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In the Loop

Tutorial: No More Ends, Part 2

Back in early March, the tutorial was "No More Ends, Part 1," showing you the down-and-dirty method of spit-splicing. Today, I'm going to show you a second little trick to add to your knitting toolbox called the back join, or a simple version of the Russian join.

This method works best for changing yarns of the same color, but with a little practice, you can easily make it work for changing to a different color. In fact, my tutorial is worked in two different colors just so you can easily see how it works and how smooth the transition is.

Step 1: Stop about four stitches before you plan to change yarn. Make a loop as pictured.

Step 2: Take the new yarn and loop it around the old yarn, with the working end facing you on top of the loop and the tail beneath the loop (as pictured).

Step 3: This is the slightly tricky part, but you'll get it with a little practice. Use your left hand to hold tension on the tail of the old yarn and use your right hand to hold both ends of the new yarn. This tightens the loop, but creates "one" strand for you to knit with.

Step 4: Still holding the ends from Step 3, start knitting, in a two-stranded manner, with the old yarn all the way up to where the new yarn joins in.

Step 5: Keep knitting, exactly the same way as you were in Step 4 (two-stranded), for about four to six stitches with the new yarn. Now, drop the tail end of the new yarn and continue knitting with the single strand.

Step 6: On the other side (the wrong side, in this case), you will knit those two-stranded, double stitches as one stitch.

You can see on the front of the swatch, the stitches are smooth, and if there weren't two colors, you wouldn't be able to tell where the color change took place! On the back side, there are minimal bumps and all you have to do is snip the yarn a centimeter or two away from the edge (give it a tiny tail so that it can settle into the fabric). As you wash and wear, the fibers will meld together and prevent your tails from unweaving.

So, what do you think? No more ends to weave!

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