Hooked on Needles

Monday, June 16, 2008

Changing yarn color in Crochet

Have you ever needed to change yarn color in a crochet piece, but weren't sure just how to do it so that it would blend well and look nice? Here's the best way I have found to do just that.

If you are changing colors at the end of a row, for example on a striped afghan, you would work your way all the way to the last stitch. Work that last stitch until there are two loops left on your hook...

Drop the old color of yarn and pick up the new color, drawing it through the last two loops to finish the stitch.

See how this completes the last stitch with the old color, but brings in the new color to begin the next row?

Now you can tie the tail of the new yarn to the old yarn with a knot right on the side of your work and those ends can be woven into a few stitches of the same color later.

If you are simply adding a new skein of yarn to a piece, such as when working a solid color afghan or an afghan with all the same variegated yarn, you would use the same procedure, adding on the new yarn at the end of a row. This allows you to stitch over your loose ends when you work the border, and does not leave knots or loose ends in the middle of your piece.

My Auntie, who is 90 years old and has crocheted pieces probably numbering in the thousands over her lifetime, told me once how she NEVER NEVER adds a new skein of yarn in the middle of a row. I thought that was a little extravagant and maybe even more than a little wasteful considering that sometimes you have to rip out almost an entire row if you run out of yarn not quite at the end of the row. But recently, I have adopted her very practical method and have come to realize that it does indeed make for a much neater piece, having loose ends only at the edges to weave in at the end or stitch over when working the border. See, it pays to listen to those knowledgeable old folks! Thanks Auntie!

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  • I am making a blanket where i have to change colors in the middle of the design. And then go back to that color. It is a crochet of raggedy ann and andy. It doen't say to break off. How do i change colors and not have it lood funny in the back

    By Blogger susie, At June 26, 2008 at 10:50 PM  

  • Hi Susie! That sounds like a darling blanket you are making. You can change yarn colors using the same method as at the end of a row, but if you need to pick that same color back up again after just a few stitches, you can carry it over working it into the fabric of your blanket as you go along. I don't have a tutorial on that right now, but I found a good one here, http://www.nexstitch.com/v_changing_yarn.html . Amie has some very good video tutorials on her site for all different kinds of crochet stitches.

    There are a few good tips here too: http://www.crochetnmore.com/123tips.htm .

    Here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHv9mLlFEfQ , is a youtube video about using yarn bobbins for changing color within a row which you might also find helpful.

    The important thing to remember is that you don't want to carry a color over a long distance, or a highly contrasting color over more than a few stitches as it will show in your finished piece. This is where using yarn bobbins comes in handy.

    I will add this technique to my list of things to do! Thanks for the question. I would love to see your blanket when it is finished.

    Hope this helps. MGM

    By Blogger Mary Grace McNamara, At June 27, 2008 at 2:14 PM  

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