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No More Ends, Part 1
One of the most common questions I get is "How do I join a new ball of yarn?" Over time, I've learned that the question really is more along the lines of, "OK, how can I join a new ball of yarn and not have to deal with weaving in all the awful ends?!" Well, look no further!
Today, I am going to show you the down and dirty method of joining yarn called spit-splicing (I told you it was down and dirty). This method, caused by felting the fibers together, is really only suitable for animal fibers. Don't worry, though -- In part 2, I'll show you a cool trick I learned called the "back join" (very similar to the Russian join, if you know what that is) that can be used for other fibers. Spit-splicing is my own preferred technique. It isn't perfect, it isn't rocket science, and people who work with fibers have been doing it since the Stone Age (meaning anyone can do it). I love it because I can get the most yardage out of my yarn without having to change at the beginning or end of a row. It works well at any point in your knitting.
Step 1: Find your two ends to be joined.
Step 2: Untwist each end so that you can separate all the plies.
Steps 3 and 4: (Optional) I pluck out one ply from each yarn end. I find this makes the join less bulky and the same thickness as the rest of the yarn.
Step 5: Overlap the two ends in the palm of your hand, making sure the plies blend together. Give a good spit right on top of the yarn ends. Well, I'll be honest and say that you can use water or any other liquid, but spit really works better in my experience! Ha ha! I try to do it discreetly, mind you. Anyway, after you dampen your ends with a liquid of your choice, place your other palm on top and briskly rub them together, allowing the inside to heat up from the friction.
Step 6: The friction causes your ends to felt together, so it should only take a minute or so. Give it a little tug to test that the join is secure.
And that is it! You may continue your knitting without a single end to weave in!