Joining a new skein the EZ way

My current bedtime reading is Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Without Tears". I came across her method for joining a new skein of yarn while knitting, without making a knot.

This technique may be in plenty of other books, but it was a new one on me. Unfortunately, it only really works with yarn of the same colour.

I gave this a try, trusting that EZ said it would work, and even using a chunky/bulky yarn it works a treat:

  • Knit to the stitch before the yarn change will occur;
  • knit old and new yarns together for one stitch, leaving a tail for weaving in later;
  • Knit next and subsequent stitches with the new yarn;
  • Gently adjust the tails at the back of the fabric to the appropriate tension;
  • Weave in tails of yarn as usual.

On the subject of EZ, I realised that American readers have an advantage; they can refer to Mrs Zimmerman as "EeeZee". Unfortunately, we Brits - who have a different pronunciation for the last letter of the alphabet - must be content with referring to her "EeeZed".


NeoYankee's picture

I just got my copy of KWOT a couple of days ago... I have to say she's sort of like the grandmother I wish I'd had. Of course, the Nana I *did* have was the one who first taught me to knit, so I can't complain.

And take heart - not all Americans go with "Zee". My Nana was Irish - I grew up with "Zed" and still use it just to freak out my co-workers on occasion :)

Tallguy's picture

WEll, you know, "zed" is the correct way to say it anyway!

boy412's picture

"Echo Zulu" for those familiar with the phonetic alphabet. Been out of the Navy for 14 years and I still catch myself speaking phonetically.

myser10's picture

I actually wonder why people call that the phonetic alphabet when that is actually the military alphabet. The phonetic alphabet they have different names. But that is me just being nitpicky about my major ;)

kylewilliam's picture

I'm a fan of this type of joining:

knit to the color change
knit the first stitch with the new yarn
weave in the tail of the old yarn behind the following stitches
When you get to that spot again, take the tail of the new yarn and weave it in on the following row - using the same weaving technique

Here's a link to the technique I use to weave ends:

this seems to provide a stable support, and keeps me from needing to try to weave ends at the end of a project... I also like "spit splicing" when I'm dealing with wool - it's a bit gross but works REALLY well! - and you don't have to worry about accidentally knitting that second yarn



Britisher's picture

Cool, many thanks for that technique and for the link to the very helpful description and photos. I may have a use for this on my next project, so have saved it to the growing list of favourite links. It's great that people are willing to spend time photographing techniques and writing detailed descriptions.

grandcarriage's picture

E.Z. was from of course she TOTALLY ROCKS!

I do a felt join (same thing as a spit join, but I tend to use tea or water (what I drink when I knit) on most all animal fibers: I've yet to find an animal fiber that won't felt join)... On veg fibers or acrylics, I weave in ends...

EZ was born in England.

rjcb3's picture

The woman is the patron Goddess of knitting! any other name, etc. etc. etc.