Knitting-in Ends

I decided to try something new (for me) and to knit-in the ends of the wool when I start a new ball.  I find the method very simple to do but I don't like the way it looks on the right side (a little uneven, lumpy, just wrong).  First, I knitted-in both strands (old and new) but that was absolutely unsatisfactory so I took it out.  Then, I tried knitting-in just on strand and that was better but still not acceptable.  I'm not knitting tightly and am trying to accomodate the strand(s) on the back side.

Does anyone have experience doing this and can you give me some suggestions so that it looks fine on the right side of the work?  It would be nice to have one less step to do when finishing a project.


ronhuber's picture

I always use the spit felt method when using pure wool.    I remove one ply from each end and wet them.  I then overlap them in my palm and with the other palm rub them together.  The wetness and heat from the friction felts the two end together and you knit on nomally. No ends to deal with when the work is finished. It has always worked for me.  I learned this method over 40 years ago.  Someone has told me that superwash wool will not take this method of joining.

YarnGuy716's picture

I use the spit splice method also when using 100% wool.  Because superwash wool is treated not  to shrink/felt, this method does not work.  But otherwise it works just fine.  Although when I've done it at our Thursday night knitting circle, which meets at a large book store chain, I have gotten some odd looks from other non-knitting patrons.  But then again, if I wern't a knitter and I saw someone lick their palm and rub 2 strands of yarn between their hands I'd think they were pretty wacky myself.

I've tried the knit in the ends method when not using wool and like you, was not satisfied with the results. So I've stuck to weaving them in.  I try to do that as I work on a piece so that is not all left for the finishing at the end.

I've never tried the yarn splice method, tho I'm sure it works well if you're using wool and if you're joining the same color. If it's a new color, I'd think you'd have to do some very careful measuring or lots of trial and error to get the join to fall where you want it.

I have used the "knitting in" method you tried quite a bit. If the join is on a seam or somewhere less noticible, then it's not bad if you knit those double-stranded stitches a little tighter. But it does leave thick stitches that can be noticible, especially if it's in the middle of a row.

The method I've been using most lately is to make the first stitch with the new yarn, then bring the tail over the ball yarn before making the second stitch. Then bringing it over again, stitch, over again, stitch, repeat as much as you want while tightening the tail yarn every couple stitches.  The benefit of this is that you're basically weaving in the tail yarn on the back side of the work while you're knitting and do not have to weave it in after. It does not show on the front side of the work. You can do this with both "tails" (old yarn and new) or just with the new yarn tail and have one less to weave in later.

grandcarriage's picture

Actually,  as far as the spit splice...  I find that it works on most any animal fibre...  you want to "feather" the break if possible...overlap the splice for several stitches:  the plies should be reduced or the worsted yarn should be split and a little removed so that the thickness is approximate to the original.  Even superwash/blends will felt a bit if given enough heat, moisture and friction.  The secret is to make sure that you have enough stitches trapping the join..the knitting will help hold it together.  Also, if you "unply" you don't have to break the extra plies, but let them hang loose and sew them in afterwards...Less bulk and a very secure join.

MMario's picture

I am a blasphemous heathen. I knot.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Aaronknits's picture

That makes two of us!

like most of the other commenters - i'm a die-hard advocate of the spit splice! Its the only way to join with no noticeable bulk!

Using mostly superwash wool, I find that knitting three or four stitches with both strands and then weaving in the two ends works well for me. Not really happy with the ends problem in superwash, as sometimes the best of weaving works loose when a garment is washed.


When weaving in both ends, I use a few (3 to 5) stitches of duplicate stitch and then pick up another three or four stitches on the diagonal. While not perfect, it works pretty well for me.