At the End of the Ball

One of the things that I have always felt challenged by when crocheting is adding in new yarn when I reach the end of my working ball of yarn.  After years of fiddling with it I have picked my favorite way to join new yarn, and I’m going to show it to you today.

Many folks will tell you to only join yarn at the end or beginning of a row of stitches. That is great advice and often times you can get it to work out. But if you are frugal like myself, you want to use every inch of yarn you can in the project and having excessively long tails left over can be frustrating. Not to mention that you can end up running short of yarn at the end of your project.

The method of joining I like does take a little finessing. My mom would say, “You have to hold your mouth just right.” Basically I join the yarn thru a stitch.

This works especially well if you are joining the same color yarn in the middle of a row. I generally want to pick a stitch that has a regular stitch before and after it, instead of a chain stitch. This gives me a good spot to weave in the tails afterward. Of course sometimes you don’t have that that option because your stitch pattern is lacy with a lot of chain spaces. If that is the case try to pick a spot that has a good place to weave in ends. You want to approach the problem a bit strategically.

When I am looking at how I’ll weave in my ends I think about how I want my fabric to move. If I’m making a bag or sculptural piece with solid dense stitches, fabric movement isn’t all that vital. But if I am making a hat or fingerless mitts I don’t want to restrict the stretch of my fabric. For garments I think about how the fabric will move with the body.

1- End of Blue Yarn

So now we’ve figured out where we want to place our join in our stitch pattern. It’s time to learn this join. I’m using 2 colors for these photos to make it easier to see the join. If you prefer seeing this demonstrated in a video check my “Joining New Yarn” on my YouTube Channel. In the photo above I’ve crocheted into my row of double crochet stitches until I have about 8-10 inches of yarn left.

2 - New Yarn beg tail

I have 2 options of how to complete this join. Both ways involve the same start. Fold the end of your new yarn so that there is a 6 inch tail before the fold. Six inches is my standard tail length I leave, that gives me enough to weave in without fuss, yet short enough I don’t have a lot of waste.

3 - New Yarn on hook

I start my next double crochet stitch with my ending tail. Yarn over, insert in next stitch, Yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull thru 2 loops on hook, yarn over, (here’s where the fun starts) lay the fold in the end of your new yarn over the hook behind the loop nearest the throat of your hook,

4 - 2 loops pulled thru b

Pull your last yarn-over and the new yarn thru the final 2 loops on your hook, this is the part where you have to hold your mouth just right. You’ll have 2 loops on your hook once the double crochet stitch is completed. If you’ve pulled the yarn thru right the back loop is your old yarn and the front loop is the new yarn.

5 - Extend loops and remove hook

Extend the loops and remove hook

6 - Insert hook in new yarn loop

Replace hook in new yarn loop and

7 - pull old yarn loop until end tail comes out of st

Pull up old yarn loop until end comes thru top of stitch.

8- Single new yarn loop

Move the old yarn tail to the back of your work and gently pull the new yarn tail to snug the loop on the hook.

9 - Tails to back held w hook

Hold the new yarn tail and the old yarn tail out of your way as you begin crocheting with the working yarn from the new ball of yarn. I hold the tails with my hook hand to keep even tension on the yarn as I work.

B2 - Reinsert hook thru top 2 loops

A modification of this join is to re-insert you hook into the top of the stitch you are joining thru. First complete the last stitch in the old yarn, pulling the last yarn over thru the last 2 loops on your hook and continue pulling that loop until the tail comes out the top of the stitch. Re-insert your hook thru those last 2 loops again.

B3 - New yarn on hook

Then place the new yarn on the hook and pull thru a loop. Move the tails to your hook hand and you are ready to crochet with the new yarn.

C1 Working over tail

Once I have crocheted back to where I joined the new yarn I like to catch the old yarn tail with the stitch worked into the joining stitch.

C2 Working over tail

I lay the old yarn tail across the top of the stitch and work into the top of the stitch and over the tail. If my fabric doesn’t need to be very flexible I may work a couple of stitches over the tail.

C3b Working over tail

Typically though, I only work one stitch and then weave the tail up the next stitch (A) when I weave my tails. I weave the new yarn tail up thru the stitch before (B) my “catching” stitch.

That is my favorite joining method when adding new yarn of the same color to a project.  I’m sure I didn’t invent this join and some of my readers may have come across it before. There are many ways to join yarn in a project, this one just works best for me. Give it a try and see what you think.




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