Only recently have I begun to spit splice yarn. When I discovered how easy it is to do, I became hooked.
Wool is a great fiber to use for knitting. In my opinion, sweaters need to be made of wool. A sweater is made to be worn for warmth and wool is the perfect choice.
To the best of my knowledge, spit-splicing only works when knitting with wool. If the yarn is a wool combination, I am not sure. Wool is a sticky fiber and water (spit) will help hold the strands together. Also the brisk rubbing of the wet wool connects the fibers.
Wool Yarn Only
This is exactly why wool garments need to be hand-washed. The combination of water and friction changes the fiber. It will totally ruin a wool garment if it goes into the washing machine and / or dryer. It is also why felting wool works, which shrinks an item on purpose.
I am knitting a free sweater pattern called the Warm-Up Sweater by Espace Tricot (see pattern link at bottom of page). It is a simple raglan, top-down knit. I chose it to use up some of my Lettlopi wool. For some reason I have a lot of brown yarn. Then, I decided to combine the browns to make wide stripes for a less boring knit. (Lettlopi colors used are Murky and Acorn Heather.)
Spit-splicing is perfect for this type of patterning of colors.
How to Do the Spit Splice Join – With Photos
To do the spit splice, I change the colors by cutting the end of the yarn I have been using, as normally would be done. In this case it’s the lighter brown.
Instead of adding that new, darker brown color to my needle, I will combine the two colors of yarn together to form one strand. This will gradually bring in the new color and leave no ends to weave in – which is the best part!
With the Lettlopi yarn, I can easily separate each end into two strands. They pull apart and unravel nicely.
Lay the ends together to overlap a bit and twist together.
Spit on that entire entwined section of wool to make it nice and wet. (Someone somewhere said spit works better than water – and quicker too.)
Once the yarn is wet, rub the section briskly between the palms of your hand. I usually have to rub a few times to fill in any loose holes. Do a little tug to be sure the yarns have stuck and do not pull apart.
Once the two strands are stuck together, I have a section of yarn that is made up of both colors. Part of that section is a bit thick, but the yarn is thick and thin on its own, so this works.
Here is my spliced bit of yarn. As I continue knitting, the yarn goes from light to dark and blends in nicely for my next section of darker brown.
I’m doing the splicing close to the beginning of round marker but it is not exact. It won’t matter. My two yarns are close in color and they just blend nicely. Also, this pattern has the BOR at the back, right shoulder where it wouldn’t been seen anyway.
Why Spit Splicing Makes Knitting Simpler
In the end, the reason for doing the spit splice join is to save myself the hassle of having to weave in ends. In this striped sweater project I would have had two ends hanging at every row of color if I had added yarn the traditional way. That would be a lot of ends when the sweater is complete!
Joining the yarn and not leaving ends means I will only have the cast-on strand, underarm strands, and cast-off strands on body and sleeves to weave when I am done. That is a win in my book!
Other Uses For the Spit Splice Joining of Yarn
Also use this joining method when changing to a new skein, or if the yarn breaks, or if you come across a knot, and so on. I recently knit a colorwork sweater with Plotulopi wool which would come apart very easily on the slightest tug. I used the spit splice join a lot on that one!
YouTube Video on Spit Splicing
If you’d like to watch this process on a video, here is one by iKnits that is short and to the point: https://youtu.be/h5UwY8NDtP0