How to Crochet

Changing Yarn in Simple Crochet (How to Crochet part 4)

htc pt 4 (1)

Welcome to Part 4 of my How to Crochet series!  If you’re new here and would like to learn from scratch, you might benefit from the first three parts of this series:

Part One: Slipknot and Chaining

Part Two: Foundation and Single Crochet

Part Three: Finishing and Weaving in the Ends

Today we’re going to talk about changing yarn in simple crochet. There are two reasons why you’d want to change yarn: to change colour, as in stripes or blocks, or because you’ve reached the end of a skein/ball and need to start on a fresh one.

The method is the same regardless of the reason for the switch, but all of the below photos show me using two different colours of yarn, chiefly because it’s easier to see what I’m doing that way. It’s also worth noting, as with almost everything in crochet beyond the very stitches themselves (and even then sometimes), that there’s a number of different ways to do this. I switch mid-stitch, in part because I find it’s the most physically secure way to do it, and in part because it’s (mostly) an undetectable change. More on that later.

End of Row:

The easiest place to change yarn is at the end of a row, if you can. Given an option, that’s generally where I’ll make the change simply because I find it to be so much easier.

You want to stop halfway through the final stitch of your row; depending on the stitch you’re crocheting in, that might mean different things, but generally you want to stop before the final time you pull the yarn over your hook, but before you pull it through to complete the stitch. If you’re crocheting in single crochet, it should look as it does in the picture below:

img_2110

Now, using the new skein/ball of yarn, and leaving enough of a “tail” to weave in later, wrap the new yarn over the hook as you would if you were simply completing the stitch:

img_2111

And pull through, leaving a single loop on your hook of the new colour:

img_2112

From there, continue on as you normally would. In most simple flat crochet pieces that means chaining one (or two, or three, depending on the stitch and the edge you’re going for) and turning your piece for the new row.

img_2113

img_2114

And what to do with those ends? I’m a fan of simply weaving them in, as in when you’ve finished a piece (please see part three if you need a refresher). If you’re changing colours, you need to be careful to weave the ends in, such that the tension allows each colour to naturally sit in the row that matches that same colour, and of course to weave the yarn into the matching colour. By changing yarn mid-last-stitch, you’ve allowed the original colour to complete the stitch in the lower row, but have built up the new row with the new colour. They want to sit in line with the correct colour, just be sure to not weave the ends in so tightly that they can’t.

To be clear, the change won’t be literally seamless, but you’ll need to look closely to see it.

Mid-row:

And then, there’s the times that you need to change mid-row. Once in a blue moon it will be because the pattern requires it (which I’m not sure I’ve personally come across, but the world is full of patterns I haven’t personally done), but mainly it will be because you’re mid-row on a very large piece, and either you don’t want to waste that much yarn (which is totally fair) or because you started the row not realizing that you couldn’t complete it, and there’s absolutely no chance that you’re undoing all that work (oversized afghans, I’m looking at you).

Changing mid-row feels a little awkward, I think mostly because you have an expanse of stitches both ahead of you and behind you, and you’re needing to balance that along with the old yarn and the new yarn. It’s definitely doable, though, if probably not anyone’s preference, and it’s quite a lot like the above mid-stitch switch-out.

Again, you’ll want to stop halfway through the stitch; again, depending on the stitch you’re crocheting in, that might mean different things, but generally you want to stop before the final time you pull the yarn over your hook, but before you pull it through to complete the stitch. If you’re crocheting in single crochet, it should look as it does in the picture below:

img_2103

Now, using the new skein/ball of yarn, and leaving enough of a “tail” to weave in later, wrap the new yarn over the hook as you would if you were simply completing the stitch:

img_2104

Pull through, being sure that you’re using the new skein and not the old one (it can be surprisingly easy to mix this up when it’s the same colour):

img_2105

And continue on:

img_2109

You’ll need to pay a little more attention to the tension of the first few stitches, as it’s easy to either overcompensate for the sudden looseness in the fabric or to not compensate enough. I tend to leave most weaving in of ends to the end of a project, but if I’m changing mid-row I do it as soon as I have enough new fabric to weave them in. I find it helps a lot with maintaining the consistency of my stitches.

For those who hate weaving in the ends (which is, honestly, most of us), there is another way if you’re changing to the same colour mid-row: you can also carry the loose ends along with you and crochet around them as you go. I’m not a fan of this method myself; it feels a bit too “loose” to me and it disrupts the height of that row (the latter might be in my head). That said, whatever works for you is the best way for you to crochet, and many seasoned crocheters have a lot of success doing it that way. It’s absolutely worth experimenting with if you’re feeling like my favoured method isn’t quite right for you. I’ll still be over here obsessively weaving in my ends. 🙂

Well done, friends!  Go forth and make many striped dishcloths and blankets and other wonderful things. I hope you’ll all meet me back here next Monday for learning double crochet (DC), and that you’ll leave a comment or send a note if anything isn’t completely clear, or if I can help out!

Be happy, healthy, and safe,

Maddy

PS – I’ve pulled the advertisements from my blog, because I realized how many of them (and I have no say on which ones are shown) were promoting fad diets/miracle weightloss or predatory sham medicine or get-rich-quick nonsense and I’m not cool with any of that. Instead, would you consider supporting me on Patreon? Even a dollar a month would be tremendously helpful in allowing me to keep this website/project going, and I’ll be forever grateful. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “Changing Yarn in Simple Crochet (How to Crochet part 4)”

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      And thanks so much for the nod in your latest post! I look forward to exploring your blog, it looks wonderful! 🙂

      Like

      1. My computer may have frozen, while viewing, it is almost as busy as me! No problem, my search this morning was due to the great sites I viewed! I look forward to having time to utilise your blogs! thankyou I have enjoyed building up my site!

        Like

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