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How to Change Colors in Crochet (Rows and Rounds)

Changing colors in crochet is a great way to add visual interest and dimension to your crochet projects. There are a few different ways to do it, and the best method for you will depend on the type of project you’re working on. In this tutorial, we’ll show you the simple technique to change colors in crochet so that you can create colorful projects with ease.

So whether you’re just starting out or are looking for a little refresher course, read on to learn how to change yarn colors in crochet!

attaching teal yarn to a small crochet swatch made in the middle of the row

How to Change Colors in Crochet

Changing colors in crochet is easy once you know how. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to add color to your projects with different shades of yarn.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to change colors in crochet, step-by-step. We will also provide some tips on how to make the process easier for you.

New to crochet? You may want to start with this How to Crochet beginners guide, and brush up on the basic crochet stitches.

Basic Method for Changing Yarn

Consider this method a rule of thumb. This basic method for changing colors will work whether you’re working single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, or half-double crochet.

Here is the basic method for changing color in crochet. 

  1. Stop crocheting right before you pull through the last two loops on the crochet hook. Drop the old color of yarn.
  2. Put the new yarn color on the hook, and use the new color to pull through the last two loops on the hook.

To “put the new color on the hook,” simply lay the new strand of yarn over the hook, and hold the yarn tail to the back of the work. Then, pull the new color through the last loops on the hook to complete the stitch. After that, continue crocheting with the new color of yarn.

What to do with the yarn tails

You can leave the yarn tail of the previous color on the back of your work. When it’s time to weave in the ends, give them a little tug to tighten up the stitches. Then, weave in the loose ends on the wrong side of your work.

Changing Colors in Single Crochet

As we’ve just discussed, the method is the same whether you’re working with single crochet stitches or other basic crochet stitches. Here are the specific instructions for single crochet.

  1. With Color A: Insert hook, yarn over, and pull up a loop. (2 loops on hook.)
  2. Switch to Color B: Yarn over, and pull through both loops on the hook.

Changing Colors in Double Crochet

Here’s how to change colors in double crochet.

  1. With Color A: Yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, and pull up a loop. (3 loops on hook.)
  2. Yarn over, pull through two loops. (2 loops on hook.)
  3. Switch to Color B: Yarn over, and pull through both loops on the hook.

You can follow this basic idea to switch colors with taller stitches, like treble crochet and double treble crochet, too.

Changing Colors in Half-Double Crochet

Changing colors in half-double crochet is just a little bit different since you’ll be pulling through the last three loops on the hook instead of the last two loops.

  1. With Color A: Yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, and pull up a loop. (3 loops on hook.)
  2. Switch to Color B: Yarn over, and pull through all three loops on the hook.

How to Change Colors in the Middle of the Row

Changing colors in the middle of a row is quite easy once you know the simple trick described above!

To change colors in the middle of a row, stop crocheting with Color A right before the last loop is pulled through. Then, put Color B on the hook, and use Color B to pull through the last two loops on the hook. After that, you can continue crocheting across the row with Color B.

a small crochet swatch in blue and teal yarn

How to Change Colors at the End of a Row

Changing colors at the end of the row of crochet is just as simple.

Crochet all the way to the end of your row – but stop crocheting right before you pull the yarn through the last two loops on the last stitch of the row.

  1. Stop crocheting right before the last two loops are pulled through on the last stitch. 
  2. Then, put the new color on the hook, and use the new color to pull through the last two loops on the hook. 
  3. After that, chain one (or however many stitches you need for your turning chain) and turn your work. 

You are now ready to start crocheting the new row with the new color.

That’s all there is to it! Practice a little bit, and soon you’ll be able to change colors in crochet with ease.

How to Change Colors in the Round

Changing colors in the round is very similar to changing colors in rows. In most cases, you’ll use the same basic method.

There are a few things to keep in mind, though, especially when it comes to changing colors at the end of joined rounds. Keep reading for the details.

Changing colors in the middle of a round

Let’s say you’re crocheting a flat circle, and want to change colors in the middle of a round. In that case, you’ll work the same basic technique we’ve discussed above.

To change colors in the middle of a round:

Work until there are only two loops left on the hook, then drop the first color. Place the new color on the hook, and finish the stitch by pulling the new color through both loops on the hook.

This technique will work if you are changing colors in the middle of a spiral round or a joined round – it’s the same process.

