Swirling along and joining as I go October 25, 2012 – Posted in: How to, Thursday This and That

I’m thinking in comparison to our Big News of moving next door my post today is going to be quite lame – unless you always wanted to know how to use the Russian Join? (I have long given up on figuring out why something is called “German”, “Russian” or “English” – wondering about names is just futile.)

Anyways, I am knitting away on the “Coat of many Colors” and it is going swimmingly – if you consider you have to join a different color 5 times in 10 rows that seems to be a bit surprising, no? Think about all the ends to weave in! Yikes. That is why even the designer recommends to join the yarns in a way that the ends are worked into the fabric right away, and you do not have to deal with a gazillion of them before being able to put on your coat.

As with many things in knitting this joining of yarns is not for every project and every yarn – in this case I do think it justified, especially since I m working with multicoloured yarn that hides the joins very well. You might have seen the yarn kits for the coat in the store and wondered how the different skeins would be combined. Well, the pattern specifies a stripe sequence and in part of that sequence you have to switch colour every row.

You’ll need a tapestry needle as small as possible for your working yarn. I like to have a tail of about 6-8″.

The smaller the needle, the more accurate the work.

Loop ends of yarn around each other as shown.

Insert needle into yarn as shown.

Do that for about 2″ – the yarn will be scrunched up on the needle.

Pull needle through and off the yarn, leave yarn scrunched.

Cut end of yarn – not straight but so it tapers to a tip.

Pull on yarn to straighten the scrunched part – make sure you hold on to the joined yarn on the other end or it will slip out.

The end is secured ‘inside’ the yarn and barely shows.

Repeat on second end of yarn towards the other side.

Voila, a Russian Join.

Where the yarn is joined it has double the thickness – I like to pull really tight when knitting to make up for that fact. While it is not ‘invisible’, the join is barely noticeable.

I find the Russian Join lends itself to joining multicoloured or variegated yarn, yarn with multiple plies so that you can ‘hide’ the end ‘inside’.

That’s all I’ve got for today – let’s see what I can come up with next week!

– Mona