Finishing work is usually saved for the end of the project, but it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of easy ways that you can speed things up. Here are my favorite ways to add new colors or change skeins without weaving in ends.
The Russian Join: This is a fantastic way to add a new skein of yarn to your work without weaving in any ends. It creates a steady, secure join, so it’s great for most yarns.
The Felted Join: Working with wool or another feltable yarn? Try the felted join! This technique locks your two yarns together, creating a solid join without a darning needle.
Crochet over your ends: Why use a darning needle when you can use your hook? This quick strategy allows you to keep crocheting as you tuck your yarn ends into place.
Do you have a time-saving tip? Be sure to share it in the comments below!
Bright pop colors have increased in popularity over the past few years. It’s always fun to incorporate neons into your yarn crafting, but how can you create a bright project that’s neutral enough for everyday use? The answer is simple: pair your neons with a neutral border! I like to use white for a clean, modern look. To illustrate this, I’ve made a few granny squares in the newest bright shades of Vanna’s Choice: Radiant Orange, Radiant Yellow, and Radiant Lime.
As you can see, the squares are super fun and vibrant, but maybe they’re a touch too fluorescent for an everyday afghan.
Here, I’ve added a border in the Buttermilk shade of Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend. The creamy white breaks up the neon and softens the brightness. I can absolutely see myself making an entire afghan out of this color combination!
What do you think of the neon trend? Let us know in the comments!
Let’s face it: weaving in ends is not nearly as fun as crocheting or knitting. My favorite way to avoid weaving in ends is the felted join. Also affectionately dubbed the spit splice, this method is the perfect way to add join a new skein to your work. Keep in mind that this will only work on feltable fibers like non-superwash wool, alpaca, mohair, and so on. Here are step-by-step instructions on this fast and easy technique. I used 2 different colors so that you can better see the technique, but this works brilliantly for attaching the same color yarn practically invisibly.
Step 1: Carefully untwist your yarn for a few inches and separate the half of the plies. This Fishermen’s Wool has 4 total plies, so I’ve divided my yarn into 2 sets of 2 plies each. 2-ply yarn would be separated into 2 sets of 1 ply each, 6-ply yarn would be 2 sets of 3 plies each, and so on.
Step 2: Take one set of your plies. A few inches down (4-5 inches, just to be safe), break these plies. Now you’ll have a set of longer plies and a set of shorter plies.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the yarn you’ll be joining.
Step 4: Lay the long sets of plies next to each other. This will be the transition section of your yarn. Because each long piece of yarn only has half the plies, you’ll end up with roughly the correct thickness in your join.
Step 5: Get your yarn wet. You can dip it in water, mist with some water, add some saliva — just get it wet. Remember, felting simply requires heat, humidity, and agitation.
Step 6: Let’s felt! Rub the yarns together in your hands briskly. Continue for a few minutes until the fibers have locked together. You may need to add some more water if your yarn isn’t wet enough.
Step 7: Give both sides of the yarn a gentle tug. If they’re firmly locked, congratulations! You’ve made a felted join! If not, just continue the felting process until the yarn is secure.
Now you’ll have an easy and secure join in your yarn, so you can continue crafting with having to weave in ends.
In 2007, we started our on-demand radio show (aka podcast), YarnCraft. Since then, we’ve aired over 100 episodes, featuring behind-the-scenes stories from Lion Brand, interviews with people ranging from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to Vanna White to Nicky Epstein, and tons of useful tips and pattern recommendations.
I’ve had the pleasure of working on each of these episodes, first as a producer and then later also as a co-host, and I’d like to invite you to check out the show if you haven’t already.
Here are just a few reasons you might enjoy YarnCraft, straight from our listeners…
Each episode features a main theme/topic, as well as other fun segments. We cover topics ranging from patterns for particular seasons to becoming a professional knit or crochet designer.
“YarnCraft inspires me to try things I never would have tried. Hearing advice from other crafters gives me confidence and ideas to create things on my own. I look forward to every podcast and I learn something new each time!” – Erin, Denver, CO
“I just listened to the podcast on shaping…wow, how informative! […] You inspire me to tackle things I would never even consider. Thank you for providing a podcast that is informative and interesting and benificial to increasing my skills and knowledge of yarncrafting.” – Allison, Morton, IL
Have you liked our Facebook page? If so, you should see all of our tutorials, questions, pictures, and conversations in your Facebook news feed. However, recent changes to the Facebook have made it so that not all of our posts may make it into your feed, even though we’re still updating our page frequently. Thankfully, there’s a super easy solution to make sure you catch all of our updates!
First, visit our Facebook page. After you’ve liked the page, you’ll see a “Liked” button. Simply click that, then make sure the “Show in News Feed” option is checked. That’s all there is to it! If you use interest lists on Facebook, you can also add us to a list for easy content sorting. Now you’ll be able to see our posts directly in your feed instead of having to come to our page.
That’s one of the most popular questions on the Lion Brand FAQ section. Maybe you don’t have a pattern with you when you shop or you want to design your own creation. Having a general idea of the amount of yarn you will need for a project can be helpful in the planning phase before you get started.
Click here to see an approximate yardage for a variety of projects from afghans to scarves and get an idea how much yarn each project takes in some of our most popular yarns.
Did you know that we offer so much more than patterns and products on our site? We’ve developed a wide range of information that is designed to help expand your yarn crafting horizons. From a helpful list of pattern abbreviations to a virtual encyclopedia of stitch patterns, you’ll find a wealth of useful facts, images, and instructions that help you grow your skills and hopefully bring you more enjoyment when you pick up your hooks and needles.
If there anything we don’t have that you’re looking for, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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!
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.
Group crafting can be a lot of fun because you get to chat and form new friendships, find new inspirations, or even become someone else’s source of inspiration. It’s also beneficial to knit or crochet in groups if you find that you need some help with a project or with understanding certain techniques. To help make it easier for you to find knit and crochet groups/clubs in your area, Lion Brand Yarn created a database to search possible options near your area.
Everybody needs a helping hand sometimes. If you’re stuck on a pattern and reach out to us, you might get the chance to chat with Laura! She’s one of our resident experts, and I’m always impressed with her encyclopedic knowledge of all things yarncrafting. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out this sweet email from Diane:
Over the past couple of years, since I’ve gotten back into knitting, I’ve run into pattern problems that I couldn’t figure out for myself. You have been such a tremendous help, talking me through the rough spots and making it possible for me to finish several sweaters for our two sets of twin great-grandchildren and one teenage grandson. All of the patterns I used were labeled “Easy,” but in each I needed a little assistance. I appreciate having a support line, and most of all I appreciate knowing that you’re going to be there for my next question.
Thanks so much for your email, Diane! Remember, if you need help with a pattern, please reach out to us! You can call 800-661-7551 on weekdays or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tired of weaving in ends whenever you reach a new skein in your crochet project? Avoiding crochet colorwork project because there are too many ends? Try crocheting over your ends! This easy technique allows you to keep on crocheting so that the end you have to weave in is the very last one. Here’s how to do it.
You’ll have two pieces of yarn: the working yarn and the tail you’re weaving in (top image). Place the tail over the top of your next stitch (second image). Then, complete your stitch as normal (third image). This securely hides your tail in the middle of the stitch (bottom image). Continue in this manner until the entire tail has been used, then snip any excess yarn that may be sticking out. That’s all there is to it! This technique is helpful for both stripes and solids, so get crocheting!