I’ll readily admit it – I’m as easily amused as your average 5-year-old. Sit me down in front of an anthill or give me a kaleidoscope, and go do your shopping. (I’ve decided to consider this a charming personality trait rather than an indicator of mental development.)
Anyhow, it turns out that starting over on that sleeve had another benefit. I cannot imagine WHY I didn’t think of splicing all those color changes the first time around, but I didn’t. Probably because I haven’t had very good experiences with that technique the few times I’d tried it in the past, but boy am I over the hump on that one now. Turns out that spit splicing is as much fun as making mud pies! Not to mention the fact that it relieves me of the responsibility of weaving in hundreds of ends, which I was totally prepared to do. What an idjit I am was.
Here’s a picture of the inside of my sleeve in the current iteration:
Compared to the first time around:
See?!? I’m still shaking my head over that one. What was I THINKING???
So here’s my little tutorial on “spit splicing”. Basically, what you do is thin out the yarn ends you want to join, fold them back over each other and felt them together. Of course, this only works with yarns that will felt! Don’t bother with this technique if you’re using superwash wool, cotton, or anything else that is non-felting. You’ll want to look at Russian splicing for those.
First, each end of yarn needs to be divided; in this case, I’ve untwisted the plies for about 2 inches, and broken off one ply. On a three-ply yarn, you may want to break one ply at 2 inches and another at 1 inch. Breaking is definitely better than cutting – you want the fibers on those ends nice and open and kind of frayed.
Now lay them across your palm so that they cross each other about 1 inch from the end. Fold each one back along itself, looping it over the other one. Make sure that all the ends are lying neatly in order, not bunched up in spots.
Here comes the fun part. Get the folded-over sections nice and wet, being careful to spit out any loose fibers that stick to your tongue. (Sure, you can use plain water for this, but where’s the fun in that?)
Then vigorously rub your hands together, rolling the yarn until you can feel heat from the friction. Check to see if they are nicely joined, and repeat as needed. If you do it just right, you can hardly even tell where the yarns change.
Ta da! You have provided, on a miniature scale, the elements required for felting: the right kind of fiber + heat and moisture + agitation. It’s amazing how strong and invisible this join can be.
Okay, I’ll admit that so far, I have only done this in the privacy of my own home, and my family members don’t bat an eyelash. This little exercise might get some funny looks out in the real world, though, and I’d probably think twice before spit splicing in public. Maybe. Then I’d do it anyway.