There are a few popular ways to join in a new skein of yarn, so I thought I would share with you one of my favorite ways – the double stitch method. You can use this method in a bunch of different situations, such as:
- When you run out of yarn in one skein and you need to join in a new skein.
- When you want to join a new color (for stripes).
- When you’re working flat (i.e, back and forth).
- When you’re working in the round.
And, it can work in any stitch pattern. In my video tutorial below I’m working in Garter Stitch, but it can work with any stitch pattern.
So how does it work?
It’s so simple! You will just knit the first stitch (on a right-side row), with BOTH the old skein and the new skein (hence the “double stitch”). Then after that first stitch is knit, you’ll drop the old skein and continue knitting with just the new skein. By knitting the first stitch with both skeins, you are re-enforcing the new skein into the fabric without tying any knots. You just have to remember that when you encounter this “double stitch” on the next row to make sure to treat it as 1 stitch.
Check out my video below to learn all about this technique!
Q: Is it always the first stitch that is the “double stitch”?
A: I typically work the double stitch in the first stitch, and if you are joining a new color for stripes then that is definitely the way to go. But if you are working the same color and just joining a new skein, you can instead add it in this way on the second, or third stitch (or really anywhere!). If my edge stitches are going to be picked up later (say in a sweater with a buttonband edge, or armhole trim), then I may typically do it in the first stitch as that will be hidden anyway with the pick-up. But if your edge will be “raw” (i.e, no trim added to it later), you can consider making the second or third stitch the double stitch just to avoid any possible inconsistencies along the edge line. But you really can add it anywhere in the row if it’s the same color. For example, in my Brooklin vest, because the fronts fold over, I didn’t want my ends showing anywhere near the front. So I used this “double stitch” method of joining a new skein later on in the row so it would be closer to my underarm/back area.
Q: Is 1 stitch enough or should I knit multiple stitches with both skeins?
A: I have personally found 1 stitch to be enough, however, I have also seen recommendations where they say to do it for a few stitches to help re-enforce the fibers. I think it might depend on the fiber of your yarn – cottons might benefit from more than 1 stitch, but only if it’s a thin enough yarn where multiple double stitches won’t appear too bulky in the fabric.
Q: What other methods are there for joining a new skein?
A: There are a few other very popular methods! There’s the “wet-splice” method which works well with fibers that will felt well together (so natural fibers) and I think this method is especially good for super-bulky yarns where the double stitch method might just not be ideal because of how thick the yarn is. Here’s a great tutorial from Purl Soho for this method. Another popular method I’ve heard more about lately is the Russian Join – this has a few more steps involved, but I’ve heard super positive input about it. It involves working the yarn end into it’s own plies – it’s best explained visually though, so check out this photo tutorial from Craftsy all about it!