Thursday, June 23

Knots in Yarn: Options

Often, a skein of yarn comes from the mill packing a surprise: knots with the ends trimmed too close. The occasional mill-tied knot is a necessary evil of the yarn spinning process, and can really cause problems while crocheting or knitting, especially if the yarn is slippery or the stitches are lacy or loose.

Good News! I've published Ennis, with a chart too.

I encountered this most recently with the silkiest bamboo yarn I've ever used, called SWTC Bamboo. [UPDATE: I've since published the pattern in both this yarn and DesigningVashti Lotus yarn—which by the way has zero-to-1 knots per ball.] 

The silky ends I wove in have stayed put so far.


Yarn Knot Best Practices

My first choice for a project like this would be to rip out the existing row to the start of it, cut the yarn, and reattach it without the mill-tied knot in it. that way the new knot is at the edge. 


A possible alternative to ripping out the partial row is to cut the knot out of the yarn, then re-knot it a bit loosely, leaving yarn ends about 5 inches long each. 


I've had good luck separating the plies of the yarn and weaving in each ply separately using a sharp needle so that one ply is threaded through the center core of nearby strands. I'd thread a different ply through different nearby strands, so that a thickened area is not created. 
About the yarns shown: Far left is DesigningVashti Lotus (colors Satin Grey and Lavender Ice). The aqua blue one is Interweave Crochet Magazine's choice for their version of this pattern. The orange was from my own yarn stash; both are SWTC Bamboo.

This works fine for Lotus. For SWTC Bamboo, though, it's a fine-knit tube, not twisted plies to be separated. What's working instead is to use a sharper yarn needle to pierce through to the center of a strand and hide a yarn end in it.


If the yarn can be felted here's another option. Yarn that is at least 50% wool, cashmere, or alpaca,  and is not superwash, will likely felt. This makes felt-joining possible. (I don't have much experience with this.) It could leave a thickened area like the Russian join does sometimes. If it's felted together really well, it could be trimmed thinner, but might be a bit stiffer than the rest of the stitches. Depends on the particular project.


So far, weaving in the separated plies of the yarn ends with a sharp needle has worked well for me, especially with silkier yarns that would otherwise work themselves loose over time. 
A special thank you to Anne!