Monday, April 12, 2010

Russian Join

Hello! It's good to be back, after a considerable hiatus while we worked out our new production schedule. I hope everyone is enjoying the new expanded Verena. We are now able to present many more of the patterns from the German edition in a larger format.

The shipping glitch seems to have been worked out and people are getting their Spring 2010 issues and getting busy planning Spring knitting projects. Perhaps a splurge with a tax return? As the weather warms up, those of us who cannot contemplate 6 months without knitting tend to put away the bulky yarns and start thinking about lace. We had a question in the forums about how to weave in ends in a lace pattern, so I thought I would discuss some of the options here since we have so many lace patterns in the Spring issue and more to follow in Summer. By the way, we just finished our shoot for the Summer issue in majestic Tulum, Mexico a few weeks ago, Elle magazine following close on our heels with a summer fashion shoot. I can't wait to see the pictures.

But I was talking about lace and what to do with the ends of the yarn when you don't have a skein long enough to knit an entire garment. If you've already completed the knitting and have ends to weave in, keep to the thicker areas of the pattern and leave some ease as you go, since you'll stretch the lace when you block it. Leave a long tail, you'll notice it's much shorter after blocking. Weave it in a bit more after blocking just for good measure and trim. If you're knitting with something that felts, there is always the tried and true graft, or spit splice. But if you're knitting in a light, summery cotton or rayon, what can you do?

A Russian Join is the answer here. As you come to the end of a ball, thread the end of your yarn through an embroidery needle about the same thickness, or less, as your yarn, leaving a fairly short tail. Take your needle and go through the yarn loosening the plies, and weaving back through for a couple of inches.

Pull your needle through the yarn, leaving a small loop where it doubles back on itself. Pull the end all the way through and tug on the ends to smooth out the doubled area.

Be sure to keep the loop on the end open.

Thread the end of your incoming ball onto the needle and through the loop you just made at the end of the outgoing yarn.

Repeat the same procedure with the end of the new ball of yarn.

Smooth out the yarn by tugging gently on the ends to close up the loops.Trim the ends on the diagonal so they blend better.

This may sound fidgety and complicated, but it's one of those things that is far worse in the describing than it is in the doing. The yarn I used here is Rowan Classic Siena, fingering weight mercerized cotton. In a springier yarn the doubled area would be even less visible. The join is very strong, all but invisible once knitted and well worth the effort for continuous knitting of non-animal fibers with no ends to weave in. Try it next time you have to join a new yarn and let me know how it goes!

We would like to correct the misspelling of Muench on the Resource page in our Spring issue. They carry many of the lovely buttons featured in our button article. Visit their website, for yarn, buttons and more.

If you haven't yet subscribed to Margery's newsletter I encourage you to do so. She started Knitbits for Berroco back in the day, which is now one of the most widely read newsletters in knitting. She recently visited the craft show in Handarbeit, found Verena to be the most widely read knitting magazine in Europe and generally got to see things from the other side of the water. 


  1. Hello! I'd like to say how much I LOVE the Spring/Summer edition of Verena Knitting. I have purchased all the issues for the past year and a half, since I discovered this magazine. This issue has topped them all! Keep up the good work! :-)

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