How to Do The Russian Join & Weave in Less Ends

a close up image of a russian join completed with this tutorial
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Getting near the end of your yarn and all you can think about is how you’re going to have to weave in yet ANOTHER end? Friend, I’m right there with you. Sometimes, when I’m working on a larger project, I will do whatever it takes to avoid having any unnecessary ends to weave in. Enter: the Russian Join. Today I’m going to teach you how to do the Russian Join to help you join your ends together so you have less ends to weave in to your project.

This is one of my favorite joining methods as it creates a secure join that joins two pieces of yarn or a new skein of yarn to the yarn end of your working yarn. I’ve included both a picture tutorial and video tutorial so no matter how you’d like to learn this new technique, I’ve got you covered.

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The Russian Join technique is a great way to join yarns together and avoid extra ends to weave in. It can be used for adding a new skein or changing colours. This can be done for both knitting projects and crocheting projects and it works best with two yarns of the same weight. This technique can be used either at the end of a row or mid-row. Sounds great, right? Here’s how to do it:

To do the Russian Join, you’ll need:

  • two different strands of yarn or two different skeins of yarn (the new yarn you want to attach to your project and the working yarn attached to your project) – you’ll see I’m using two different colors to make this easier to see.

  • a sharp needle. I am using a tapestry / darning needle

Watch my video tutorial on how to do the Russian Join here:

Russian Join Photo Tutorial

  1. Thread your new yarn that you want to attach through the eye of the needle and leave couple of inches of yarn as a tail.
tapestry threaded onto a strand of yarn, next to a pair of scissors

2. Turn the yarn needle back towards the strand of yarn and insert it into the plies. Thread the needle through the plies for about 2 – 3 inches (adjust this to be longer for slippery yarns). Keep the yarn tail inside the plies of the yarn. Make sure you keep a small loop near the top – the smaller the better. I like to put a stitch marker here to help make sure I don’t accidentally lose my loop.

Step 1 of how to do the russian join
tapestry needle being fed through a strand of yarn.

3. Pull the needle all the way through and remove the needle from the thread. It will look bunched up but when you smoothe it out, it will cover the rest of/most of the tail. If your loop is too big, tug on the tail to tighten it up. Trim any excess.

hands manipulating yarn into the russian join
yarn bunched up on itself, holding a stitch marker

scissors cutting the end of yarn from the first half of the russian join.

4. Take your working yarn / the old yarn (ensuring you have a generous tail) and thread it onto the needle, leaving a tail of a few inches. Insert the needle through the little loop at the top of the new yarn that you worked through and insert it back into itself. You can remove your stitch marker now (if you used one).

tapestry needle being fed through the yarn

final step of the tutorial, hands holding yarn

5. Pull the needle all the way through and remove the needle from the thread. It will look bunched up but when you smoothe it out, it will cover the rest of the tail. If your loop is too big, tug on the tail to tighten it up. Trim any excess.

completed russian join

And there you have it. A completed Russian Join. It creates such a neat join and I just love it.

A word of caution: Although I’ve used this technique successfully many times with a variety of yarns I will say that it doesn’t work with all yarn types. There are some heavier yarn or thicker yarns that may look noticably thicker so you’ll have to use your discretion on whether this technique will work for your project.

For the majority of the yarns I have used this with in the past, it hasn’t been very noticeable and allows me to keep working on my project after only a momentary pause to work the join. I would not recommend using this technique with roving yarns, novelty yarns or yarns have have really fine strands to make up a thicker ply like, Caron X Pantone Yarns or as the results I had were messy and too noticeable in my work.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to do the Russian Join. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. I’d love it if you followed me on social media or joined my mailing list. Follow me on any or all of the platforms below:

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4 thoughts on “How to Do The Russian Join & Weave in Less Ends”

  1. Super, well done tutorial that is very easy to understand. Good job and looking forward to your newsletter. Thanks for t.aking the time to do this.


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