An Easy Guide to Changing Colors when Crocheting

An Easy Guide to Changing  Colors when Crocheting

Multiple colors are a great way to add visual interest to any pattern, and it's easy to do – especially with the craft of crochet. When working with the basic crochet stitches you can easily change colors with any of the crochet hooks you own. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to change colors in crochet patterns. While the unique Tunisian crochet introduces many interesting colorwork methods, the technique of changing colors remains the same.

Patterns specifically mention where to change colors and even the shade, but many times the pattern will leave the choice of the color on the crocheter. Before you begin crocheting, choose the colors that you would like and also where you want these colors to begin and end. You need to calculate how many rows and chains you want in your pattern before you start working with colors. To have a better understanding of the look of the project, make a swatch of 20 - 25 rows with 20 - 25 stitches.

Some patterns call for a change of colors at the end of the row, while some would require changing colors in the middle of the row. A crochet granny square is a beginner-friendly pattern that you can practice.

We’ll take a look at both.

Changing Colors at the End of the Row 

A popular method to change the color of the yarn is at the end of the row.

Create your chains and rows. Take your first color (A) and create your first foundation chain and then enough rows of crochet stitches until you have the desired amount of that one color. If you are following a specific pattern, crochet that pattern until you have reached the point where you wish to change colors. Then do the following:

Stop crocheting. Stop before pulling the yarn through the last two loops on the crochet hook. Drop the old color of yarn.

Put the new yarn color (B) on the crochet hook. Now pull the new color through the last two loops on the hook. It is that simple. 

Leave a tail of at least 4 - 6” of the previous color yarn tail, cut the previous color yarn, and let it hang in the back. As you begin to start the next row, use only the new color.

Continue to crochet with yarn color (B)as mentioned in the pattern or as you have planned. If instructed in the pattern or planned by your design switch back to color one or add another color, just repeat the steps you used to switch from color A to B. 

Finish your project. After you have your desired size, you'll need to do something with your loose yarn ends. Cut your working yarn, leaving 4 - 6”. Yarn over and pull the yarn through your last loop.

Pull the yarn tight and weave your loose ends with a finishing needle through your work.

Tunisian crochet hooks by Lantern Moon

Changing Colors in the Middle of the Row

Crochet your rows until your desired length. Crochet as you normally would with one color yarn. When you know where you want to start your next color stop crocheting. Here’s what you do:

Stop crocheting with Color one (A), right before the last loop is pulled through and before you wish to start a new color. Then, put Color B on the hook, and use Color B to pull through the last two loops on the hook. After that, you can continue crocheting across the row with Color B.

As indicated above, you can simply cut the previous color,  leaving a 4″ tail, which will be woven in after the project is finished.  If you wish to use that color again, simply repeat the process. 

Once you master changing the color at the end or middle of the row, you can continue to do so while you crochet in the round. The method remains the same.

While changing colors in crochet, look out to avoid common crochet mistakes. If you make a mistake, it is no big deal, simply, take the crochet hook out of your work and pull the yarn to unravel it until you've reached your mistake. Then, stick the hook you are working with or repair hook back into the last unraveled loop and begin again. If this is your first time crocheting and your work looks a bit wonky, don't stress. Crocheting is an art that takes practice, so continue to work at it until you get the hang of it.

You can start with an easy project such as a crochet scarf. You can also consider searching for some helpful online crochet instructions. There are so many people out there that love this craft and want to share their knowledge. The whole point is to have fun. 

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