweater), this isn’t a problem.