How to Seamlessly Change Yarn Colors in Crochet Tutorial

Learning how to change colors in crochet is a great way to add detail and excitement to a crochet project.  In today’s quick tutorial, I’m breaking down the basic technique for how to change yarn colors in crochet projects for complete beginners.  

If you’re a visual learner, I’ve included a photo tutorial as well as a video tutorial to help ensure you’ve got everything you need in order to do a crochet color change with confidence.

I’ve also shared photos showing color changes being done in each of the basic crochet stitches to help show how it is done for each stitch.

teal crochet stitch in the middle of a row of grey crochet stitches

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Materials Needed to Change Colors in Crochet:

All you need to change color in crochet is your crochet project in your original color, a new colored yarn and your crochet hook.  Your crochet pattern will tell you what hook size to use with your yarn.  

If you’re not using a pattern, your yarn label will recommend what hook size to use (learn how to read a yarn label here)

I’m using a worsted weight yarn called Brava Worsted in two different colors and a 5.5 mm crochet hook in this tutorial but you can use any skein of yarn and hook size combination to do this technique.

Understanding Color Changes in Crochet Patterns:

In most crochet patterns, it is expected that you’ll know how to change colors in crochet and the pattern will utilize the standard method for changing colors (shown below).

If a unique method of changing colors is used, instructions for how to do that method should be provided with the pattern.  

In crochet patterns, color changes will typically be indicated as “change to color x” where x is usually the letter assigned to the color.

 Here is an example below:

Round 4: SC 5, change to color a, SC 10, change to color b, SC 9. (24)

In the pattern example, the color change is indicated before the first stitch that should be the new color but you will actually change colors using the previous stitch. 

This has to happen this way because when a crochet stitch is created, the top of the stitch is offset from the post of the stitch.  To get a seamless color change, you need to start the color change in the stitch before it is supposed to happen.

Seems complicated right? It is actually really simple so let’s look at it being done and it will help make it much clearer.

See This Technique Done in This Video Tutorial

YouTube video

How to Change Colors with Single Crochet Stitches

Start the last stitch in your project before the color change is indicated in the old yarn color. For single crochet, insert your hook into the stitch, yarn over hook in the old color and pull up a loop (2 loops on your hook).

crochet inserted into a stitch on a crochet swatch
crochet hook inserted into a stitch with a yarn over on the hook
crochet hook with two loops of grey yarn on it, working through a single crochet stitch.

Drop the old color and yarn over hook with the new yarn color, making sure to leave a long tail of yarn (about 6″ in lengh) that you can weave in later.

crochet hook with a bright blue yarn on the hook as the last yarn over of the stitch

Pull the new color through the stitch to complete it.

completed single crochet color change

​That’s it! Your color change is complete!

How to Change Colors with Half Double Crochet Stitches

When changing to different colors in different stitches, we start our stitch in the first color and then use the second color to complete the stitch.  See the images below for how to change colors in half double crochet.

crochet hook inserted into a stitch
crochet hook with three loops on the hook with hand holding the hook and a crochet swatch
crochet hook adding a new yarn color for the final yarn over of the stitch
completed half double crochet color change

How to Change Colors with Double Crochet Stitches

Again, this stitch is started with your first / previous color and worked up until the last yarn over of the stitch.  The last yarn over is done using the new color of yarn.

The images below show a color change being done using the double crochet stitch.

step 1 of a double crochet stitch
step 2 of completing a crochet color change using double crochet stitches
step 3 of completing a crochet color change using double crochet stitches.
completed color change using a double crochet stitch

How to Change Color at the End of the Row/Round

It doesn’t matter if your color change happens at the end of a row, the middle of a row, in a round or back and forth in turned rows, changing colors is done the same way no matter how the project is worked and where the color change takes place.

What to Do With the Yarn Tails

You’ll thread your yarn tail onto a yarn needle and use the yarn needle to weave your yarn ends into your project.  Your goal is to hide the yarn tail inside the stitches which not only looks nicer but it also secures the yarn so that it doesn’t unravel.

Alternatively, you can crochet over your yarn tails, holding them to the back of your project and hiding them in your stitches as you crochet over them.  

This method is faster however, is not fool proof and you will likely not only see strands of yarn poking through your project eventually, but your yarn may eventually unravel.

If you’re set on crocheting over your loose ends, I recommend crocheting over your yarn tail for only short distances and on the back of your work only.

How to Change Yarns or Colors in Amigurumi

As amigurumi is typically made using only single crochet stitches, you’ll start your last stitch before the color change in the old color and then lay the new color over your crochet hook and pull in through the stitch.

When you change colors in amigurumi, there is often a small step that is created when you change colors due to working in a continuous round.  I

f you don’t mind a bit of extra work, learning how to do the invisible finish / join is a great technique to know in order to minimize the look of those color changes.

How Do I Add a New Yarn Instead of a Color?

You would add a new ball of yarn to your project the same way that you would add different colors to your project. Work your last stitch in the current color up to the last yarn over of the stitch and then yarn over with the new yarn and complete the stitch with a new yarn.

I hope you enjoyed this how to change yarn colors in crochet tutorial and feel confident to try these methods in your next crochet project.  

Ready to learn some new crochet stitches and techniques? Here are some other great crochet tutorials to check out next on your crochet journey:

Be sure to check out my Crochet Stitch Tutorials page to get a list of tutorials for basic stitches in both traditional crochet and Tunisian stitches, tips, tricks, special stitch patterns and techniques and more.

Ready to Get Started With a Free Pattern to Practice This Technique?  Try These Beginner-Friendly Crochet patterns:

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brightly colored crochet stitch in the middle of a grey crochet swatch with text that says how to change yarn colors in crochet tutorial

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