Monday, February 19, 2018

Russian join (a tutorial)

Do you like weaving ends when your knitting is finished, blocked, and seemed?
Do you enjoy dealing with all the ugly endings protruding at the places where two balls of yarn were connected?
Doesn’t it bother you that sometimes you need to leave quite a bit of yarn unknit in order not to join a new ball in the middle of a row?
Well, to avoid all aforementioned unpleasant experiences you can use the Russian join method. Have you heard about it?
To be honest, I learned how to do it properly only last year here, in Florida, from my American friend and an amazing knitter. And I’ve been using it and enjoying the Russian join ever since. Now, I’m going to share it with all my readers so you can use and enjoy it as well (thank you again, Karol!).
You will need:
1) a yarn needle (with as sharp point as possible);
2) a new ball of yarn;
3) the end of the previous ball (at least 3” long, but it can be longer).

Step 1:
Thread the needle with the strand of the yarn from the new ball leaving 1.5 – 2” tail.

Step 2:
Pierce the strand of the yarn from the previous ball about 2” from its end with the needle. Now you’ve got two ends joined.

Step 3:
Thread one of the ends (doesn’t matter which one, but in my example it was the new ball’s) through the needle.

Step 4:
Weave the needle through the yarn strand as long as the end of the new yarn would go.

Step 5:
Do the same with the other end: thread it through the needle and weave the needle through the yarn from another ball.

Step 6:
Continue knitting.

The actual join is almost invisible and hardly palpable (especially if your yarn is not too thick). Sometimes there can be little ends that you can cut or weave in at the end of the work, but most of the times you won’t have to do anything about the join.
The same process works for all types of yarn. Just pick your needle carefully – it must be pointy enough and a little thinner than the yarn. For fingering yarns I recommend using sewing needles.
Any questions? What is your favorite method to join two balls?


  1. Oooh, that is a good one. I'll try it in the very near future! Thanks for taking the time to show us.

  2. So ingenious! I’m almost ready to join two balls in a shawl I am doing which is so simple I keep dropping stitches as I get carried away with myself. Am I the only one? I have ripped this baby more times than I like to admit because of errors in garter stitch, I take a lot of medicine, does that count as an excuse?

    1. Sometimes easy looking projects are the hardest. Boredom and monotony tend to cause more mistakes, at least this is how it works for me. So you are definitely not alone. All the best with your shawl!