Exciting news here at Crochet Cloudberry. This month I am releasing my first large crochet pattern, a cushion cover called Hygge Heart, and another one of my designs will be published in a national magazine. The thing that both of these patterns have in common is that they use the intarsia crochet technique, some times called fair isle or jacquard crochet. It is a colour work technique that once you get the hang of opens up a whole new world of crochet possibilities. (Although this colour change technique is only suitable for work with a definite right and wrong side as the yarn is carried on the wrong side.)
Anyway, I thought now would be a good time for a step-by-step tutorial on how to master colour changes when crocheting double crochet (single crochet in USA terms) in rows.
Crochet your rows as normal using double crochet.
When you want to change colour, start your preparation on the final stitch in the old colour.
On this stitch, you only do the first stages of the double crochet (i.e., insert hook into work, pick up the yarn and pull through) so that you have two loops on the hook. Do not complete this stitch.
Prepare the new colour, by forming a loop that will fit over the hook.
Then slide the loop made with the new colour on to your hook, so that you now have 3 loops on your hook. (2 in old the colour and 1 in the new colour).
Complete the stitch as normal. You will end with 1 loop on your hook and it will be in the new colour. Do not cut off the old colour, but hold it behind your work.
Continue crocheting in the new colour until you want to change back to the old colour.
Again you start preparing to change color on the stitch before the colour change. Do not complete this stitch, but stop when you have 2 loops on your hook.
Form a loop in the old colour, which you have been carrying behind your work.
Complete the stitch as normal so that you only have 1 loop on your hook. It will be in the old colour.
This image shows how the thread is carried behind your work.
Continue in the old colour until the end of the row.
Turn your work as usual and start working the return row.
On the stitch before you want to change color, only do the first two steps. When you have 2 loops on your hook, make sure you pull the thread of the old colour onto the wrong side of your work. (the side you are now working on)
Then pull through a loop in the new colour and complete the stitch as normal.
This image shows how the back of your work will look with the yarn held/carried on the wrong side.
Congratulations, you have now learned how to change colours in crochet.