Quick and Easy Color Change

Mar 11, 2010

With all of the information on colorwork this week, I thought it would be interesting to explore the technique of changing color, especially in the middle of a row. After a pleasurable 20 minutes browsing through the Harmony Guides: Crochet Stitch Motifs, I fell in love with the Lotus Circle. This motif is a perfect practice for changing colors in the middle of a row or round—you will change colors 18 times per round—but is actually quite simple to work.

When working with multiple colors you can either fasten off the previous color after you have begun the new color or work over the top of the unused color. When working with only 2 colors, as I was here, I prefer to work over the top of the unused color-fewer loose ends to weave in that way. If you are working with 3 or more colors, you may want to fasten off when you would need to work over the top of more than 1 color.

Let's walk through the steps of changing colors in the middle of a row or round.

To change colors in the middle of a row or round, work the stitch before the color change until there are 2 loops left on the hook. I am working in single crochet so I inserted my hook in the next stitch, did a yarn over with the green yarn and pulled up a loop. Now I have 2 green loops on my hook.

Now drop the old color (here, it's the green); yarn over with the new color (pink) and draw through the 2 loops of the old color on your hook.

Congratulations! You've successfully changed colors in the middle of the round. That was easier than you thought wasn't it? Tug on the now-unused yarn to tighten the stitch just a bit. Work in the new color to the next stitch before the color change and repeat the process. (For tips on preventing the yarns from twisting, see my blog.)

Now to decide what to do with my motif. I am thinking of making this motif the crown of a hat or the base of a little project bag. Do you have other suggestions? Let me know in the comments.

If you are a visual learner, check out this video by Kim Werker on changing colors or yarn in the middle of a row.

Best wishes,

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on Mar 11, 2010 12:35 PM

This is a lovely technique.  What do I do with the yarn hanging off the back of my piece?

Thanks for your help!

EllenB28 wrote
on Mar 11, 2010 12:45 PM

That is a really pretty motif, Toni.  I like making little circles or other shapes like this in crochet, for pretty coasters or hot pads.  Of course, my two cats think that all my yarn projects are theirs!

on Mar 11, 2010 1:15 PM

I think this motif would make a lovely design for a bowl using the stiff-it glue stuff to harden the material!

Toni Rexroat wrote
on Mar 11, 2010 3:19 PM

ltaylor, if you lay the unused yarn along the top of the round and work over the top of it with your working color you will be able to hide it.

Ellen B2B, I can just imagine how the little circles would fly around the room when turned into cat toys. Definitely sounds like a cat.

SweetCityGirl, I hadn't thought of stiffening it. It would make a lovely bowl for keys or odds and ends.

JUDYK@44 wrote
on Mar 11, 2010 4:34 PM

This looks like tapestry crochet to me.  For great tutorials, charts, graphs, patterns, videos, etc. check out www.tapestrycrochet.com by Carol Ventura.  Lots of help for colorwork in all types of projects.

LadyCraft wrote
on Mar 11, 2010 7:00 PM

Additional uses for your colorful circles:  I use items like this to line a coaster.  It absorbs the condensation and the coaster doesn't stick to the bottom of the glass.  I also have a very pretty compact that I keep inside a case I made from two such circles.  I also fill two circles sewn together with scent crystals or cotton dabbed in scented oil and place them in places like stores suitcases, closet shelves, drawers, etc.  Make whole bunches of circles and crochet them into pillow covers, lap robes, tablecloths, table runners, etc.  Use them as yo-yos and make toy animals for children.  Circles are indispensable!

on Mar 11, 2010 8:13 PM

In seeing the Lotus Circle, the first thing I thought was:  That would make a great rug under my dining table.  It would need to be much larger, of course.

on May 24, 2010 8:19 AM

I need to learn how to make a cord for a garment I am making without a pattern. I have designed it on my own. I need two such cords. One to tie around my waist and one to tie around my neck. This garment, by the way, is a halter top. And is my very first wearable cracheted work, in all of my 20 something years of crocheting. I have done so many chains, and made so many of them into my own "so called cordings" but don't know if they are correct or not. So please, either email me directions or I will check back from time to time on this matter.



on May 25, 2010 12:17 PM

I used this techinque to add another skein of yarn of the same color in the middle of a row? My question is, however, how will it work when you're doing row work and you're changing colors at the end of said row. The very next stich is a chain. How does this work without looking odd?

on Oct 3, 2010 5:25 PM

I made this Lotus Circle motif and then made it into a hat. It's beautiful.


Toni Rexroat wrote
on Oct 4, 2010 10:09 AM

Kathi, your hat turned out marvelous! I love it and the colors are perfect. Purple is very in right now.

Ashley6573 wrote
on Mar 6, 2012 8:49 PM

WOW this is going to be insanely useful with the stuffed animals I do.  I have always had that annoying little loop where the old color is in the new color space and I've always had to try and hide it by keeping it in the back of the piece, but this is awesome!