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?