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  • Russian splice. Loop the end of color 1, loop the end of color 2 through the loop of color 1, knit on, come back later to trim the little ends. No spit required.

  • I also love the Russian splice, which I just happened across this year. It’s good for superwash yarns that won’t spit splice (which I usually favor) and it’s a very sturdy join for garments that get tugged and stretched.

    For color work I also do a weaving-in-as-you-knit technique I learned years ago from a book by Ann and Eugene Bourgeois, Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified (Philosopher’s Wool). It involves stitching in and “locking down” yarn for 6-8 stitches at the back of the work before starting and after ending a color. Takes some practice, but well worth it in the end.

  • Do you know EVERYTHING? I shopped Zappo’s last week (boots) AND bought a new refrigerator (finally the freezer on the bottom where it’s MEANT to be). BTW, I slurp my yarn–like we’re swearing to keep a secret. c.

  • Spit with wool. I do the fiddley bit with reducing the plies before I join. With non-wool, fine yarn, I hold the two together and knit about an inch.

    Am working on a Moderne with silky wool and did the two together. Decided I might have to bury some ends after all. It’s not really sticky stuff. The number is increased due to some hanks having 2-3 knots.

    What is the black/white/green/red-rust project?

  • I use a weave-in-progress method. About eight stitches before the new color (or ball), I twist the new color around/behind the first color for each of the next eight stitches in the first color. When I’m ready to switch to the new color, I then twist the first color around/behind each of the next eight new color stitches. The beauty is that when I’m done with the knitting, all the weaving is done except for a little snipping of ends. As for that commando method? I’m having anxiety just thinking about it!

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  • I use Purell in lieu of spit for solid colors. Not so icky. For stranded, I use the weaving in as you go method described by Amy above. at 7:29.

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  • I used to be a “no knots in the knitting” person, but I’ve become a fast convert to the Magic Knot!

  • Thank you for validating the knitty knot methd. It works! Same philosphy as my house-super clean and presentable but don’t dare open the drawers or closets.

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  • GAAAH! That braiding method is so elegant that I may finally try some color work.

    By the way, that amazing swirly sweater of many, many colors is just spectacular!

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  • Zappos sells fridges? Who knew!

    Anyway, no knots! I do the thinking weaving in. It does take time, but it looks good, and there are no knots. I might try the spit method, and maybe braiding, but never knots.

  • Spit.

  • Obligatory link to Techknitter’s classic round-up of 10 ways to deal with ends when joining new yarn: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2010/04/working-in-ends-as-you-go-along-same.html

    For fair isle, I have generally favored the Russian Join, because I could never get spit splicing to “work”. My eyes were recently opened in a class with Janine Bajus (the Feral Knitter), when she said that it’s okay if your spit spliced area doesn’t have the integrity of an actual strand of yarn. It only needs to *barely* hold together long enough for the overlapped ends to be knitted into the fabric — after that, the knitting itself provides plenty of security. Maybe this was obvious to everybody else, but it solved my perfectionist spit splicing frustration in a snap!

    • Don’t bother with spit. Just knit 2 strands together for an inch or so. Not visible with most yarns.

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  • I am thrilled your blog is active again.
    Thank you!

  • Comment–Oh.
    Anyway, have not done anything so grand as fairisle. I do really like to attach a new ball of yarn by knitting a strand from each ball (old/new) together in one stitch (have to remember in the next row to treat them as one stitch, too). The thing is that it was always tough to weave in those ends. I would sort of criss cross them or something. Nice to know I can just let them hang on the inside of the garment. Guess I gotta stop making scarves. ….

  • Woah. Woah. woah. Your friend just… leaves the ends free? No weaving in, no knots? Nothing??? HOW? HOW is there not gaping holes in her work??????? I am befuddled!!!

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  • Love the blog!

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  • I don’t do such fancy colorwork. Yet. For a two color project I carry them up the side. Spit splice for wool, Russian join for thicker yarns, magic knot for thin, except for lace, then Russian join. I hate weaving in ends. Never looks good to me.

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  • One more good reason to steel….just leave most of your color changes hanging there in the steel, to be trimmed away. I do use a kids hair clip….the kind that pops open then closes on itself to keep the loose ends in place….just snap it open, add new yarn ends and snap closed. I move it up as I go, as once you have knit a few rows up you are fine, but it helps keep my tension even.

    I also weave in as I go, trapping the yarn the same way I trap the background yarn on the occasional long float.

    Barbara M. In Nh

    • Damn auto correct…..of course, that is “steek”, not steel.

      Barbara M. In NH

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  • I love spit splicing (even for solids), but I trim each end by half the plies. If I’ve had coffee too close to joining time, plain water will work just fine.

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  • I weave in the ends into the next 8-10 stitches I knit, alternating the yarn up then down catching it in the back of every stitch. No ends to weave in

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