Scrap Skeins and The Russian Join
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By Maile Mauch

The Russian Join is used to join two yarns together without a knot. This method can be used to join another yarn while knitting or to create a scrap skein. It is used on non-felting yarns such as cotton, linen, silk, rayon and bamboo.

Supplies Needed

• Assorted yarn

• 2 tapestry needles

• Scissors

Choosing Yarn

When choosing yarn for a scrap skein, start with yarns of the same thickness. It’s also best to combine yarns of similar fiber content for washability.

Sorting Colors

The color palette is open to you; choose a “colorpalooza” scheme with all random colors, or a family of colors in solids from the darks to the lights (called ombré), or variegated with related colors in the color run. Try a contrasting skein with colors that are opposites on the color wheel such as blues and orange, or pinks and greens—your imagination is the limit.

Once you have decided on a color scheme for your yarn, you can begin joining the yarn. If you want to have short repeats of colors, change yarns more frequently. The beauty of the Russian Join is that you can change yarn color as you are knitting and rejoin a color where you want it.

Russian Join

1. Decide the length of the first color and cut the length. Place tapestry needles at the ends of the first and second yarns to join.

2.  Make a 1-inch loop with the first yarn (A) and thread tapestry needle through the yarn. It helps if you untwist the yarn slightly before you place needle in the yarn. Slide needle in about 2 inches. Do not pull yarn at this point (Photo 1).


3. With second yarn (B) put needle through loop in yarn (A) and thread needle into the second yarn about 2 inches (Photo 2).


4. Pull needles through the yarns, tightening the loops and creating a join. At this time take scissors and trim needle ends of the yarn close to the yarn surface (Photo 3).


You have joined the two yarns and are on your way to a scrap skein! Continue joining yarns until you have enough for a project (Photo 4).


Note: 8-ply yarns can be joined using the Russian Join method, but instead of creating a bulky join, cut several of the plies in varying lengths and join a smaller section

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