How to Change Color in Tunisian Crochet

How to Change Color in Tunisian Crochet

Tunisian crochet is a beautiful mix of knitting and crochet crafts. With the special Tunisian crochet hook, the craft creates a look like knitted stitches. Like knitting and crocheting, this unique craft is made all the more beautiful with multiple colors. Changing colors in Tunisian crochet is as simple as knitting and crocheting. Refer to our easy guide on changing colors when crocheting. You work with multiple yarn shades and introduce them into the pattern according to the effect you want to create. In this blog, let’s walk you through the three ways to change colors in Tunisian crochet and the beautiful effect it creates.

Color changes in Tunisian Crochet 

Before you take up a Tunisian crochet project that requires changing colors it is important that you can easily work on Tunisian crochet projects. The trick of mastering Tunisian crochet is that each stitch is worked in two passes. You start with a basic chain like regular crochet. The forward pass (FwP) is where stitches are picked and kept on the hook much like knitting. The return pass (RetP) works by working on all the stitches on the hook. You can create solid rows, mixed stripes, color blocks, and more by simply changing the yarn at the various points of the stitches.

For this blog post let us take the old color as A and the new color as B.

Ebony wood Tunisian crochet hook by Lantern Moon

1. Change Color at the Beginning of a Row

The most common way to crochet with colors in Tunisian crochet is to change color at the beginning of a row. This means you will actually change yarn at the end of the return pass. The color change method works easily on all basic Tunisian crochet stitches. This technique is used to make solid stripes of fabric, blocks of color and gradient changes by introducing different yarn shades one after another.

Steps of how to change colors at the beginning of a row 

1 – Crochet the forward pass in yarn A (main color). Pick up loops on the crochet hook.

2 - Work the return pass until there are two loops left on the hook.

3 - Drop yarn A and yarn over with B (the new color).

4 - Pull two loops on the hook with B.

5 - Now with B on your hook complete the forward and return passes as normal.

This method of changing colors can be worked as many times as you like. You can carry yarn up the side of the work to avoid creating additional yarn ends to sew in if there are repeats in a few rows. Or, if it suits you or if there are no more repeats cut and weave the yarn ends with a finishing needle. Refer to our guide on weaving yarn ends in knitting and crochet, as the method also works for Tunisian crochet.

2. Change Color in the Middle of a Row 

Changing color in the middle of a row is useful if you are working on a pattern that will make a design. This is similar to Fair Isle or Intarsia patterns. You can make shapes, designs and more with this method. As you will be introducing a new color in the middle of the row of a forward pass, you will have to work the new stitch in the return pass too unless the pattern state otherwise. You can create a wonderful effect with Tunisian Knit and Purl Stitches. Refer to our guide on how to knit and purl stitches in Tunisian crochet.

Steps of how to change color in the middle of row 

1 - Crochet till the stitch where you need to change color. This is mostly done in the foundation row (FwP)  but needs to be worked in the return row (RetP).

2 - Insert the Tunisian crochet hook into the stitch (where you need to introduce new color).

3 - Yarn over with B (new yarn) and drop A (old color). Pull up a loop with B. Continue to crochet with B as instructed by the pattern or according to your own design.

4 - Work the return pass like normal until you have B on the right and yarn A on the left. Yarn over with the A. Drop B and draw through the first 2 loops on the hook. 

5 - Now that yarn B is on the left and A is on the right, yarn over with A. Drop B and draw A through the first 2 loops on the hook. Continue with the row.

Continue as instructed in the pattern. If you have color changes in the next row carry the yarn. If there are a lot of stitches and rows, weave in the yarn end. If needed again change the color accordingly.

3. Changing Color at the Beginning of the Return Pass 

One of the most interesting color change effects in Tunisian crochet is changing color at the beginning of the return pass. This creates an effect that looks marbled or variegated. It also gives an effect of mixed stripes and a fabric that is unique to Tunisian crochet. Even though you will be changing color at the beginning of the return pass, the steps begin at the end of the forward pass.

1 - With A (old color), make your chain and do the forward pass for the first row.

2 - Pulled up a loop in the last chain and yarn over with B (new color). Drop A and pull B through the first loop on the hook. Continue with the return pass. Make a yarn over and draw through two loops until one loop remains on the hook.

For the foundation row, keep crocheting with yarn A. Switch to yarn B at the beginning of every return pass. The effect will be impressive. If you are planning a simple scarf or any project, this step will make the pattern look amazing.

Steps of how to change color in the middle of row

How to Carry Colors (Yarns) in Tunisian Crochet 

There are many options for color changes in Tunisian crochet projects. One pattern may include multiple color changes in a single row or spread over different rows. A pattern designer often mentions the method to carry colors but you can also choose according to your convenience.

You can usually carry the yarn throughout when you are not using it. This will cause a mess at the back of the work but then you don’t have to manage multiple yarn ends and find solutions to neatly weave in the ends. To carry the yarn, cross the dropped yarn over the working yarn making it twist as neatly as possible. Then, insert the Tunisian crochet hook into the next stitch.  Pull up a loop (made by the dropped yarn). Make sure to keep it loose for projects to have stretch in them. You can also choose to cut the yarn (leave atleast 6”) and weave in the yarn ends at the point and solve the problem of the maze of yarns.

That’s all there is to color changes in Tunisian crochet. There are so many great effects you can get with these even with the basic Tunisian simple stitch and even the knit and purl. Now all that is left is to get your Tunisian crochet hook and different colors of yarn. Make a swatch in all these three ways and you’ll see the difference.

The trick to having neat color change effects is a Tunisian crochet hook that you enjoy working with. Premium ebony wood crochet hooks from the Lantern Moon Collection are crafted for smooth crocheting. The nylon-coated stainless steel cords can be easily threaded on the 24Kplated solid brass connections ensuring easy manoeuvrability and forward stitch passing. If you are a complete fan of the Tunisian crochet craft, get a complete set of multiple sizes, cord lengths and accessories with the Bequest Tunisian Crochet Hook Set.

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