How to Change Colors in Crochet

How to Change Colors in Crochet: How to Seamlessly Change Colors in Crochet

Variegated crochet scarf for girl
Image source: Crazy Patterns

Ready to learn how to change colors in crochet? Knowing how to change yarn in crochet opens up a whole new world of possibilities in your journey to learn how to crochet. After you’ve mastered this crochet skill, you’ll be able to add vibrant colors to any crochet project.

If you know how to sew or are learning to sew, crochet is an excellent complementary skill. If you can combine your knowledge of types of fabric and sewing techniques with crochet, you’ll be an unstoppable DIY’er.

Keep reading to discover the tools you’ll need, which crochet skills to master first, how to join two colors of yarn in crochet, and beginner projects that will help you practice how to join different color yarn in crochet.

Tools You’ll Need To Practice How to Change Color Yarn in Crochet

Before you can start to answer the question, “How do you change yarn color in crochet?”, you need to make sure you have all of your supplies ready. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

    1. Two different colors of beginner-friendly crochet yarn. When learning a new crochet skill, picking a low-texture yarn in a light color will help you see your stitches and working yarn more clearly.
    2. Your crochet hook of choice, in an appropriate size for your yarn.
    3. A plan for where and how to change the color of yarn when crocheting. 

Change color in crochet for every stitch in rounds and rows
Image source: Super Gurumi

Skills to Master Before Learning How to Change Yarn Colors in Crochet

Once all of your supplies are ready, you need to determine whether or not you’re ready to learn how to switch yarn in crochet. Learning how to switch yarn colors while crocheting isn’t the most challenging step of learning how to crochet, but it’s best to learn the basics first. 

Getting a handle on beginner skills will make practicing how to color change in crochet faster and smoother. Check these crochet techniques off of your list first.

You also need to be familiar with how to read a crochet pattern. Changing colors is typically indicated by an actual color on a crochet diagram. The symbol shapes indicate the type of stitch used.

Pattern Instruction

Abbreviation

Symbol

Switch yarn color

Color change

Crochet tutorial how to read crochet charts
Image source: The Lavender Chair

You need many of the above skills to even start a crochet project. The other skills listed will increase your understanding of crochet basics, which are essential to changing colors in crochet. Once you’re confident in the above skills, you can feel comfortable tackling how to add another color in crochet.

How Do You Change Colors When Crocheting?

There are multiple ways to change colors while crocheting. Each technique for how to switch colors in crochet comes with unique advantages, disadvantages, and finished effects. Let’s begin with changing colors in a crochet chain.

How to Crochet Different Colors Together: Changing Colors in the Middle of a Chain

The first technique to change yarn colors in crochet is by switching colors in the middle of a chain stitch. This is often written as “ch color change” in a pattern.

How to change colors in crochet
Image source: Crochet Spot

The general idea of switching colors in this technique is to let the first yarn go and resume stitching with the next color. Note: the instructions below are written for right-handed crocheters. If you are left-handed, check out guidance on reversing crochet instructions.

    1. Release the working yarn of the “old” color.
    2. Yarn over with the new yarn color.
    3. Draw the new color through the last loop on the hook.

How to Change Colors in Single Crochet: Changing Colors at the End of a Row

Certain patterns will require you to change colors in the middle of a row after a specific stitch. When you want to switch to a new color in the middle of a row using a single crochet stitch, you can use a similar technique as above, with some adjustments depending on your stitch height.

Sc color change crochet
Image source: Annies Catalog

    1. Start the work with the first color (referred to as “color A” in patterns). Crochet a couple of rows of single crochet in color A until you are ready to change colors. Leave the last single crochet stitch of the current row unfinished.
    2. Before you finish the last stitch of the row, pick up your second color (“color B”) with your crochet hook.
    3. Pull color B through both loops of color A on your crochet hook. You may have to softly pull on the end of Color A so that the loops don’t get too big.
    4. (Optional). Cut yarn A, leaving a long tail (at least six inches). Later, you will have to wave this end in.
    5. Make a turning chain with color B.
    6. Continue crocheting with the new color as usual, until you are ready to switch colors again. Repeat steps two through five when you’re ready to change colors again.

