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Joining Yarns in Tunisian Crochet

Imagine a world, dear readers, where your favourite ball of yarn never ran out – a world where that downy alpaca, shimmering silk or soft merino slid continuously between your industrious fingers and into project after glorious project.

I’ll leave you with that image for a moment…
It’s worth savouring the idea, isn’t it?

Alas, of course, this is merely a dream. The reality is that yarn runs out and it’s a rare project indeed that doesn’t require you to join the end of one ball of yarn to the beginning of another.

“I just knot it”, is a common refrain when I bring up this topic in a beginners’ class, and indeed, that is a valid way of solving the problem, but there are better ways, smoother ways, and since I can’t find much on this topic for Tunisian Crochet, I’m going to run you through my favourite joining method below.

The Return Pass Join:
This little trick works well for both solid fabrics and lace.
The idea here is that the joined yarns will be partially woven in as you work, and therefore won’t disrupt the look of the stitches you’ve made.

And since the join only disrupts the return pass on a row of Tunisian, any lace detail worked on the forward pass will remain totally uninterrupted.

In the sample below, I’m working on a solid TSS fabric (because this is what I have to hand. More in this project in autumn).

^ When you are nearing the end of your current ball, work the forward pass of the next row as usual, and begin the return pass.

^ A few sts into the return pass, pause, and introduce your new ball strand. Lie them so there are a few inches extra on either side of the overlap.

^ Hold strands together using your working hand. Use your other hand to hold new strand against fabric so that it’s out of the way.

^ With both strands held together in your working hand, Yarn Over.
Remember, your other hand is still holding the new end against the back of your fabric so that it won’t be a nuisance.

^ Draw that double-stranded Yarn Over through 2 loops.
You will notice that the loop closest to the hook is now double-stranded. This is good. This means your new and your old balls are sharing duty and you’re half-way transferred from one ball to the other.

^ It’s time now to drop the new ball’s strand that you’ve been holding in your other hand. It’s secure enough in the fabric now that it won’t slide out on you as you work.
In this image, I’ve the end of the new strand in my left hand, and I’m about to drop it.

From this point on, you can carry on with your new ball and complete the return pass as usual.

^ Can you see the join? It’s right there in the middle.
Slide your finger back and forth to see. Neat, huh?

^ Here’s a picture of the back when you’re all doing joining and have a few extra rows worked beyond.

Now, all you have holding those ends together is half a stitch, remember, and that’s a lot of trust to place in so tiny a piece of crochet, so I recommend you weave both ends in separately before you go to town with a scissors.

And so, dear crafters, I leave you with a puzzle.
In the image below, there is a join.

Think you can find it?

Happy Crafting!

3 thoughts on “Joining Yarns in Tunisian Crochet

  1. Wow that’s perfect! Thank you, you changed my day and I can’t find anyone who explains that. A lot of tutorials about color changes but it’s not the same: with a color change I have the opportunity to block the yarn when I have to change back color again, but when the yarn ball is finished, it’s finished! But… what if yhe yarn ball finishes in the middle of the forward pass? And let’s say I have A LOT of stitches on my hook so I don’t want to waste so much yarn going back to the previous return pass? Is there a method, other than making a knot, to change yarn in the FP? Thanks a lot for your work, bye. Viola

    1. Hi Viola!

      I’m happy to help!

      OK, so, on the forward pass, my usual go-to involves holding both old and new strands for a total of two stitches, then dropping the old strand and carrying on as normal from there.

      On the NEXT row’s forward pass, I usually pull the two loose strands tight at the back to identify them, then I only crochet through the true lines (that don’t tighten when I pull) so that the texture of my fabric remains as consistent as possible.

      That all said, you will still see a slight shift in texture with this method, but if you’re careful about sewing your ends in, there will be very little disturbance overall.

      Let me know if this works for you, won’t you?
      A x

  2. Thank you so much! This was very easy to follow, even for a beginner at Tunisian. Pictures and descriptions all made it very clear. I was dreading switching yarns as one ball ran out, but this made it easy. Thank you again!

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