Today I want to show you how to seamlessly change colors in crochet. Changing yarn colors within a row can be neat and easy. The trick is to prepare for the color change while working the stitch before the one that you want to show the next color. Put another way, the new color is introduced on the final yarn over of the stitch before.
This specific tutorial is for color changes that occur within a row of crochet, as in this Little Boy Blue Blanket Pattern,which I am using as an example in the photos here, or in fair isle patterns such as this Fair Isle Snowflake Christmas Stocking Crochet Pattern. For color changes that are added at the beginning of a new row, Standing Stitches are a great trick for eliminating that telltale beginning chain. You can find a tutorial for How to Work Standing Stitches here.
How to Seamlessly Change Colors in Crochet
Let’s use some photos to make this easier…
For this project I have worked my round so far in a cream color and am ready to switch over to another color. For my last stitch with the cream I would start my single crochet as usual … insert hook where indicated, yarn over and pull up a loop … but for that final yarn over of my stitch I yarn over and pull the next color through the loops to complete my single crochet. Now just continue with that next color as indicated in the pattern. If you are going to be switching back to the first color after a bit, you can just carry the yarn across the row working over it with your stitches. If you are done with the first color (or if it is not used again for quite awhile), you can just fasten it off and weave it in.
The color change is nice and neat …
The same concept is also applied to taller stitches. The new color is again introduced on the final yarn over of the stitch. In this case, I have worked my round in double crochets and am at the stitch before the next color is to start. I would start my double crochet as usual … yarn over and insert where indicated, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops … but for that final yarn over of my stitch I yarn over and pull the next color through the loops to complete my double crochet.
Again, a nice and neat color change …
So, what do you think? Easy peasy, right?!
ok so where do you drop your yarn from previous color in front or back of work?
Agreed. I can’t see cutting weaving every time
How do you carry a color change when crocheting a graph pattern. How do you change the yarn from previous row and change it to the same yarn used below row working on.
thanks for the tip! I’ve featured it on my own blog Pretty In Crochet as I use this method myself 🙂
Really don’t understand without steps shown..
Janice Marple says
How about on the end of a row? I chnage colors as described. But I can never get a clean change of color, always one or two stitches of the other color appear.
Alma B. says
Does anyone ever tie a knot with both yarns? I’m always afraid of just weaving the loose yarn. Thanks.
I try to make sure to weave my ends in going back and forth in opposite directions to really lock it in place.
I change colors this way but cut the previous color and then tie the end of the new and the previous color in a knot and weave in the ends later. Usually you can’t tell but it depends on the yarn and the pattern of course.
Thanks for this tutorial. I am in the process of crocheting a two color bag now and needed this.
I am wondering if there is a way to change colors and not have to carry it or cut it and then pick it up the next row a few stitches over ? Do I just drop the yarn in the back and pick it up on the next row but that means the yarn will be in the front to pick it up – hard to explain :-((((
I’ve seen so many tutorials for switching colors as you crochet, and this one is definitely the most helpful and definitely going on my Pinterest board! Thanks so much!
I always seem to have trouble switching colours, so I’ll definitely have to give this a try. Thanks!!
Very good 🙂
Same method to change colors that is used in Tunisian crochet. I’ve been do color changes this way for all my crochet since it works so well and cleanly in Tunisian.
Thanks so much, Diane!
Thank you for the explanation ………….. 🙂
Rhondda Mol says
Thanks Kara 🙂 Shared. Have a lovely week, Rhondda
Maschelle, in order to ‘anchor’ your tails, take a darning needle and weave the loose tails in on the back side securely with a back stitch. What is a back stitch? It’s an embroidery stitch. No amount of crocheting over any loose tail will secure it from coming loose and unraveled. Any good crocheter or knitter knows to weave their tails in with a needle.
Thanks for responding, Michelle. That’s what I do too 🙂
I am new to this technique, and want it to work for me as well as it does for, oh, everyone else. My problem is the fact that the new color isn’t anchored securely and as I continue to crochet the initial stitch and first several in the new color work their way lose and the stitching separates. I’ve seen so many projects on video tutorials made using this technique, and it works beautifully and seamlessly for them, so I know it works. What might I be missing after the initial change to the new color? How do you anchor your yarn tails securely? Thank you for the tutorial! I love the earthy colors you are using. I have been crazy over jewel tones, but will never give up on my earth tones. All colors belong in crochet! 😀
Lovely tutorial! 🙂
I am trying to make a baby afghan of an elephant. I have never worked with graphs and changing colors. My is this I basically am using grey for elephant ,white as background and black yarn to outline and grey for everything except bottom of fee and ears which are pinkt, blue eyes and red mouth should I carry the yarn or should I keep changing after each row.
confused need help ready to crap the whole project