I recently embarked upon a project with a truly insane number of yarn joins. Stripes: my nemesis. I love stripes, they are so pretty and fun to color coordinate. But every time you change a stripe, you have to join the yarn. And with a scarf, you really notice every single wobble along the edge, so you want to be sure to do it right.
Joining new yarn
So many methods, so little time!
I spent a lot of time researching join methods. There are so many! Here's a sample of just a few of the more popular methods.
1. Knot it together, and weave in the ends
All the experts agree: this is the absolute worst way to do it. But I will confess that 98 percent of the time, this is how I do it. I know it's wrong, but I can't help myself.
2. Spit splice
This only works on a feltable yarn, like wool. Pull the plies apart on the two ends, overlap them, mesh and twist them together. Then moisture on there: the traditional method is to spit on them or suck them a bit, but you can spritz water. Now chafe it between the heels of your hands to felt the ends together.
Once you get over the gross factor, I found that I could only do this a few times in a knitting session before the heels of my hands started to feel raw.
3. Russian join
In this method you basically make two small interlocking loops from the two yarn ends, by threading them through a needle and pulling them back through themselves. This is an interesting technique, although I found it very time-consuming.
4. The simple overlap
Overlap the two yarn ends by about six inches. Then knit along that length and keep going. Presto, your yarn is joined! I would worry that this would pull apart, even though it never does.
5. The double-loop overlap
Fold the two ends back on themselves, then hook them together. This way you will knit three inches of doubled-over Yarn A, and three inches of doubled-over Yarn B, then you're done.
This is a very secure join and I have used it with great success in the past. But I have trouble with the ends, which always pop out no matter what I do. Probably best for something like a sweater, where the ends won't be visible.