Three Needle Knitting Join-up - Why and How

How to join knitted panels using three needles.

What you will need

This join up uses three needles to join the pieces. Most of my joins are knitted blanket panel and so they are long. So I use two circular needles (of 80 or 100 centimetres) and on standard length needle.

Why use the three needle join-up

The join made with this technique is very neat. It produces a continuous ridge on one side of the work and a ditch on the other. Sometimes it is best to have the ridge on the right side of the work and sometimes the ditch is better.

When the join is done using the same colour as the work, the join becomes part of the overall design. The join is done with the ridge on the right side of the work in my knitted blankets Pretty in Pink and Twists and Ladders using the same colour for the join-up as the knitted blanket.

With the ridge on the wrong side of the work there is a ditch on the right side. Two of my knitted blankets that do this are the Epping Textured Sampler Knee-Rug and Lorraine's Rug. With the Textured Sampler Knee-Rug, a contrasting colour is used to highlight the join-up.

How to make the join-up

Pick up the stitches along the edge of each of the two pieces to be joined. How to do this is described in my video tutorial Domino Knitting - Picking up Stitches. When the stitches are picked up using double ended circular needles it is a good habit to use knitting needle ends to stop stitches from sliding off the ends of the needles.

It is important to have equivalent numbers of stitches in each equivalent portion of the pieces being joined so that everything lines up correctly when the join is made. In Figure 1, where a join is being made in Lorraine's Rug, there are 20 stitches in the stripes section and then five stitches in the dark band. Stitch markers are being used to mark the junction of each section.

Picked up stitches on each edge of each piece ready for the three needle join-up.

The wrong side is being worked for the join-up in Figure 2. This will make the ridge on the wrong side and a ditch (what we want for this blanket) on the right side.

Wrong side is facing so that ridge is on wrong side when join-up is completed.


To make the join-up is straight forward. Hold the two long needles in the left hand (Figure 3).

Holding two long needles together for the three needle join-up.

Then, using the third needle, knit two together (Figure 4), and cast off (Figure 5).

Three needle join-up first step is knit two together.

Three needle join-up second step is cast off.

When you have your work ready with the edge stitches picked up and organised to make sure the join-up is properly aligned on each work piece it is this simple- knit two together and then cast off. Repeat this until the join-up is complete.

This s a really neat way to join knitted blanket panels together.


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