Note: If you don’t want to weave in the ends of color A, you can leave it attached. When you leave yarn color A attached, you have two options:

    • Carry color A up the sides
    • Pick up color A again in the next few rows. This is an excellent way to practice how to change colors when crocheting stripes.

Remember to use an appropriate turning chain length for your stitch height. If you’re not confident in the right number of turning chain stitches for different stitches, refer to the table below.

Crochet Stitch

Number of Turning Chains

Single stitch

1

Half double stitch

2

Double stitch

3

Triple / treble stitch

4

Double triple / double treble stitch

5

It’s essential that you don’t finish the previous stitch before switching colors because otherwise, the first color will be visible in the new row as an uneven bump. You can see the difference between switching colors at the proper vs. improper time in the image below.

How to change colors row
Image source: Crochetpedia

How to Join a New Color in Crochet In the Middle of a Row

How do you change colors when crocheting
Image source: By Katerina

Switching your crochet colors in the middle of a row is another common method required by crochet patterns. By changing colors in the middle of the row, you can create anything from basic geometric patterns to detailed color schemes.

You can use the technique below regardless of whether you’re switching colors for the first time or the hundredth time in a particular project. 

    1. When you’re ready to switch colors, start your next switch as normal using color A. 
    2. After pulling up a loop but before completing the stitch, stop stitching. There should be two loops left on the hook for single crochet stitches (or three for half double stitches). Pull up a loop of your next color (color B).
    3. Pull color B through both loops on your crochet hook to finish the crochet stitch.
    4. Release color A and continue stitching as normal with color B.
    5. Repeat this process as instructed by your pattern.

Note: If your pattern requires you to frequently switch between colors within a row, it’s easiest to leave the yarn colors attached rather than cutting them off. 

You can carry your first color while you crochet with the second one. By working your stitches over color A, the first color will stay hidden inside your stitches.

How to Change Colors While Crocheting Circles

The process for changing yarn colors while crocheting circles is the same, whether you’re crocheting in the round or working spirally. Once again, following the steps is required to avoid an ugly bump in your finished product. See the comparison image below as an example.

For an added bonus, this method also works with every different type of crochet stitch.

How to change colors flat circle
Image source: Crochetpedia

    1. Start to close your round using a slip stitch.
    2. Stop after placing your hook into the first stitch of the round.
    3. Pull the new color (color B) all the way through the stitch.
    4. Make a chain stitch to attach the new color.

Tip: As you’re learning how to switch colors in crochet circles, pay close attention to your tension. In the beginning, it will be difficult to keep your yarns and stitches all in the right places.

Beginner Projects to Practice How to Change Colors in Crochet

Once you’ve practiced the different techniques for changing yarn colors, you’re ready to start a new crochet project. If you’re searching for inspiration for your next project, take a look at the list below. 

Striped Crochet Scarf

Striped crochet scarf
Image source: Winding Road Crochet

When it comes to color changing crochet projects, it doesn’t get simpler than this chic striped crochet scarf. Use any color combination that you want, and don’t forget to include a custom woven label before you start selling them to your fans. Get started with the free online pattern

Stitches used in the pattern:

    • Chain stitch (ch)
    • Double crochet (dc)
    • Slip stitch (sl st)

Crochet Gradient Cardigan

Gradient crochet cardigan deconstructed yarn cakes
Image source: Make and Do Crew

Ready to show off your new color-changing skills by wearing them? This gradient crochet cardigan is stylish and sure to be in demand by your customers. Try it out for yourself with this free pattern and wait for the compliments to pour in.

Stitches used in the pattern:

    • Chain stitch (ch)
    • Double crochet (dc)
    • Increase (inc)
    • Slip stitch (sl st)
    • Turning chain (tch)

If you decide to make more of these cardigans to sell, consider adding a custom care label so that your customers know how to take proper care of your masterpiece. 

Striped Baby Hat

How to color change crochet
Image source: Crochet n Crafts

This striped baby hat pattern is the perfect gift or product to sell. Customize the pattern with the colors of your choice. Before you sell these adorable hats, include a customized hang tag to boost your branding. 

Stitches used in the pattern:

    • Chain stitch (ch)
    • Double crochet (dc)
    • Single crochet (sc)
    • Slip stitch (sl st)
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