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How to Change Colors in Crochet

Changing Colors in Single Crochet Stitch

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If you would like to learn how to change colors in crochet, I'll be happy to show you how -- for free! In the tutorial posted below, I demonstrate how to change colors while working in single crochet stitch. The tutorial includes step by step photos, which show the process of changing colors at the end of a row.

Beginning the Work With Color A

Unfinished Single Crochet Stitch
Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

I've worked a couple rows of single crochet in baby pink yarn, which we'll call color A. I'm going to change colors to begin the next row with baby blue, which we'll call color B.

To begin the process of changing colors, work as far as the last single crochet stitch in the row, but leave the last single crochet stitch unfinished as shown.

Preparing to Change Colors

Grab the New Color of Yarn With Your Crochet Hook
Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.
Grab the New Color of Yarn With Your Crochet Hook.

Completing the Color Change

Pull Through a Loop of the New Color
Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Pull up a loop with color B.

You might have to tug gently on the yarn end of color A to keep the color A loops from getting too big.

To Cut, or Not to Cut

If you plan to use color A again within the next few rows, don't cut the yarn; leave it attached so that you can carry it up the sides and avoid having to weave in ends.

Cutting the Yarn and Weaving in the Ends

If you don't plan to use color A again within the next few rows, cut color A, leaving a long tail of yarn - at least six inches or so. You will have to weave this end in later.

Cutting the Yarn and Crocheting Over the Ends

Alternatively, in some cases, you may be able to work overtop of the end.

This is not as secure a method as weaving in the ends, particularly not if you crochet loosely or if you are working in a lacy stitch pattern. The main advantage is that it's quicker than weaving in ends. Use this method for projects that won't be laundered frequently - for example, doll clothes. This technique works best if there is not a lot of contrast between your colors.

Work the Turning Chain With Color B.

Work the Turning Chain in the New Color.
Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Continue Crocheting With the New Color.

Continue Working in the New Color.
Photo © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Changing Colors in the Middle of a Row

A Crocheted Piece With Mid-Row Color Changes.
A Crocheted Piece With Mid-Row Color Changes. Photo © Amy Solovay.

OK, so that's how to change colors at the end of a row. What about changing colors in the middle of a row?

To change colors in the middle of a row, you need to know the same basic procedure as outlined above, but there are some additional challenges.

There are different approaches to mid-row color changes, but my favorite technique for that is tapestry crochet. I've posted a separate tapestry crochet tutorial where I demonstrate the technique and give you the lowdown on what you need to know about it.

We also make a variety of free tapestry crochet patterns available for you.

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