How to Use a Russian Join for Knitting and Crochet

knit russian join yarn tutorial from Banana Moon Studio

What is a Russian join?

Hi friends! Today I’m teaching you how to use a Russian join for knitting and crochet projects. This isn’t the way to change colors when working in multiple colors, but it’s a fantastic way to join in a new skein of the same color, when the first skein runs out.

Why would you want to join a new skein this way instead of however you’ve done it before? Well, for starters, the ends are all woven in by the time you finish joining. It really doesn’t take all that long to do this once you get the hang of it, and there are NO ends left to weave in afterwards! Those ends will be really secure! Believe me, they are not coming undone from this!

Before we get started, note that I am using two contrasting colors of yarn. That’s so that you can see more easily what to do. You won’t want to use this joining method when you are joining a new color into your work. This method is just for joining in a new ball of the same color.

Here’s how you do a Russian join for knitting and crochet

Start by laying both skeins of yarn out on a flat surface and crossing the two ends to be joined.

Joining to skeins of yarn with a Russian join. tutorial from Banana Moon Studio.

Next, fold the ends back on themselves so that they are looped around each other.

Joining in a new ball of yarn with a Russian knot for crochet or knitting. Tutorial from Banana Moon Studio.

Next, thread one of those ends onto a yarn needle and start weaving in the end through the yarn itself just after where it loops past the other end, so that you trap the other end inside the loop you are making.

Demonstrating a Russian join technique for joining in a new ball of yarn. Hand holding a needle and yarn. Text reads: BananaMoonStudio.com.

Continue working the needle back and forth through the yarn, working toward your yarn ball/skein.

Eventually you’ll have the yarn bunched up on your needle like in the image above-right. Then you will hold the yarn you were working into just below where your needle starts going through it, and pull the needle tip through the yarn.

Two hands holding yarn and a yarn needle. Yarn is bunched up on the needle and the hands are pulling that yarn down the needle toward the eye.

And repeat…

You’ll repeat that process for the other end. If there is a little bit of a yarn tail hanging out, pull it a little to tighten up the loop in your join, then you can cut off that extra.

A hand holding a strand of dark blue yarn over a white lace background. Text reads: BananaMoonStudio.com.

Then your Russian join is finished and should look something like mine in the photo below.

Two balls of yarn with their ends joined in a Russian join and an empty yarn needle on a white lace background. Text reads: BananaMoonStudio.com.

Your two yarn ends are looped around each other, folded in half back on themselves, and woven into the yarn going back to the skein. Your yarn ends will be further secured when you crochet or knit with this yarn and it get’s included in stitches. And that, my friends, is how you do a Russian join for knitting and crochet projects!

What are Russian joins good for?

As I worked on this Russian join, it occurred to me how awesome this will be for lace projects (like my Willow Creek Wrap)! One of the really frustrating parts about lace projects for me is finding a place to weave in the ends that they won’t show and won’t come undone. I will use Russian joins in lace projects from now on! And you can use this technique whether you are crocheting or knitting!

This is also great when you are using yarns that don’t have any, or much, grab to them. With a lot of animal fibers, ends stay woven in pretty well because the scales on the fibers grab each other and the ends stay locked in. However, when working with fibers that don’t do that…well, we’ve probably all had projects where our ends wouldn’t stay put. Cotton, acrylic, bamboo, silk — with many of these yarns, it can be nearly impossible to keep your ends from coming undone. I will use Russian joins when using these yarns as well.

And that’s it! I’d love to hear how using Russian joins has helped you with your crochet or knitting! If you’d like to know another, even easier, but still secure way to join in a new ball of yarn, check out this post of mine as well!

Happy stitching!

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Russian knot for joining yarn in crochet or knitting. Photo tutorial from Banana Moon Studio.

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