01 Nov

making a braided join

Braided join tutorial by La Visch Designs

Earlier, in my blog about the Russian join, I’ve already shown you how my favorite way to attach a new ball of yarn works. But how do you join new yarn just as invisible and strong when you do not have a needle with you?

In that situation, I like to use the braided method where the old and new yarn are braided together. Just as with the Russian method this makes a very strong join, which remains in place even with slick yarns like satin and mercerized cotton. Also, after you have complete your project no ends are to be woven in, as these are already woven in when making the join.

A prerequisite for this method is that your yarn consists of at least two plies. Why is this important, you will see later in this blog. The braided join makes for a locally thicker thread, but this does not need to be a problem, because it is often not very visible.

The braided join step by step

In this example I have used two different colors of yarn to show you exactly how to work this type of join.

1. The two threads to join, the pink yarn comes from the project, the yellow-green is the new ball of yarn.

Braided join tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. In the “old” yarn loosen the plies over a length of approx. 10 cm (4 inch) and divide into two. Place the new yarn on top of it as shown in the photograph.

3. Hold the threads together at the top. I like to hold them between my forefinger and middle finger, but you can also use a paperclip or something similar.

Braided join tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Braid the three pieces of yarn (two of the “old” and one of the new ball of wool) together to join them.

Braided join tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Braid until you reach the end of the three threads, you have a braided portion of about 5 up to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inch).

Braided join tutorial by La Visch Designs

And now you can continue knitting again. As you see in the picture below, there are three stitches in this sample in which both threads are visible. However, if you join the same color of yarn, the join would be hardly visible in the finished piece.

Braided join tutorial by La Visch Designs

The back of the work looks like in the photo below. The loose ends I usually leave until after washing and possibly blocking the work. Then it’s just a matter of (carefully!) cutting them off.

Braided join tutorial by La Visch Designs

25 Oct

making a Russian join

How to work the Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Whether you knit or crochet, we all have to deal with it: Joining new yarn when you have reached the end of a ball of wool. Of course, you can just change balls when you’re at the end of a row, but what if you work in the round? Or when you only have a limited amount of yarn and you really want to use it all? Just switching and tying a knot is something I never do. I think the risks are simply too great, there isn’t much needed for a knot to become undone and make a hole in my carefully-made piece. No, I much prefer using the Russian join instead.

The Russian join makes a very strong join, which also remains in place with very smooth and slippery yarns like cotton. This method also ensures that after completion of your project there are no ends to weave in. These are, after all already woven in when making the join. The only drawback is that this join locally produces a thicker thread. However, this does not need to be a problem, because it’s often not very visible.

The Russian join step by step

In this example, I have used yarn in two different colors to illustrate how this method works.

1. Thread the yarn end from the first ball through the eye of the needle.

2. Zigzag with the needle back through the thread for approximately 5 to 6 centimeters (about 2 inches), in such a way that your yarn forms a loop. Through this loop, the yarn of the new ball will be threaded later on. It helps to put a finger through the loop while pulling your needle through, to make sure it doesn’t close up on you.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Thread the yarn end from the second ball through the eye of the needle.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Insert the needle through the loop you created in step 2 above.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Now zigzag back with the needle through the second thread for about 5 to 6 centimeters (about 2 inches). Again, it may help to put a finger through the loop while pulling your needle through, to make sure it doesn’t close up on you.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Pull gently on both ends to reduce the loops and pull the yarn smooth.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And now, you can just continue knitting! As you see in the picture below, the join in the knitting is (apart of course from the difference in color) barely visible.

Working a Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The back of the work looks like the photo below. The remaining yarn ends I usually leave until after washing and possibly blocking the workpiece. Then it’s just a matter of (carefully!) cutting them off.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

One last tip

As noted, the Russian join gives a place in your work where the yarn is locally thicker. You can avoid this when your yarn is composed of several threads twined together. Cut a small portion of these threads away, then proceed with the join as usual with the locally thinner piece of yarn. In the picture below I have removed one of the totals of three strands.

Russian join - a tutorial by La Visch Designs