You need to link a fresh ball of yarn to your project to continue knitting, regardless of whether you run out of yarn before finishing the item or are changing colors for stripes or other colorwork.
Switching between balls is a skill that every knitter must possess since running out of yarn is almost inevitable when knitting. Fortunately, there are a few different approaches, and practice is simple.
However, it would be best to assess why you ran out of yarn before finishing your project. Doing so will help you choose the suitable method to complete your project and produce ideal results.
Possible Reasons Why You Ran Out of Yarn
Knitting patterns usually indicate the amount of fiber you need, the tension, finished item size. However, there are various reasons why you could run out of yarn while knitting. Although it might seem tricky, there are different ways to deal with it according to why you ran out of yarn.
Tension or Gauge
One of the most crucial stages is to create a tension sample before beginning your knitting project. So, I advise you to measure your tension and compare it with what the pattern suggests.
Checking your tension ensures that your final measurements will match the ones shown in the pattern and produce ideal results. The tension sample also impacts fiber consumption. So, if your tension varies because you’re knitting too loosely, you can run out of yarn.
If your tension were accurate at first, it would be best to check if you kept the same gauge throughout the project. You can check your gauge in several parts of your project to achieve this.
Correct Number of Stitches
However, if your tension is ideal, I advise you to confirm that the rows and stitches in your creation follow the size-specific pattern guidelines. You may have unintentionally increased the number of rows or stitches in the project.
Doing so leads to more use of your yarn than the pattern suggested and the kit predicted for each design and size. But there’s no need to feel unnerved because you have two choices if you notice a gauge issue.
The first option is to unravel your work and start over, following the correct tension. I recommend this method if you want the best alternative to guarantee that your finished item will have the proper proportions, texture, and fit.
It would be best to try knitting the gauge sample according to the pattern’s instructions. But if you’re still having issues with getting the proper tension, I recommend going down a needle or crochet hook size to make up for it and match the pressure specified in the pattern.
Once you achieve the appropriate tension, you can start your project and keep it at that level. This way, you will have enough yarn to finish your garment. The finished item will be well worth the effort. Don’t give up if you make a mistake the first few times.
However, if you believe you have the proper tension and follow the pattern’s instructions correctly, the only option is to join a new ball of yarn.
How Do You Join Yarn When You Run Out?
It would be best to first lay a new ball over the needle with the yarn tail protruding in front of the knitting to join a new ball. Next, hold the new and old yarns together as if they were one long strand of yarn. Knit three stitches with the combined threads, then carry on knitting with it.
Joining the Edge
Making the switch at the end of a row is the simplest option to join a new ball of yarn. You can also use this approach to change colors when knitting rows of stripes.
Here’s a quick guide to joining a new ball of yarn at the edge of your work:
- Keep an eye on the yarn you’re using, then stop working at the end of the row as you get close to the end.
- Next, switch to the yarn in your new ball when you begin the next row.
- Finally, leave a few extra inches of yarn from each ball to weave in your ends.
Note that this technique could make the initial stitch a little sloppy. So, it would be best to hang on to both strands of yarn as you make the first stitch if it doesn’t feel too unusual to begin knitting with the second ball. After doing so, you may notice that your edging feels slightly more stable.
Additionally, note that some object to this technique because they believe that weaving in the ends along the edges might make the work appear bulky and disorganized. However, with enough practice, you will discover the most effective weaving techniques to lessen this impact.
Joining the Middle
If you wish to try a different technique, I suggest using an overlap. This method works well when attaching a fresh ball of the same color. Additionally, it is scarcely noticeable and is somewhere inside the row rather than at the edge.
Here’s a quick guide to joining a new ball of yarn at the edge of your work:
- Pick up the string from the second ball once you can tell that your first ball will soon run out. Then, overlap the two threads and point the tails in different directions.
- With both yarns held together, knit three or four stitches, leaving a few-inch tail for each ball. Then, discard the previous thread and resume knitting with the new yarn.
- Following knitting a few rows after the join, you will give the piece a gentle tug to balance the tension. By doing so, the stitches made with two strands of yarn will appear less thick.
- Finally, weave the ends as you usually would when you finish knitting. No one should be able to see the smooth, flawless join you’ll have.
This method, which uses a lot of yarn to create large pieces like afghans and sweaters, creates a highly secure join. Additionally, since your edges are left clean, it looks lovely with scarves.
