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Changing Colors in Crochet

These instructions are geared mainly to following color changes on a chart, in single crochet, using the butterfly afghan charts as examples. However, the technique is the same for any color change when crocheting, whether the stitch is double, treble or double treble; draw the 2nd color through the last two loops of the stitch to change colors.

Hints for Changing Colors:

When ready to change to a different color, pull up the first loop for a single crochet in the old color, then, pull the new color through the last two loops to complete that single crochet. Continue in the new color, following the chart. Change colors in this manner, whenever indicated on the chart.

There will be times when you will be working only one or two stitches before changing colors again. Carry the unused colors along the wrong side of the work. Be sure to carry it along loosely enough so that the work does not pucker. An often-used method is to crochet over the unused colors as they are carried along the wrong side of the work. This hides the strands and eliminates having long unused strands carried across the back of the work.

When to and when not to (crochet over the unused yarn):
Use your own judgement. Sometimes a dark strand that has been crocheted over in this manner will show up boldly through a light color, so keep this in mind when deciding which unused strands to crochet over.

When there are long areas of one color (such as the white in between the butterfly wings on the butterfly afghan charts), it's better to use separate balls of yarn for each colored section, to eliminate carrying unused colors across the wrong side of the work in the one-color area. (For instance, for the Shining Blue Nymph Butterfly, use separate balls of black yarn and of blue yarn for each wing, so you won't be carrying blue and black yarn across the back of the solid white area in between the wings.)

To prevent the balls of yarn from tangling and to keep it all enjoyable:

One method is:
1. Place each ball of yarn in a zip-top sandwich bag. Zip it closed when color is not in use. Keep the yarn wound as close to the work as you can when that color is not in use.

2. Purchase yarn bobbins, made for the purpose of holding small amounts of yarn for multi-color work.

With a little practice, working with multi-colors can be a lot of fun and can produce beautiful results!

Have a good week, crocheting!

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