How to join yarn when lace knitting

If yarn needs to be joined, either because the ball ran out, the yarn broke or there was a knot, whatever the reason it is not always appropriate or desirable to join yarn at the end of a row. Here Judy Furlong shows you how to do a Russian join.

Lace knitting diamond shawl Anniken Allis

Main image: Riviera diamond lace shawl by Anniken Alice, from The Knitter issue 82.

If yarn needs to be joined, either because the ball ran out, the yarn broke or there was a knot, whatever the reason it is not always appropriate or desirable to join yarn at the end of a row.

How to join yarn in lace knitting

This is especially so if the garment is a scarf with the row end being a selvedge.

There are many ways of joining within a row, such as unwinding and then twisting the yarns together, and splicing (shown above and below).

How to join yarn in lace knitting step 1

In this final entry in our lace knitting masterclass series we will look at how to do a Russian join.

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You Will Need

  • Tapestry needle
  • Yarn

Step 1

Thread a tapestry needle with the end of the yarn and manoeuvre the needle through the centre of the same piece of yarn, making a loop.

How to join yarn in lace knitting step 2

 

Step 2

Put the end of the new yarn through the loop, thread it into a tapestry needle, and manoeuvre it through itself as for the first yarn end.

How to join yarn in lace knitting step 3

 

Step 3

How to join yarn in lace knitting step 4

Obviously this is no use if the yarn is a single ply.

When working with cobweb-weight yarn, I simply select the finest part of both ends and twist them together and work with double thickness for a few stitches choosing the least ‘open’ part of the lace.

This is especially useful for disguising joins and darning in loose ends in solid areas such as nupps or bobbles.

Whatever the method, I trim the ends to a few centimetres but never flush to the lace until after dressing, just in case they pull out.

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Take heart

If, even after all this care, you spot a mistake when you’ve finished knitting the whole piece, console yourself that it can’t be that obvious or you would have noticed it earlier.

Although we would all like everything to be absolutely perfect, don’t be put off.

Slight imperfections are part of the charm of handwork, otherwise we might as well make everything by machine. It probably won’t be the last piece of lace you knit, and just think how much your project has taught you.

Good luck and above all, have fun!