Spit splicing is one of my favourite ways to join a new ball of yarn when working with wool and wool blends. But what about when you need to join a new colour? I’ve developed this spit splicing technique that can save you so much time weaving in ends.
The yarn you use needs to have some wool content for this to work. I’ve had great success spit splicing blends with as little as 30% wool, as well as with superwash wool.
1. Work to the end of the row (or where you need to join a new colour).
2. Place a locking stitch marker through the working yarn immediately after the last stitch, to mark where the knitting stops.
3. Undo the last 6 to 8 stitches. (Check out the Pro Tip in Step 4 to determine the number of stitches.)
4. Break the yarn 2 inches / 5 cm beyond the marker. It’s important to break the yarn as opposed to cutting it with scissors. The feathery ends will help camouflage the join.
Pro Tip: Take note of the length of the tail from the last stitch worked and how many stitches are left to be worked in the row. In my example, the tail is about the same length as the end of my circular knitting needle. For future joins in the same project, I skip the first 3 steps and use the needle length to determine where to break my yarn. By adjusting the number of stitches to undo in Step 3, you can make tail length match the length of your needle (or some other tool that’s handy).
5. Untwist the last 4 inches / 10 cm of the tail and separate the plies. Remove 1 or 2 of the plies.
6. Repeat Step 5 with the new colour.
7. Cross the two ends so they’re perpendicular to one another.
8. Fold the tails back on themselves, overlapping the unplied sections (same colour on same colour).
9. Hold all the ends together and wet the yarn. This is where the “spit” comes in. It’s easiest to pop the yarn between your lips and give it a loving, but wet kiss! 😉 Of course, if this makes you squeamish, you’re more than welcome to use a glass of water.
10. Carefully lay the wet yarn on the palm of your hand and with your other hand, briskly rub your palms together. The yarn will begin to felt.
11. Reposition as needed and continue rubbing until the individual plies are felted together. This completes the spit splice.
You’ll have about 2 inches / 5 cm of felted old colour followed by 2 inches / 5 cm of felted new colour.
When you resume knitting, the join should land approximately at the end of the row.
Patterns that would be great candidates for using this technique: