Fix-it Friday: How to Spit Splice

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 in Knitting | Comments

You may remember my last post about joining a new yarn.  I suggested that you simply tie a new yarn onto the old strand and keep knitting.  This method turns out the be quite controversial – read the comments from that post and you’ll see! Some of you knitters really hate to have any knots in your knitting.

This time, I’ve decided to post about a different method for joining a new yarn. The spit splice.  Yep.  It’s just what it sounds like! This method uses spit to help felt the tail of the old ball of yarn to the tail of the new ball of yarn.  This only works with animal fiber yarn, not with plant fibers or synthetics.

Here’s how the spit splice join works. (I get most of my knitting done on road trips – so this series of photos was taken in the car! can any of you busy people relate?)


1.   Untwist the plies to open up the strands of the old yarn for about 2 to 3 inches.
How to Spit Splice


2. Open up the plies of the new ball of yarn for about the same length and lay the two yarns end to end, so that they overlap:
Overlap Yarn Ends


3. Spit onto the yarn ends and rub your hands together with the yarns inside. Some people cheat and just use water, tea, etc., but for this to be an authentic spit splice, you know what the essential ingredient must be!
Spit and Agitate


4.  You can stop agitating the splice when the yarn ends are all smoothly felted together:
Completed Splice


Knit Away!
You can see that the spliced yarn is no wider in diameter than the original yarn – you’ll never even know it’s there! Here is my splice in place in my knit fabric… can you see it?


Are you excited to try this method of joining yarn? If you enjoyed this post, you might also want to read another fix: Fix-it Friday: Misaligned Cables.


  1. Tina says:

    would this method work with acrylic yarn or only woolen yarns?

  2. Kate says:

    The spit-splice (or felted join) is nice if you’re working with all-wool yarns, but I’m fond of the Russian join for yarns that aren’t all wool. It’s seamless–though it can get a little bulky the first time you try it–and works nicely with yarns that are different colors.

    It was featured on the Lion Brand blog:

  3. Liana says:

    How does this technique work over time? and does it work with any kind of fiber yarn or just wool?

  4. Precious says:

    Personally I use water if splicing but then I tend to knit for other people. I was horrified when I read the word spit!

    I don’t splice much though as my knots are hardly visible once I’ve finished weaving in and I don’t actually knot the two strands until I’ve knitted a few rows up. I tie them once, tightening them on the next row so as to maintain the pattern evenly.

  5. Evaline says:

    This looks so neat and can’t wait to try it. Can this be done also on crochet? I don’t mind doing thr knot but don’t like to see the knot

  6. barbara morgan says:

    I always use a spit splice when possible…..but my splice is always thicker. And that is a problem with some projects. So if the join is too bulky, I end up switching skeins on the edges.

  7. Cindy says:

    I have used the ” spit join ” cause I hate knots in my work especially in socks and weaving in ends is not my favorite thing to do. I found a video on youtube for the Russian Join. I use this method for non animal fibers and it works great!

  8. Helen Silverstein says:

    I love it! I’m committed to spitting from here on out…

  9. Pamela Wright says:

    LOL….this is how I have always joined my new ball of yarn…………….SHHHHHH…..don’t tell my kids that I spit in their sweaters

  10. Lynn says:

    I have used this ever since I heard about it — lovely smooth joins with nary a sign of a splice.

  11. Therese Black says:

    I wanted to do the split splice for my shawl, but after rereading the instructions it isn’t suitable for my beaded silk with sequins yarn……sigh! I will remember this next time I’m knitting wool though.

  12. Nalissa says:

    Thanks Stephanie! I did notknow that you could do that. To the others I don’t know about the ‘spit splicing’ though. Thanks for mentioning the russian join Cindy! I found that video and I will be using that join in the future!

  13. Shelley says:

    I will have to try the spit splice. But I usually do a loose knot while I am knitting and later go back, undo the knot and weave all the ends in. It works for me.

  14. Gini says:

    I’ve used the spit splice for several years with wool but am really excited to try the Russian method with my other yarns!

  15. Pam says:

    When I do this I unravel back each end and separate the ply. Then I go back about 3 inches on each piece I’m going to join and cut out one strand on each. Then when you felt them together they are the same thickness as the yarn you are using.

  16. Rory says:

    If you have more than two plies in your skein you should cut one out of each so that it is no thicker than the original. However if you keep rubbing long enough it should fine down so that it is not a thick splice.

  17. Stephanei says:

    Thanks, I really need this quick lesson on splicing..I’m working on something now and will use this instead of knotting…:-)

  18. Denise says:

    I’ve felted wool joins with great results, though I use water if that option is available. I’ve had mixed results with the Russian join; it often turns out too bulky. Another method that I’ve used for many years is weaving in as I attach a new yarn in; done in the same manner as if knitting with two different color yarns in pattern. My biggest challenge is how to join cotton yarn especially if knitting in the round–no seams to secure the ends into.

  19. Kathy says:

    Can I assume this won’t work with super wash yarn since it won’t felt.

  20. Brenda Jones says:

    I needed this about four hours ago!

  21. Buy Burberry says:

    Hello.This post was extremely fascinating, particularly since I was searching for thoughts on this topic last Friday.