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Colour Changes in Amigurumi

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/colour or www.planetjune.com/color

The basic explanation

To make a neat colour change, keep an eye out in your crochet pattern or instructions for the approaching change. As you make the last stitch in the old colour, pause before the last step of that stitch. For the final ‘yarn over and draw through all loops on hook’, substitute the new yarn, so you draw the new yarn through your loops. This gives a cleaner edge to the colour change.

Left: last loop of previous stitch uses new colour; Right: first complete stitch in new colour

Full Tutorials

Need more details? For full illustrated step-by-step instructions, jump to:


What to do with the yarn

You have several options for what to do with the yarn colour you aren’t currently using:

Carry the yarn along the top of the row you’re working into. This is known as tapestry crochet, and is an excellent technique to use if your pattern continually switches between two or more colours of yarn. However, it adds bulk to your stitches, so if you only use colour changes for a few rounds, and don’t carry the second yarn the rest of the time, the piece may end up looking bulkier around the area with the colour changes. Also, if you aren’t careful, the carried colour can show through between your stitches, particularly if you stuff your work firmly, which can stretch the stitches open slightly.

Left: The grey yarn is carried along the top of the row; Right: The row of shadowy areas (marked with arrow) are actually the grey yarn peeking through – notice that the ‘shadows’ only appear in that top row where I carried the grey yarn

Drop the yarn to the back (inside) of the work and pick it up again when it’s needed. This is a quick and easy method if you’re changing back again after one or two stitches, but leaves a long annoying span of yarn inside your work for any more than that.

A view of the inside after several colour changes of several stitches each time (note that this is a demo piece only!). I don’t recommend leaving connected strands of yarn this long inside the piece; they can cause difficulties when you try to stuff your work

Drop the yarn to the back (inside) of the work and cut it. Knot this end together with the loose end of the new yarn. This can be a bit time-consuming, but if you tie each pair together after you’ve crocheted a couple of stitches past the colour change, it’s not too much trouble. A tip: the knot is simply to prevent your stitches from working loose, so don’t pull the ends too tightly when knotting them together; the goal is to maintain the tension in the yarn so the stitches stay even.

The two ends knotted together inside the piece. Tie the knots as you go – it can be difficult to reach them once you’ve crocheted a few more rounds!

My preference is to use a combination of all three methods, depending on the pattern. I generally cut the yarn and tie the ends together to give a smooth neat finish, but if I’m just making one or two stitches in the second colour, I usually drop the yarn to the inside, or crochet over it, so I can resume using it a couple of stitches later.

32 Comments »

  1. Wen Rou said

    Thanks, that was very useful :)

  2. Joy Abara said

    A crochet beginner dreading a color-change, so far I’ve been sticking to the ‘monochrome’ amigurumi. But this tutorial is so encouraging, I’m excited to try a 2-toned amigurumi!

    • Heather Sayyah said

      I would look into tapestry crochet for a neater version color changing techniques. With tapestry crochet, there are no loose ends inside the amigurumi piece. It makes a much neater piece. Plus, you don’t have to go back and tie knots.

  3. mocaloca said

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for putting the time!

  4. Joel said

    I’m working on a little ‘rumi dog in blue and white, and have been adding little spots on the body. This gives me more options — thanks!

  5. […] You’ll often want to add a splash of color to your projects. The following video shows how to change color yarns. PlanetJune also has a Colour Changes in Amigurumi tutorial. […]

  6. Hi, if you don’t mind, I’m placing a link to your tutorials in my blog.
    http://ami-quelle.blogspot.com
    Thank you very much!

    Regards,
    Melisa

  7. Rebekah said

    Your amazing! Thankyou!

  8. […] do (this is twice in one day from her!)? Then head over to her blog (again!) to check out her tutorial on color changing in amigurumi. Now you can do more than just have stripes of color in your work, […]

  9. ana said

    gracias x la info es exactamente lo que andaba buscando.

    Thanks

  10. Holly said

    I still cant get this very well. all the threads end up on the outside and it looks really stupid. I have tried many times but it still wont work for me.

    Thnakyou anyway. I will try some more.

  11. June said

    Holly, when you make your amigurumi, it forms a sort of ‘bowl’ shape as you crochet. I’m wondering if you are crocheting ‘inside out’ – that would explain why the threads end up on the outside…

    When you insert your hook into a stitch, does your hook go from the outside edge of the ‘bowl’ to the inside, or from the inside edge of the bowl to the outside? If your hook goes from the inside to the outside, you’re working inside out. All you need to do is flip the ‘bowl’ shape the other way out, and then when you insert your hook into the next stitch, it will go from the outside of the bowl to the inside, and all your thread ends will be on the inside.

