Color adds so much personality to crochet projects—in fact, it may be what got you hooked on this craft in the first place. (Yes, I deliberately punned.) Often patterns explain exactly where and how to change colors. But if you want to color outside the lines with your own modifications, this brief tutorial provides some essential tips.
WHERE TO CHANGE COLORS
First, where should you change colors? Unless you’re working in a specific colorwork pattern, it’s best to change colors at the end of the preceding row or at the beginning of the row that uses the new color.
WHEN AND HOW TO CHANGE COLORS
Now for the methods. One way: complete the last stitch of the row with the new color. For instance, if you’re working a double crochet, work until there are two loops remaining on your hook. Yarn over with the new color and draw through the last two loops on your hook to complete the color change. Then continue the pattern with your new color. You can practice this technique with the Plaid Scarf.
Another method involves fastening off at the end of the last row of the old color, then joining the next color using a stitch. If you join with a slip stitch, chain up to the height of the stitches in this new row before continuing with the project row or round. The Tulip Gauntlets use this procedure to incorporate new colors.
If you join with another stitch (single crochet, double crochet, etc.) rather than a slip stitch, there’s no need to chain up. Simply make a slipknot on the hook and work the indicated stitch as normal. This technique creates rather less bulk than the slip-stitch-join method because it involves the actual stitch for the new row in the new color. This method also creates a more seamless look. To try this technique right now on the Curlicue Poncho.
Whether you’re trying one of the projects listed or working on something all your own, the next time you’re making an unscheduled color change, try one of these methods. No matter which one you use, the pop of color will liven up your project.
Excerpt from Love of Crochet Winter 2016