How to change colours neatly in the middle of a row
There are a few different ways to change colour in crochet, depending on the location of the new colour and its purpose, and whether you’re working in rows or in the round.
Here’s a little trick for when you need to change colour in the middle of a row or round where the change will be obvious, rather than at the start of a new row where the new colour is introduced at the edge of the piece.
This simple technique gives a much neater appearance and is really very easy!
If you follow a pattern strictly and introduce a new colour in between stitches – immediately before the first stitch in the new colour – you’ll most likely end up with a piece that looks like this:
See how that’s a bit messy-looking, with both colours mixed up in the changeover, the new colour kind of interrupting the old colour rather than a clean change?
If you use this simple trick for changing colour in the middle of a row, your piece can look like this instead:
Isn’t that much better? Waaaaay more tidy! And so much more professional in appearance don’t you think?
So how do you achieve that neater mid-row colour change that looks soooo much better?
The trick to a neater colour change
The simple trick to achieve that clean colour change is all about when you introduce your new colour.
See how the changeover in the first picture looks messy like the two colours are tangled up in the same stitch? But in the second picture each stitch appears clearly defined, in its own colour, with no mixing?
Ironically, the way you can get your stitches to look completely in their own colour, is to make one stitch using both colours, changing part way through.
The colour change actually occurs during the last stitch of the first colour. You bring the new colour in before the first stitch of that second colour, while still completing the last stitch of the previous colour.
Why is that?
Because the top of each stitch is actually created when you pull through the last loop of the previous stitch.
Let me show you.
In these pictures below demonstrating this technique, I’ve used single crochet (double crochet in UK). We’ll call the taupe shade Colour A and the teal yarn is Colour B.
Just ignore the edge of the piece and what’s going on there with bringing Colour B up the side – I didn’t want to cut the yarn as I was just going to unravel this piece after taking these photos.
This first picture shows the situation just before starting the final stitch of Colour A. (So if the pattern said for example “Sc20 in colour A, change to colour B and Sc5” this would be after Sc19).
Begin your last stitch of Colour A as normal: using Colour A, insert hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, as you normally would for single crochet.
This is now where the colour change occurs, by introducing the new colour in the middle of this stitch.
When you yarn over again, use Colour B. Pull that new strand of Colour B through to complete the stitch.
Your final stitch in Colour A is now complete and you now have Colour B on your hook.
Now you make the first stitch using Colour B.
With Colour B already on your hook, do a regular stitch as normal: insert hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over again and pull it through.
Ta daaa! There you go!
You’ve now made a neat and tidy colour change in the middle of your row, and are ready to continue on in Colour B. Easy!
What if you’re using another stitch?
In the demonstration above, Colour B is introduced when you yarn over for the second time in a US single crochet or UK double crochet. But what if you’re using a different stitch than that?
Well, the principle is the same – the new colour is introduced when you yarn over for the final time when creating that stitch.
Ie. If you’re using a taller stitch where you yarn over and pull it through some of the loops on your hook multiple times, no matter how many times you do that, just make sure the last yarn-over-and-pull-through motion is using Colour B.
So remember, the trick is to introduce your new colour in the final step of the last stitch of the previous colour.
Have you tried this technique? What method do you use for changing colour? I’m keen to hear what works for you!
What other tricks or techniques would you like to see tutorials on? Drop a comment and let me know!
First posted: Jun 10, 2020