Change Your Stripes

Updated: Jan 19

Hello Everyone!

It’s time we delved into the quagmire of crochet and its many different styles, but first, you’ll need to know how and why crafters would crochet with different colours, and how to change them. It’s pretty simple, and very easy, and depending on what the pattern is looking for, you can choose to either fasten off your work, or work in the second colour (or more), by hiding it in plain sight.

Let’s use a few rows of stitches, that way, we’re not floundering around with gaps and patterns that may be tricky to navigate around.

So, Ch 1 and work your first SC in the 2nd Ch from your hook, then SC all the way to the end, and turn the piece. Do a few more rows of SCs until you’re satisfied.

Let’s Begin

Are you ready to start? Good. We’ll start with the non-continuous pattern. What I mean is that when you change colours, it’s only once, or you won’t need your first colour again, or you won’t need your first colour until much later. So, there are many ways to do this. I’ll show you a few, and you can decide for yourself which one you’d rather use.

The Invisible Attachment

The first way is to incorporate the new colour into the last stitch you make, in the previous row. What happens is, when you draw up your loop, for the last SC in the row, instead of pulling your first colour through both loops, you use the new colour instead, like this:

Then you carry on, with your work. Now, like I said, you might not need your first colour anymore, so don’t just leave it hanging at the end of the change. What you do, is cut your first colour. Make sure you leave a long tail, because that way you can create a knot that will ensure your pattern doesn’t unravel, and weave it into your piece, like this:

Do you see the loops in the first picture? Yeah, that’s from me weaving the tail between the stitches. If I pull on the tail, it’ll tighten up, and become practically invisible.

Now, this type of change is great if you’re working on a delicate piece, where you can notice the lumps and bumps of a colour change, and actually, this one is much better for a continuous pattern (where you use the first colour again, after the change). However, you might find it much easier to deal with, since it’s literally just continuing the pattern you’re working on, with a new colour.

The Seamless Stitch

This one is sort of a step behind the first one. So, instead of attaching the new colour through a stitch, it happens afterwards. What I mean is, after creating the last stitch in your row, you bring up your turning chain, or the first chain in the next round, using the new colour, like this:

This is much more seamless, especially when you’re working with a delicate pattern that requires pretty much a constant colour change or you’re using contrasting colours. So, for example, when you’re working on a pattern that use contrasting colours, you don’t want to display the colour change. That’s why this colour change exists. It’s so that you can change your colours, without making it noticeable.

Ok, here's why you use it. In the picture above, you can notice the colour change, when using the first method, right? Now, look at the picture below.

Do you see the difference? It’s great for when you’re working in rounds and Granny Squares, that way the change isn’t seen.

The Gap Change

Ok, so say for example, you’re working with a lacy piece, that is, you’ve created a pattern with many gaps between stitches, and you need to work the new colour in the gap, rather than over a stitch, like this:

The first two colour changes won’t accommodate this, because you’ll either have to Sl St with the first colour and work the new colour in that way, or you Sl St with the new colour, but that makes the change obvious, and it’ll be harder for you to weave the remaining yarn of your first colour, into the pattern. So, what you do is fasten off the first colour, and make sure you have a long tail. It’s so you can work over the first colour, with the new one. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a bit.

Now, there are a few ways you could do this new change, you can either Ch 1 on the new colour, before adding it to the pattern, like this:

Here’s the Wrong Side, to show you what it looks like:

Or you can Ch 1 around the pattern, like this:

Again, here’s the Wrong Side, to show you what the stitch looks like:

So, the reason why I’ve shown you two methods is because the first method ensures that the colour change is solid. It means that if you make a mistake and you have to unravel your piece, you’ll have at least one chain to work with, if you have to start all over again. The second method is much more seamless, just like the first two methods I showed you.

In the past, I preferred the second method, because although it was fiddly, I could still happily work my way around the pattern without the huge lump that the first method provides.

Let’s Just Work Around It

Ok, so we’ve covered the basics of, what I call, a solid colour change, where you need to fasten off your yarn, or cut it after the colour change. What you need to do now is weave the yarn into the pattern. This is pretty easy, especially if you have solid stitches to work with. If you’ve forgotten what that looks like, scroll up, and you’ll be able to remember.

But if you’re working with a lacy pattern, or a “gap” pattern (where you have chain spaces, or gaps between stitches), it’s a lot harder to weave in the long tail you have. So, you work over the tail, instead. What I mean is, you hold the tail, close to the piece you’re working on, and as you continue the pattern, you work your stitches over both the piece, and the tail, like this:

Let me show you the back, because you’ll understand it better.

Do you see how the red yarn tail is practically hidden by the double crochet? That’s how you work over the tail.

Easy right? Of course it is, and it’s a great method to use, especially when you’re working with continuous patterns. It also helps, when you’re changing colours. What I mean is instead of knotting your new yarn and trying to hide it amongst the pattern, you can work over it, to keep it secure. It’s also great for when you need to use your first colour, in the next row or round, with the colour change, you can easily draw it up instead of having to fasten off and do the change all over again, like this:

Now, some knitters might say you can just leave it to the side and wait for the row that you need the yarn on. What I mean is they’ll tell you to leave it exposed on the side, until you need it again, like this:

I’d say don’t do that, because it’ll leave a length of yarn exposed, and you won’t know what to do with it. Not to mention because it’s exposed, your previous rows could come undone, and that’s not what you want. So, when you do your colour changes, don’t leave the yarn exposed. It’s not neat and you won’t be able to control the tightness of it, especially when you’re using it again.

Go and Change Your Stripes

So, there you have it! You now have a few ways to change colours in your pieces! It’s a great way to add colour to your patterns, like the Classic Granny Square and make it more interesting. Now, you know I’ve got homework for you, right? Of course I do, who would I be if I didn’t?

Ok, so here it is, you’ve probably guessed it, but in any case, I want you to go back to the Classic Granny Square pattern I gave you, in the last blog post, and try out the colour change there. Experiment with the different methods I’ve shown you and find out which one you prefer. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way, and if you come up with your own method, why don’t share it with me, let me know what you’ve discovered and tell me why it works for you!

Well, that’s it from me today, I’ll see you guys next time. For now, don’t forget to like, subscribe and follow for more updates and the latest posts here on Feather’s Charm and on my social media accounts. Oh, and share these posts with family and friends, those who you’d think might enjoy these topics and tips! I’ll see you later!

With love,

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