10.13.2014

Tutorial: The Making of a Magic Ball (with Magic Knots!)


I've been a wee bit obsessed with designing for magic ball knitting lately and decided it was time to make a photo tutorial to show the magic knot I use for joining skeins and teach you a few tricks about having it be successful. Jane Richmond has an excellent video that shows this knot, which is how I learned about it.  Thanks Jane!


Step 1: Choose Your Yarn!  I decided to play with my LYS's excellent "stash" of Knitted Witt Gumballs for this tutorial. I choose enough to knit another Gusto as I can't really get enough of that pattern! (From the bottom to the top: Silver Lining, Oregon Sky, Honey Lavender, Buckle My Shoes, Winter's Night, Prussian Blue, Guy Noir) You can join together yarns in stash (see note below), or have a base yarn and join bits of color throughout it (like I did for Magmatic Boom).  This is where you get to be CREATIVE! If you aren't sure about the amount you can use a digital scale to weigh your odds and ends. Then begin to wind your yarn.
Step 2: Lay down the two ends you want to join with the tails going in opposite directions.
Step 3: Take one end and go underneath the other end to the opposite side.
Step 4: Then bring that end back over and lay it across itself.
Step 5: Then take that end and go inside the loop you have created to make a overhand knot.
Step 6: Pull tight.
Step 7: Repeat with other tail.



Step 8:  Holding onto the working yarn, start to pull in opposite directions.
Step 9:  Keep pulling, the two knots will slide together.
Step 10: Pull all the way tight!
Step 11: Trim the ends VERY close to the knot, sharp scissors help!
Step 12: Test your knot by yanking on it HARD! If you do not follow these steps exactly the knot will pop apart! 
 
I want to make a note that this knot is not perfect for every yarn and you should definitely test it with your yarn before you commit to it. I've heard that it doesn't work well with single ply yarn, yarns with high silk content, and cellulose based fibers (like cotton, rayon and tencel).  You can put a bit of Fray Check on it, which will make it hold... but just do a test first to be sure, sometimes it can change the color and hand of your fiber. Your other choice for joining the ends is to use a Russian Join, which will work on wool fibers but not the other fibers listed above.

(As seen on Knitty.com's blog)

3 comments:

  1. I have actually used The Russian Join with acrylic yarn a lot! Just make sure the ends are woven in for a good length, use the joining immediately, I haven't tried it wound in a skein so not sure it will hold there but have had great success using it in knit mittens and such.

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