Changing yarns in crochet

Changing yarns in crochet

Whether you have come to the end of your ball and need to add a new one or you need to change colours for stripes or patterns, you'll need to know how to change yarns within your crochet. This tutorial teaches you three different methods and explains when to use each.

The basic change

At its most basic changing yarns is just picking up a new one and using that instead of the old one. This technique works best to change colour at the start of a new row or change balls or the same colour at any time.

Simply let go of the old ball and pick up the end of the new yarn and draw that through the loop on the hook. In this example, above, I pulled the yarn through the loop on the hook at the end of the row and this created a one chain turning chain in the new colour. 

You can know cut the original yarn ball leaving a short tail. Make sure you also leave a short tail of the new colour as you pull the loop through.

Note with this method the join hasn't been secured, both ends are loose. Unless you are using very slippy yarn, this will be strong enough while you work but when you have finished you will need to tie off each end and weave it in to avoid the risk of your work unravelling over time.

The mid row colour change

In the middle of a row, round or at any point in a spiral, if you want to change colour, it's important exactly when you pick up the new yarn. You want to do it in the final pull through of the stitch before the colour change. This is because the top of the stitch is formed by this loop. 

Drop the old yarn and pull the next colour through as the final step of the last stitch

Continue in the new colour.

You can see above that if you don't do this then you'll have a stitch with the top and the post being different colours.

Standing start

A slightly more advanced way to change colour is the standing stitch. This works best at the start of a row or round and has the advantages of meaning you don't need a turning chain and your ends are already secured.

Start with the previous colour fastened off and a slip knot of the new colour on your hook.

Yarn over if your stitch requires it (I have in the photo above as if to work a treble (US double crochet) and insert your hook into the first stitch.

Make your stitch as normal.

A note on ends

Each time you change yarn you will have two ends that you will need to deal with. In the first two of these methods they are unsecured and need fastening before weaving in. On the third they are already fastened and just need weaving in.

You may enjoy this tutorial about weaving in ends and this one about avoiding weaving in ends.


Reading next

How to work into the other side of your foundation chain.
Crocheting into row ends

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