Changing colors at the end of Spiral Rounds

When you crochet in the round, you either work in spiral rounds (aka continuous rounds) or joined rounds.

When you work in spiral rounds, you do not join the rounds with a slip stitch (sl st). Instead, you simply make the first stitch of the new round in the first stitch of the previous round. Your work will grow as you keep crocheting in a continuous spiral.

To change colors at the end of a spiral round:

Work until there are only two loops left on the hook, drop the first color, and pick up the new color. Finish the stitch by pulling the new color through both loops on the hook. Then, crochet the first stitch of the next round in the new color of yarn.

Changing colors at the end of Joined Rounds

Changing colors at the end of joined rounds is a little different. Joined rounds are “joined” with a slip stitch. So when you want to change color, you’ll do it right before you join the round with a slip stitch.

To change colors at the end of joined rounds:

  1. Crochet to the end of the round. Finish crocheting the last stitch with the old color. (This is different than our usual technique.)
  2. Insert your hook into the first stitch of the round. Now, yarn over with the new color of yarn, and pull through both the stitch and the loop on the hook to finish the slip stitch.

This simple move accomplishes three things – it finishes the slip stitch, joins the round, and changes the yarn color all at the same time. Now you can chain up and start the next round in the new color.

Tip: There’s another way to change colors at the end of joined rounds. End the round with an invisible finish, and start the new color with a standing stitch.

Tips for Changing Colors

Here are some tips that will help make changing colors a little easier:

  • When you pick up the new color, make sure that you leave a long yarn tail. This will ensure you have enough yarn to weave in at the end of your project.
  • Likewise, when you cut the old yarn color, make sure to leave a long enough yarn tail to weave in at the end of your project.
  • If you’ll be changing colors often – like if you’re making 2-row stripes – you can carry the unused yarn along the side of your work. This will drastically reduce the number of ends you have to weave in later.

How to Change Colors in Granny Squares

Granny squares are often quite colorful. Most granny squares patterns will instruct you to work each round with a different color.

Most granny square patterns will instruct you to join the new color of yarn in a corner space.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start the granny square with the first color of yarn. Then, at the end of the first round, fasten off with the first color. To fasten off, cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch yarn tail to weave in later. Then, pull the yarn tail through the last loop on the hook.
  2. Then, switch to a new color of yarn. Make a slip knot with the new yarn, and place it on your hook.
  3. Next, attach the new yarn to the granny square. Insert your hook into one of the corners of the square. Yarn over with the new yarn and pull through, creating a slip stitch.
  4. Now, you can begin working the next round with the new color.
  5. Continue working each round with a different color until you reach the desired number of rounds.

When you go back to weave in your ends, you can untie the slip knot so that you don’t have any knots in your finished work.

Tip: You can choose to weave in your ends as you go, or save them all to weave in at the end.

small granny square in blue yarn with a pink and gray crochet hook
Attach the new yarn with a slip stitch.

How to Change Colors in Crochet Amigurumi

Often, you’ll want to change yarns while making amigurumi – or crocheted toys.

Since most amigurumi are made with single crochet in spiral rounds, you can follow the basic method for changing colors in spiral rounds as described above.

But, there is another method to make the transition between colors a little bit smoother:

  1. Add the new yarn just before you pull through the last two loops on the last stitch.
  2. Then, instead of making the first stitch of the new color in single crochet, make the first stitch of the new color with slip stitch.
  3. Then, when you get back to the first stitch of the round, work into the slip stitch as if it were single crochet, and crochet into it as normal.

This easy method does a pretty good job of smoothing out the color transition, but it’s not perfectly seamless.

If you want a perfectly seamless color change and don’t mind a bit of extra work, check out the amigurumi color change tips in this video.

More Crochet Tutorials

If you’d like to learn more about how to crochet, here are some articles you should read next.

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a small crochet swatch in blue and teal yarn

How to Change Colors in Crochet

Yield: 1
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Learn the simple technique to change colors in crochet so that you can create colorful crochet projects with multiple colors of yarn.

Materials

  • 2 colors of yarn

Tools

  • crochet hook
  • scissors
  • yarn needle

Instructions

  1. Stop crocheting right before you pull through the last two loops on the crochet hook. Drop the old color of yarn.
  2. Put the new yarn color on the hook: lay the new strand of yarn over the hook, and hold the yarn tail to the back of the work.
  3. Use the new color to pull through the last two loops on the hook, completing the stitch.

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