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Ask Amanda: How do I change to a new ball of yarn?

When you’re knitting something large enough to require more than one ball of yarn, your first ball will eventually run out and it will be time to change to a new one.

At its most basic, adding new yarn is as simple as it sounds. You just stop using the old ball and start knitting with the new one. Of course, there are some tips to help make the switch less noticeable:

1. If your knitting is flat, change yarns at the edge of your work.

Changing yarns in the middle of a row can end up looking messy if you’re not careful. If you’re working on something that will be seamed later, deliberately change yarns on the side that will be seamed to make hiding the ends easier.

2. Leave long ends.

When you’re starting to run out of yarn, make sure that you leave a tail that’s at least 6-8” long. This will make the process of weaving them in a lot easier.

3. Use knots sparingly.

The magic of knitting is that something sturdy can be made from a strand of yarn without needing a bunch of knots. Knots have a dangerous tendency to come undone when you least expect, and they’re more noticeable on a finished project. Avoid using them whenever you can.

For demonstrations on both starting a new ball of yarn and weaving in ends, check out this video from our how-to library:

Changing yarn in knitting is a necessary skill to learn, and with a little bit of practice, you will be able to do it quickly and easily.

5 thoughts on “Ask Amanda: How do I change to a new ball of yarn?

  1. Something I learned from my Mom is to weave the 2 ends into each other. Thread a needle and with one end begining 2-3 inches down the other free end and simple weave the needle up and down. Smooth out and return to the 2-3 inch tail and weave it into the other end. Take the now joined wool and roll between your hands and let the friction and warmth of your hands complete the joining.

  2. Generally, I knit with fingering weight, but I’ve often wondered the best way to join the very chunky or bulky yarns. Those balls are often small, without much yardage, so it would be an issue. I think Shelly’s tip above might do the trick!

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