A step-by-step tutorial on weaving in ends as you knit – the probably easiest and fastest way to join a new yarn in knitting
Are you sick of tapestry needles and weaving in ends? To be sure, a lot of knitting projects require more than just one ball of yarn. And at one point or another, you end up with all those dreaded tails tangling down. But there is a super easy solution, you can weave in ends as you go.
This method to join a new yarn works without knots and without a tapestry needle. You can use it for all feltable fibers that are slightly fuzzy (so your standard sheep wool, alpaca yarn, etc). It’s very easy and quite efficient on top of that.
The only problem is that it will be a bit visible on the wrong side. So, it’s probably not the best method for reversible projects. Here the spit splice or the Russian join might be a better option for you.
Anyway, let’s show you how to weave in ends as you knit.
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- 5-8 stitches before you need to change yarn, pick up the new yarn and place it in between your working yarn and the knitting needles.
Note: This can be at the beginning of a row or round or in the middle. It doesn't matter
- Knit one stitch using the old yarn. This will trap the new yarn on the backside.
- Knit one more stitch and wrap the new yarn around your working yarn clockwise once.
- Repeat step two 5-8 more times and wrap the new yarn around the working yarn with every stitch. The slicker your yarn, the more stitches you should knit in this manner.
- Pick up the new yarn from underneath, and knit one stitch trapping the old yarn in between.
- Knit one stitch and wrap the tail of the old yarn around the working yarn clockwise once.
- Repeat step 6 for around 5-8 stitches and then continue knitting as normal.
- Cut away the excess yarn on the wrong side with your scissors. You may want to wait with this step until you blocked your finished project or you washed it the first time. That way, there's less of a chance that the ends will peek out later on.
If you are working with a slippery yarn, you could twist the tail around the working yarn a full turn. This will create a much more secure join but will also be a bit more noticeable on the wrong side.
Weaving in as you go to join a new color
If you want to join in a new color, for example when you want to knit stripes, then you can adjust the instructions ahead. That’s because you will need the old yarn a couple of rows above again. Here’s what you can do instead
Step 1: Simply knit one stitch with the new color.
Step 2: Wrap the tail of the new color around the working yarn clockwise once.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 until you secured the tail (around 5-8 times depending on the friction of your yarn) and continue knitting as normal.
Tip: You can join the new color with Twist and Weave for an ever better join before you weave in as you knit (so instead of step 1).
Again, this method will work great for all slightly fuzzy yarns. Don’t do this with cotton, silk, or a slick superwash yarn. In these cases, there’s no way around using a more traditional joining method and weaving in ends the regular way. That’s because the tails will come undone a tiny bit with every stretch. And if you repeat that often enough, you end up with a hole.
For wool and other animal fibers, this won’t happen. The two yarns you joined will felt together over time. There may still be a tiny tail hanging out but it will stay that way and is nothing to worry about.
Some people will also use this last technique to join in a new ball and weave in two tails at the same time as they go. It’s really the exact same principle. You just wrap two tails at the same time instead of one.
While it is certainly super easy, my problem with this technique is that it isn’t all that pretty on the wrong side.
For non-reversible projects where you join a new ball in the same color, it probably won’t matter, I guess. Still, I wanted to present you with the neatest version in my opinion first.