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How to Russian Join Yarn in 7 Easy Steps

June 19th, 2012

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Hate weaving in ends? The Russian join is an excellent technique for attaching a new skein of yarn or for changing colors. Best of all, it creates a secure join, so you can keep crocheting or knitting without worrying about yarn ends! Here are instructions on how to complete the Russian join in 7 easy steps. I’ve used 2 different colors of yarn, but this is a great technique for attaching a new skein of the same color yarn, too!
How to Russian Join Yarn in 7 Easy Steps
1. Thread a blunt needle with one end of yarn.
2. Work the needle through the plies of your yarn for a few inches. Don’t worry if this looks bunched up now.
3. Pull your working yarn through, leaving a small loop at the end. This is where the second piece of yarn will be attached.
4. Thread your needle with the second piece of yarn, then insert the needle into the small loop you created before.
5. Pull a few inches of yarn through the small loop.
6. Like you did before, work the needle through the plies of your second piece of yarn.
7. Give each strand a little tug to smooth out the bunching. You now have a secure join! Trim off any excess ends.

That’s all there is to it! Depending on your yarn, you may notice that this joined area is slightly thicker than the rest of your yarn. I find this isn’t very noticeable when I’ve worked my projects, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

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  • Dané Samuel

    thank GOD! i’m reaching the end of my skein for an spiral afgahn. didnt know how to join the next skein on. between the pictures and the step by step instructions i wont mess up!

  • Celia

    Help – no matter what I do, the ends keep poking back out of the fabric once I’ve worked over the joined areas. I trim the ends sticking out, and then the new ends start poking out almost instantly. Cannot figure out how to keep them in the join. :-(

  • Patricia_forster

    This is amazing. I have been knitting and crocheting for 40 years and have never seen this. THANK YOU.

  • Sarah Curtis

    Cant wait to try this … I have also been knitting for about 60 years and it is new to me.  …as my Mother used to say .. “You learn something new every day”   😉   Love the nail colour but thats probibly because I am IRISH   😉

  • Kroman

    Awesome! I am defiantly trying this on my next project!

  • Suanna

    FANTASTIC!!!!  I will be using this from now on!!!  I knit and crochet los, since I have 9 grands and 1 great grandchild!  LOVE it.  Thanks

  • Nosnah

    Been doing this for years thinking I made this up. Now I find out the Russians beat me to it. Oh well, it’s still a clever way to join yarns. When I’m concerned that the join thickness will show I cut each ply of the yarn just a little shorter so it becomes more gradual. (Make sure that you cut too close to the join.)

  • Wenchnhalflock

    I love this! I just tried it with kitchen cotton today and it worked perfectly. Thank you so much!

  • Grand30

    Can’t wait to try it out. Hope I’m not too silly to follow your instructions. Can’t wait to show the other crafters in my group as all of us hate joining and find it really tiresome when most wool we buy already have a huge knot in it (even the best yarn you can buy have knots instead of being free of them). All these ideas help to make our work look more professional even if we are intermediate. I’m a beginner in knitting so this will be a real help there.

  • Siouxsiesue

    Fantastic! I’ve just tried out this out and it’s so easy, I can think of so many projects where I could have used this in the past. Thank you!

  • Ximena Porras

    Great, it´s the solution to alpaca wool, cause it´s very slide

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  • Mona Lisa

    I love this! No more ends and no more knots. Very easy to understand.

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  • pepi

    never thought this would work!!!!! but it did, superrrr

  • Guest

    I love this way of joining yarn will be using it on all my projects!

  • Mariasha

    Thanks for the incredibly easy-to-follow directions! This is my new favourite way to join yarn ends!

  • Grammielocw

    Oh, thank you so much for this share. No more knots or hanging ends.

  • Tamra Robertson

    Thank you for such a clever way to join now yarn; can’t wait to try it.

  • Pat

    Wonderful… can’t wait to try this.

  • calluntome

    I have a question ……………… If I’m going to change colors, I want it to change at a certain point, not randomly. With this method, how do you guarantee the point at which to do this in order for the color change to fall right where you want it?

    • Zontee

      Hi calluntome, Patty Lyons here at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio once showed me just this. Her trick was to knit the section in the first color and then clip it, leaving a 2-3 inch tail. Then she unraveled 4 stitches (to leave a little more room for the join), did the Russian join to the second color only weaving in that tail section for the join, and then reknit the 4 stitches and continued knitting, making the change to the second color automatic! Hope that helps!

      • calluntome

        Thank you so much. I’ll have to try this. I make many projects and don’t like the tucking and weaving of the yarn. Also, then my customers don’t have to worry over strings coming out afterwards. God Bless!

  • TAMom

    my gosh .. genius idea, love it!

  • Chris

    Thank you very much I will surely use this.

  • Meg

    Great idea thanks

  • rin

    I don’t get ( :

  • andvand

    I wish I knew this 50 years ago! Oh well, from here on in my knitting will look much more professional! Thank you!

  • Rae

    this is really easy once you do it a few times and also makes quite a difference in your finished project.

  • Monique E.

    So cool…Tks for this post!

  • Katieann179

    What a great way to ‘tie on’ new skeins! I’ll certainly be using it from now on. Thanks for the info.

  • Wendy L. Oldham

    Thank you for this tip. I just finished two baby afghans with yarn I don’t think this would work with as they didn’t have a ply. But, I’m going to use this with all future projects I use ply yarn.

  • Debra Peters

    I did it with “speed cro-sheen” ! very cool – no more knots in my work– thank you, thank you!!

  • Heather McLeland-Wieser

    Looks very cool. Can’t wait to try it. I’ve got 3 project all nearly ready for a new yarn.

  • Sara

    I love this little trick! It’s so much better than knotting them together.

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  • JeanG

    This is very cool. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Evelyn Mayfield

    This is timeless…at 75, I have been crocheting for what seems like centuries and I cannot believe I never learned to do this. Forgot knots; forget crocheting over loose ends; forget weaving zillions of ends at the end of a project. Hands down, best tip ever. I just blogged about this tonight, and pinned it, also…thank you! Here’s the link…

  • MizDoreen

    I have been using this technique for years, it is so simple. You can even use it when changing colors in stead of crocheting over your ends. It keeps them from popping out later.

  • Yvette Marie Arauz Thomas

    Thank you for sharing this! I will have to give this a try.

  • Dixie’s Hat Rack

    OH My Goodness….These tips are awesome…Thank you so very much……Many kudos to you!! :)

  • Linnea McCormack

    This is a great photo/written tutorial. Thanks so much!

  • Tracy

    How does this hold up on an item that gets machine washed?

    • Zoë Williams

      Hi Tracy. I have personally used this join on some cotton dish towels that are regularly machine washed and it seems to be holding up fine. If you are worried, you can always try including a join in your gauge swatch and washing that a few times before you commit to using this join throughout your project!

  • rhonda

    just lovely . Thank you.

  • Atiqur Sumon

    Great tips.

  • lifesaver1

    When we were living in Germany a German neighbor taught me a similar technique – which BTW works best when attaching similar or the same colors as far as how the finished item looks.

  • Goddessence

    I am not getting Step 2. Its not clear. Do I pierce the plies? Or just wind the yarn round the needle?
    Im sure its a great method, I just do not get it from the instruction

    • Lion Brand Yarn

      Hi there! Yes, you’ll want to loosen up the ply of the yarn you’re joining. Separate the plies by inserting the needle through the strand. Hope this helps!