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Joining Yarn by Splitting Plies and Re-twisting

How to splice yarn ends for an invisible join
by Jackie E-S

Splitting plies and re-twisting is a method to splice two ends of yarn. This creates a single continuous length of yarn with an invisible join.

The splitting plies and re-twisting method works on feltable fibers such as wool (i.e. not superwash). To use this method, your yarn should also be composed of two or more twisted strands, called plies.

Note: If your yarn does not meet both of these requirements, then you can use alternative methods such as Stitching Together and Russian Join.

Step 1: Un-twist and separate half the plies (or as close to half as possible) on the end of one of the yarns for about 4 inches (10 cm), then do the same with the other end of yarn to be joined.

The example shown is a 2-ply yarn. One ply has been separated from the other ply. If your yarn were composed of 3 twisted strands (i.e. a 3-ply yarn), you would separate two of the plies from the other ply. If your yarn were composed of 4 twisted strands (i.e. a 4-ply yarn), you would separate two of the plies from the other two. And so on for yarns with more plies.

Click to enlarge
The ends of the yarn have been separated

Step 2: Break off a 4 inch length of separated ply(s) from the end of each yarn.

In the example of the 2-ply yarn shown, one of the separated plies has been broken off each yarn end for a total of 2 strands remaining on both yarn ends.

If you are joining a 3-ply yarn, you would break off the group of 2 of the plies from the remaining ply; on the other end you would break off 1 of the plies from the remaining group of 2 plies. This gives a total of 3 strands remaining on both yarn ends..

If you are joining a 4-ply yarn, you would break off a separated group of 2 plies off each yarn end for a total of 4 strands remaining on both yarn ends.

Click to enlarge
The yarn ends with half the plies broken off

Step 3: Lay the remaining separated plies of each yarn end side-by-side and in opposite directions across your palm.

Click to enlarge
Remaining plies laid side by side in palm

Step 4: Slightly moisten the area to be joined, and briskly rub your other palm back and forth across it until the fibers re-twist and lightly fuse together. Because the total number of separated plies was equal to the number of plies in the rest of the yarn, the result after re-twisting should be a uniform thickness across the join.

Click to enlarge
The remaining plies of the yarn ends partially fused together

Step 5: Let the joined yarn area dry, then proceed with your knitting.

Click to enlarge
The joined yarn

For other methods of joining yarn, see Stitching Together and Russian Join.

Return to Index of Jackie E-S Articles & Tips.

Can I help you further? Thank you for stopping by. I am here to serve you. For your convenience, you may contact me by any of these means. Kind regards, Jackie E-S

Email address: jackie@heartstringsfiberarts.com
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Direct line for HeartStrings pattern support and customer service: 985-764-8094 or 877-764-2747 (toll-free in US)
Postal address: HeartStrings, Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, 53 Parlange Drive, Destrehan LA 70047-2133 USA

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Last revised Thursday, 11-Jul-2013 07:45:17 CDT