This took me by surprise at first, but as I thought about it, it made sense. With splicing, you get:
- equipment-free joins (no need for a darning needle or scissors)
- no waste (your join uses the ends of the yarn and there’s nothing to cut)
- compact joins that aren’t visible or discernible to the touch
Splicing is not good for…
While this is a great and easy join, its primary use is joining a new ball of the same color. As you’ll see, it blends old and new so you don’t get a clear divide between the two balls.
And, given that you’re basically felting the yarn, you need an animal fiber (wool, alpaca and others). This will not work in vegetable fibers (cotton, linen and others). Regarding blends with man-made fibers (e.g. nylon, Lycra) it will depend. If the yarn is mostly animal fibers it will likely work. Give it a try with a few scraps.
- Old yarn
- New yarn
- Liquid (water or spit)
Yes, spit. I opt to wet both ends with water, but this also goes by the name Spit Splicing and many people just use a little spit, making this a truly Spartan join without needing anything extra.
If you’re like me and you’re not using spit, wet the ends of both the old and new yarn by dipping them in a bit of water. Be careful not to just leave it lying in the water because wool’s wicking property will just suck up the water and you’ll be left with a whole lot of wet yarn (ask me how I found that one out!). You don’t need the yarn to be very wet.
Now for a little elbow grease
Put the old and new yarn opposite of each other, overlapping for about 2-3 inches. Place it in the palm of your hands and rub back and forth to create friction. This isn’t the time to be gentle. You want to felt the two ends together and create a compact join. I also added a bit of water after rubbing for a few moments just to encourage it to merge.
When you’re done it will look like this.
Note that I used a 100% wool (white) and an 80% acrylic, 20% wool (black) for demonstration purposes. So it’s definitely possible to use this join with partly acrylic yarns.
You’ll be knitting with this yarn, so you’re – in essence – weaving in the ends as you go. And it’s even more sturdy because the yarn has been felted to itself. After a few rows you’ll get this:
As you see, no discernible ends, no change in stitch thickness, but you do get a muddy mix of the two colors – making this a great join for adding another ball of the same color.
As I mentioned, my favorite join is the magic knot, so if you’re a splicer – what’s your advice? Any tips you’d like to share?