Knitting 101: Attaching a New Ball of Yarn to a Project


There comes a time in every knitter’s life when a single ball or skein of yarn just isn’t enough to complete the project. I touched on this a tiny bit when I discussed dye lot numbers on the yarn label at the beginning of the month, but now I’m going to go over the way I add a new ball of yarn to a project, step by step.

The first thing to figure out is whether you’re knitting a flat piece or something in the round. If you’re knitting flat, then you’ll have edges, and that’s the best place to attach a new ball of yarn. If you’re working in the round (as I was when I took the pictures for this post), you don’t have the luxury of a edge, so you just have to do the best you can on your piece.

Here’s how to do it. Oh, and for reference, the steps are the same whether you’re adding a new ball of the same color or a new ball of a different color (for stripes, perhaps).

First, make sure to stop knitting far enough in advance that you have a tail to weave in later. This means don’t knit up to the very last centimeter of yarn. Leave a good 6 inches or more to work with.


Get your new yarn ready by pulling out (or off, depending on whether you knit from the inside of the ball or the outside) a reasonable amount of yarn.


Insert your needle into the next stitch, in whichever orientation you need to use for the stitch (knit or purl). Make a loop of the new yarn end by folding it over on itself, leaving a 6 inch (or more) tail. You’ll need this tail later to weave in the end neatly. Loop the folded part over your right hand needle and pull it through the old stitch, just as if you were knitting normally.


Separate the tail and the new working yarn. Knit a few stitches in the new yarn. Stop and take a look at the right side of your work. Do the new stitches look as even as the old ones? If so, great! Tie the old tail (from the expired ball of yarn) and the new tail (which you created when you made that loop to begin this tutorial) together. I like to use a square knot because they feel more secure to me.


All done! You’re ready to continue knitting to your heart’s content – or until you run out of yarn again.


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