Since you will be switching colors in the middle of the row, this method will not work well for stripes.
Meanwhile, it is akin to the joining method for other colorwork, where you combine colors in the same row. But instead of knitting two strands simultaneously, you will drop the first and take up the second.
How Do You Add a New Color When Knitting?
When you reach the desired color change point, you will tie the new ball and your remaining yarn together loosely in a knot, placing it near the stitch as you connect it. Next, you will take your right needle, put it in the first stitch, and then begin knitting with your new color.
Whether a novice knitter or an experienced one, you will eventually need to join a fresh skein while working on a project. It may occur if your project requires a color change or your first skein of yarn runs out.
You could even need to switch colors in the middle of a row for your project. Regardless, you can use standard methods in each of the three scenarios. As a result, mastering this talent is crucial.
It could be unsettling to add yarn if you’re a beginner. However, there is no reason to panic. It’s much simpler than you imagine to attach a new skein to your knitting project.
Adding a new color is a terrific way to add contrast, intrigue, and individuality to your knitted creations. If you’re starting, adding color to your product can make it look more professional, which can assure you of an experienced pro!
Technique #1: Drop and Grab
This approach has at least two significant benefits. First, you can take the old yarn up the side of your knitting project without having to cut it. Doing so will give you fewer ends to weave in when knitting stripes or a project that frequently switches colors.
Adding the new skein of yarn one-handedly is another advantage since it eliminates the need to set down your knitting needles, making the technique speedy!
However, since this method does not fasten the additional skein, manipulating the new thread can be challenging at first. The new yarn may frequently fall off the needle before you can knit the first stitch, especially when you’re a beginner.
The drop-and-grab technique may be the most challenging approach for novices, but it becomes the most straightforward and fastest method once mastered. Here’s how you do it:
- Drop the old yarn end when you want to change colors at the end of a row. Then, place your working needle inside the first stitch on the one with all the stitches.
- Grabbing the new yarn, fold the end into a loop, and leave a minimum 6-inch tail.
- Attach the loop to the working needle’s tip and pull the tail of the new yarn to tighten the stitch if necessary after drawing it through the previous stitch.
- Keep knitting with the new yarn.
Technique #2: Slip-Knot
Similar to the drop and grab technique, you won’t need to cut the old skein of yarn when using this method. If you plan to switch colors frequently, you can take it up the edge of the knitting item, eliminating the need to weave in a ton of annoying ends!
However, your first stitch with the new color or ball of yarn can be a little thick since you are knitting through two loops. Ultimately, it won’t hinder your knitting project, and the various colors will blend. But until you get used to the technique, it may seem a little weird.
Here’s how you do the slip-knot technique:
- Drop the old yarn end when you get to the end of the row. Then, use the end of the fresh skein to tie a slip knot.
- Attach the slip knot to the stitched needle. And insert the working needle’s tip between the slip-knot of the new color and the last stitch of your previous color.
- Keep knitting with the yarn skein.
Technique #3: Slide and Pull
The slide and pull is an alternative to the slip-knot technique since it also fastens the new yarn to your project. It is also more straightforward than the drop-and-grab technique, as the additional string cannot come loose while attempting to knit the first stitch.
Unfortunately, it has the disadvantage of leaving a knot on the side of your product. The slip knot may appear less the closer you move it to the base of the old yarn, but whatever happens, it will still exist.
Once you weave in the ends, the knot might disappear well but might still be visible. So, if you are particular about knots in your knitting, this method might not be for you.
Here’s how you do the slide and pull technique:
- First, trim the old yarn, leaving a tail of at least 6 inches. Then, use the new thread to tie a slip knot.
- Thread your old yarn through the slip knot and tighten it by advancing the new one to the base of the first stitch made with the old string.
- Finally, Using the fresh ball of yarn, keep knitting.
After adding your fresh skein of yarn in the same color or finishing your color changes, you should do four things to complete your project.
- First, of course, you should finish knitting.
- Next, you will leave at least a six-inch tail after cutting the yarn still linked to the ball of yarn.
- Then, incorporate the yarn ends. Wherever you added a new skein, yarn tails will hang along the side unless you brought the string up as you knit. By incorporating them within the project, you can easily hide them.
- Finally, snip the yarn tails close to the end when you’ve finished weaving for a neat appearance.