Learning to change colors in crochet can turn your projects for plain to amazing.
I truly consider learning to change colors in crochet to be one of the most fundamental skills you can have. Fancy stitches are wonderful, but changing colors, making stripes can take a simple project and make it look complex. Just look at some of the projects below.
The scrunchies are more interesting because they are stripped. The Buttoned cowl is mostly just a double crochet rectangle but looks amazing because we changed the colors to resemble a plaid pattern. The flamingo wallhanging uses just one stitch but changes colors in an order that leaves us a picture when it is completed.
The Mistake we all Make
When we are beginners we think to change colors in crochet is as easy as just dropping the old color and using the new one. And honestly, we are correct. It is as easy as dropping one color and using the new one but the real trick is knowing when to start using your new color.
As beginners we will start using the new color at the beginning of a stitch. Below is a photo of what you will end up with if you just start using a new color at the beginning of a stitch.
The bottom of the stitch is pink (the new color) and the top of the stitch is blue (the old color). This is because the loop that is on your hook when you finish a stitch is actually the top of the next stitch. So to have a nice clean color change, we need to change colors in the last stitch before you want to see the new color.
For the sake of this example, pretend that we are making a swatch where we want to work the first 10 stitches in yellow and the second 10 stitches in blue. In order to change colors neatly, we will be changing during the 10th stitch. Below I will explain two rules that you can use so you always get a neat color change.
Two Rules to Change Colors in Crochet
To change colors in crochet is really easy once you understand these two simple rules. We learned above that in order for your 11th stitch to be blue you need to change colors in the 10th stitch.
Rule 1: Change colors in the last stitch of the old color.
In order to work the last stitch in the old color (yellow) and have you next stitch to be the new color you will work only the last part of the stitch in the new color.
Rule 2: Work the last yarn over of the stitch in the new color.
This will leave your stitch yellow and the loop on your hook blue. That loop will be the top of your next stitch. Easy right? Well watch the video tutorial below and I will demonstrate how this works with the single crochet stitch, half double crochet stitch, double crochet stitch, and even a bobble stitch.
Change Colors in Crochet Video Tutorial
Watch the tutorial below to learn how to change color in crochet and don’t forget to subscribe to the Winding Road Crochet YouTube Channel.
Change Colors in Crochet
Below you can see us put theses two rules into use.
So in this photo I have worked 9 single crochet in yellow and I want to work a total of 10 yellow single crochet and 10 blue single crochet. So following rule number one, I am changing colors during stitch 10. I am working single crochet so I pulled up a loop and following rule number two I am working the last yarn over with blue.
Pull the blue loop through the yellow loops and you are left with stitch 10 being yellow but the loop on your hook is blue. When you work the 11th stitch it will be completely blue.
Changing Color in Fancy Stitches
The great thing about this technique is that it works for all stitches. Below you will see how the two rules for color changing work for the bobble stitch.
In the first photo I am showing the bobble stitch that is almost complete. I have just worked the last yarn over with grey. For the bobble stitch you will pull the grey loop through all the red loops to complete the stitch. After a bobble stitch you always work a single crochet and the single crochet after the bobble stitch in the second photo is completely grey.
So just remember the two rules from above and you will be changing colors in crochet for any stitch.
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Printable written pattern for stitches