Spit Splicing Two Colours

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.

Light grey garter stitch knitting on the needle held by right hand with working yarn laid across left hand in charcoal grey, showing the colour changing immediately adjacent to last stitch worked.

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).

Supplies needed for spit splicing two colours includes knitting with yarn attached, a second colour of yarn, a locking stitch marker.

2. Place a locking stitch marker through the working yarn immediately after the last stitch, to mark where the knitting stops.

Left hand holding knitting on the needle and right hand holding a locking stitch marker that's piercing the working yarn next to the last stitch worked.

3. Undo the last 6 to 8 stitches. (Check out the Pro Tip in Step 4 to determine the number of stitches.)

Six stitches unraveled on right needle and remaining stitches on left needle; right hand holds unraveled yarn with a stitch marker pinned several inches down its length.

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.

5 ½" tail with a measuring tape laid alongside it; stitch marker pinned at the 2" mark; tail extends from last st worked which is 6 stitches from end of row.

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.

Tail of yarn has been unpaid and two of the plies have been torn from the tail; there's a measuring tape which indicates that the unpaid section is about 4".

6. Repeat Step 5 with the new colour.

Two hands unplying some charcoal yarn.

7. Cross the two ends so they’re perpendicular to one another.

Hand open with palm up and unplied yarn from ends of two different colours of yarn crossed on palm.

8. Fold the tails back on themselves, overlapping the unplied sections (same colour on same colour).

Unplied ends of two different colours of yarn looped through one another and laid across fingers of a face up palm.

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.

Two loops of yarn in different colours, held taught between two hands and wet.

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.

Wet ends of yarn looped around one another laid across palm with other hand about to sandwich the yarn.

11. Reposition as needed and continue rubbing until the individual plies are felted together. This completes the spit splice.

Felted together two-colour join  laid across palm of hand looking even and consistent along its length.

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.

Several rows of light grey garter stitch with two charcoal grey ridges above, on the needles, showing that the two-colour join occurred perfectly at the end of a row.