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C2C 103: How to change colors

A single color C2C project is a lot of fun. Changing colors every few rows is enjoyable. Following a pattern to make a picture, now that, my friends, is the best of C2C Crochet !!

I would not, however, throw caution to the wind when changing colors. Eventually the needle will call and you will be weaving in all those tails. Look at the tails on the pieces that I’m using for examples. Because I switched colors every row I now have 2,567 tails to weave in. Maybe not that many. But it will seem like it.

So, what’s to be done about this? There is a number of techniques to move the yarn from the position it is in to the position you need it. Anytime that you don’t have to cut your yarn that’s 2 tails you don’t have to weave in later. I’m sure you’ll agree, those are good numbers to hear when a new WIP is calling your hook.

Changing colors

First, of course, you need to know how to switch colors. Super simple. Just like you would change colors in any other piece you pull the new color in with the last stitch before the change. With C2C you’re usually pulling it through with the slip stitch. Unless you are traveling the yarn you’ll just want to make sure you bring your old color to the front of your work before you change colors.

You can see in the pictures that the first block of row 7 is done. Now I need to switch to Turqua and then complete 2 blocks in that color. When I pull the yarn through for the slip stitch I pick up the Turqua instead of the background color. Then complete 2 blocks.

Perfect! Except now I need the background color again. I could cut it and begin again on block 4 of the row. But there is an opportunity to avoid that tail situation. The yellow shows where that yarn is and where we need it to be. All we have to do is travel the yarn over to the spot that we need to pick it up again. A little preplanning is in order.

The Travel

To travel with your yarn just run it along the chains and stitch right over it. Stitch over the tail from the new color as well while you’re at it. There are a few times this won’t work. It may not be practical if you have to travel a long distance and you should just cut the yarn and pick it up again when you need it. Most of the time you won’t see the yarn as it travels because it’s the same color as the chains it is up against. Sometimes you will be able to see it and it will stick out like a sore thumb. I wouldn’t travel in that situation either. But here it works perfectly.

Here you see how I carried the background yarn up the side, pulled the Turqua to the front and picked up the background color again with the slip stitch. In this case I don’t need to travel with the Turqua so I’m just going to let it hang out there where I can pick it up again on the next row.

Sometimes just stitching over the yarn doesn’t look good. Look at these examples. On the left looks fine but the exact same technique used on the right doesn’t.

You can also “travel over” instead of traveling thru. Basically you just leave a length of yarn open so that you can stitch over it when you come by on the next row.

So that’s how you change colors. Easy peasy. You’ll just have to play around with what technique you want to use and when you want to use it. This will cut down on the tails but not eliminate them completely. There will always be times when it’s just not practical to travel your yarn. In that case you’re going to have to cut it. A few tails here and there is no big. Traveling will cut it down though and that’s enough for me.

Learn about bobbins for yarn management in C2C 104: Using Bobbins in C2C