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Changing Colors in Crochet

Hi Sweaterbabe,

I have read a million tutorials about this and can add a new color without problem. What NOBODY explains is what to do with the old color and how to fasten it off. Please help!!!

Thanks,

-- Melissa

Dear Melissa,

Good question!

It sounds like you are joining the new color by crocheting over it for a bit before changing to it?

If you aren't, then I believe you will have to deal with the tail of the new yarn as well as the tail of the old yarn, i.e. hide them and fasten them off somehow.

Regardless, all yarn tails are usually best taken care of by weaving them in using a yarn tapestry needle after the granny square or project is done.  The other alternative is to crochet over the old strand for several inches to fasten it off (however, this is not a very secure option. It's still best to weave in ALL ends.)

To weave in a yarn tail, thread it into a yarn tapestry needle.  Then, weave the needle into your crochet fabric (in an area of the same color as the yarn tail) so as to hide the needle (and therefore the yarn) so it will not show on the right side of your work.  This can be easy if you have a solid block of sc or other crochet stitches to hide inside.  This will be a bit more challenging if you have a lacy crochet stitch, in which case you need to weave the tapestry needle through the more solid parts of the stitch to try to hide it.

Try to run the needle and yarn through the fabric for at least a few inches to really secure the yarn tail.  This is more important if the yarn is at all slipperly (like a silk blend) of if the finished project will be subject to a lot of wear and tear.  You really want to weave in enough to prevent the tail from worming itself out and then maybe causing a hole in your finished project.

Additionally, I like to weave the yarn in an inch or so in one direction, then another inch or so in a different direction.  This will help prevent ends from working themselves out.

If you are working on a farily solid crochet fabric (like all sc fabric), then crocheting over the old yarn tail may be a good option.  It just means to hold the old yarn in back of your work and work your next stitches as normal, but also around the old yarn.  The old yarn will basically be encased inside these new stitches.

This is a good method only if the stitches really are close together and the hidden yarn color won't show through the stitches.

I think I might have over-answered you, but hopefully I've given you a complete answer!

-- SweaterBabe

If you have a knitting or crochet question for SweaterBabe, please email it to advice@sweaterbabe.com.  (Please do NOT post it as a comment here.) 

Sorry, but due to the large volume of questions, not all questions can be answered, but many are selected and answered here on the Blog and in the SweaterBabe.com newsletters.  Thanks!

Comments

Lynette


When finishing an article whether crocheted or knitted,
NEVER,NEVER crochet over the ends or tie a knot when you are adding a new color or a new ball of wool.

ALWAYS a wool needle or bodkin and weave the ends in so they will not come undone when washed, etc.

SweaterBabe

Thanks, Lynette. Yes - I did forget to mention about tying a knot.

For me, I agree that you should never tie the knot and think you are finished. Knots can come out too easily! Those ends still need to be woven in so they will not come out.

The only time I do use knots is if I feel the yarn is slippery or quite smooth and I want that knot to help secure the ends. I will still leave at least 6" of the old and new yarn to be woven in to fully secure the ends.

And while I'm on the topic of knots, I do use a loose knot sometimes to keep the new yarn from slipping away. Then, when I am finishing the project, I will untie the loose knot and weave in the ends as explained above.

And, Lynette, I agree that you should not rely on crocheting over the new yarn (as a way of joining it). This does run the risk of unraveling with use of the finished item and washing... both the new and old ends should always be woven in.

Melissa

Thanks Sweaterbabe and Lynette! I hate to admit it, but i was definitely tying a knot and i wasn't weaving in my ends. Im pretty new at this so you certainly didnt over answer my question. I appreciate the detail!!

Thanks again,

Melissa

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