I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to be converted to spit splicing. Well, yes, I do know; I was squeamish (which I’m not usually–with three small kids I really can’t afford to be grossed out by much) and I thought it was too much trouble (more trouble than weaving in dozens of ends? It defies logic, but that was how my mind was working).
You don’t, of course, need to actually use spit for this technique; a little water will work just as well but may not always be as convenient. Do what works for you.
I came around to this technique as I was frogging a blanket I started to crochet about a year ago. (My original intention was to make a very warm bedspread but after a fairly substantial start I realized I would have to order about three times more yarn in order to make it big enough and the project sort of stalled.)
Since it was crocheted in motifs, frogging it has resulted in many, many small balls of yarn. I began knitting a scarf just joining in new balls as I went but soon realized I was going to waste many yards of yarn and a lot of time weaving it all in. And bulky yarn doesn’t weave in very gracefully anyway. Spit splicing to the rescue!
Spit splicing is essentially a form of felting, so it will only work with yarn that is mostly animal fiber and which has not been treated to make it machine washable. The yarn here is Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky, single ply, 85% Wool/15% Alpaca.
|The bedspread, not yet completely frogged.|
|Start with two ends of yarn…|
|Fray the ends by untwisting the ply or plies an inch or two…|
|Pull off about half of each frayed section. Don’t cut it; the fuzzier it is, the better it will splice.|
|Overlap the fuzzy ends…|
|Put a little water or spit on the palm of your hand and roll the yarn back and forth in your hands. Friction and heat work their magic.|
Sarah BarbourKnitting and crochet designer/teacher and stay-at-home mother to three lovely little girls. Recently relocated to Oregon from the Illinois and enjoying my new life as a West Coaster.
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