How To's

How to Do The Russian Join Step-by-Step Tutorial

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, particularly 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.

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The Russian Join 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 and crocheting and works best with two yarns of the same weight. Sounds great, right? Here’s how to do it:

To do the Russian Join, you’ll need:

  • two different yarns (the new yarn you want to attach to your project and the working yarn attached to your project)
  • a tapestry or darning needle

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

  1. Thread a tapestry needle with the new yarn that you want to attach and leave a tail a few inches long.
tapestry threaded onto a strand of yarn, next to a pair of scissors

2. Turn the 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 (ensuring you have a generous tail) and thread it onto the needle, leaving a tail of a few inches. Insert the needle through the small 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.

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 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 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. Do you have another favourite way to join your yarn or a way you’d like me to demonstrate here? Let me know your thoughts below.

While you’re here, check out these tutorials and learn something new:

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