5.12.2014

How to Use Russian Joins in Your Crochet and Knitting

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Hi friends! Today I'm teaching you how to use Russian joins to join new skeins into your crochet and knitting projects. This isn't the way to change colors when working in multiple colors, but it's a fantastic way to join in a new skein of the same color, when the first skein runs out.

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How to make the joins

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting

^ First take the ends of each skein and cross them over each other.

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

^ Then, wrap them around each other, bending the end back towards itself.

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

^ Thread one of those ends onto a yarn needle. Start weaving the needle back and forth through yarn that is heading back towards the skein. Weave it in and out through 4 to 6 in (10 to 15 cm).

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

^ Pull the needle all the way through the portion of yarn that you've woven the end through. Take off the yarn needle. If there is an extra bit of the end hanging out when you're done, cut it off. Now you have a little hole for the other end to fit through.

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

^ Thread the other end into the yarn needle.

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

^ Weave the needle in and out through the yarn going back to that skein. Again, weave through 4 to 6 in (10 to 15 cm) of yarn.

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

^ Pull the needle all the way through the section you've woven through. If there is a little end of the yarn hanging out when you're done, cut it off.

How to use Russian joins to join in a new skein in your crochet and knitting, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

^ Now both the ends are trapped around each other and securely woven into themselves. When you stitch with this portion of your yarn, the stitches will be a smidge bulkier than the others, but not much, and barely noticeable. 

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Pros and Cons

Why would you want to join a new skein this way instead of however you've done it before? Well, for starters, the ends are all woven in by the time you finish joining. It really doesn't take all that long to do this once you get the hang of it, and there are NO ends left to weave in afterwards! Those ends will be really secure! Believe me, they are not coming undone from that!

As I worked on this Russian join, it occurred to me how awesome this will be for lace projects (like my Willow Creek Wrap)! One of the really frustrating parts about lace projects for me is finding a place to weave in the ends that they won't show and won't come undone. I will use Russian joins in lace projects from now on! And you can use this technique whether you are crocheting or knitting!

This is also great when you are using yarns that don't have any, or much, grab to them. With a lot of animal fibers, ends stay woven in pretty well because the scales on the fibers grab each other and the ends stay locked in. However, when working with fibers that don't do that...well, we've probably all had projects where our ends wouldn't stay put. Cotton, acrylic, bamboo, silk -- with many of these yarns, it can be nearly impossible to keep your ends from coming undone. I will use Russian joins when using these yarns from now on!

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Are you interested in other yarn craft tutorials?

Here are some of my other tutorials:

How to Carry Yarn Up the Side of Your Crochet Project

Intarsia Crochet Photo Tutorial

How to Begin Crocheting - Beginner Bracelet Tutorial

Half Double Crochet and hdc Decrease Tutorial


Which method of joining in new skeins do you usually use? Do you like it better than this one? What are the pros and cons of your usual method?

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Happy stitching!

April
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