  12. […] trabajar con más de un color a la vez, el siguiente video muestra cómo añadir un nuevo color. PlanetJune tiene un tutorial en inglés al respecto […]

  13. Your tutorials are very helpful to newbies such as me. Thank you for placing them online.

  14. DLY said

    This is just what I needed! Very helpful.

  15. Tracy said

    I just started working on your Lemur pattern. I got frustrated with the head because of the color changes, but after reading this, I started over and got it! Thank you!

  16. cheryl said

    OMG THANKYOU! I have been stressing about this so much and if I’d only had the sense to consult June sooner! You’re fab!

  17. Samantha Moon said

    Wow! that’s so much easier than what I’ve been doing for years! haha! amigurumi is a new venture, I’ve actually only ever knitted. Thanks!

  18. Ginger said

    This is fantastic! What a clear and concise explanation. Thank you!! This works so much easier than the way I have been doing it!

  19. Meg said

    Thank you for posting this tutorial! It’s a huge help. I’m not quite getting the results I want, and I think part of the problem is that I’m not joining rows.

    I’m making a stripe in a contrasting color, but the end of the stripe and the beginning of the stripe don’t match up. There’s a weird mismatch on one side. Is there any way to correct this problem when you’re not joining rows? Is there a crochet “jog” that I could do?

    Thanks so much, again, for your awesome tutorials and patterns. I adore them!

    • June said

      Meg: you’re right, there’s no way to make the stripes join up when you crochet in a spiral; the only way to avoid it entirely is to join at the end of each round and then ch 1 (in the NEW colour) to begin the next round. If you don’t want to do that, Christen at NeedleNoodles has a method to minimise the appearance of the ‘jog’ – the stripes still don’t match up seamlessly (because one end is always higher than the other when you crochet in a spiral), but her method does smooth the transition between the start and the end of the stripe quite effectively: http://needlenoodles.com/home/?q=node/139 (see Method #1).

  20. […] Color In some patterns, you might need to change yarn color like those I did for the dogs, click here to get the tutorial on how to do it, or here for video. Joining Parts Now you have all the parts […]

  21. […] Guide to Amigurumi. Her blog is also an excellent resource for amigurumi crochet such as a tutorial on color changes.You might also like: Rainbow Octopus Crochet Panda Bear Amigurumi Crochet Pattern – […]

  22. heidy ball said

    every thing you explain is very clear,thanks a lot yo ar a great teacher.

  23. DOULOS said

    June thank you for sharing your tip and talents…. i absolutely lvoe your site and have reffer some many people to it… as a new fan to this craft i found your site helpful you are a great teacher….i would like to know when you make the majic ring and start the sc that chain you count it as one sc ( not the one you do before that chain) and also when do you close the ring i know it is a dummy question but i would like to know if you do close the ring the second row when you make the 12 stchs? ….i am reading this method to get it down to adventure with colors next, mean while i am enjoy learning, i was hesitante if i needed another craft i do so many things aleeady but i am alwais looking for ways to help to support my family and bring smile to my kids i just finis my first amirugumi mouse by using the body of the acorn…..thank you from the bottom of my heart…your fan #1

    • June said

      Hi Doulos, I’m not quite sure I understand your question but I’ll be making a magic ring video soon to accompany my magic ring photo tutorial, so look out for that and I hope it’ll answer everything for you :)

  24. DOULOS said

    June, thank you so much i can not wait!!!! , my question is : when you make the magic ring you close it and then chain one, that chain do you count as your first sc? thank you again you got me inspire and help me to to see crochet with other eyes, have a blessed and creative week :) p.s i got your book i can hardly wait.

    • June said

      No, the chain doesn’t count as a stitch, so if your pattern has 6 sc in Rnd 1, you chain 1, then make the 6 sc. To begin Rnd 2, you’ll ignore the ch 1 and work into the first sc of Rnd 1.

  25. […] make clean colour changes for amigurumi. This is the same basic technique I explain in my original Changing Colour tutorial (and there are more tips on that page for what to do with all the yarn tails you end up with when […]

  26. sandy said

    hi,

    am new to this website.and to crochet.am confused by the info you have given about colour change because the pictures show grey and white. can you add pictures with more prominent color? like say white and red? Please.
    Thank you June.

  27. Dorothy Atkinson said

    I understand now where I was making my mistakes re: starting a new colour. I have tryng to follow directions for the stripes. I just want to change the colour once for a large piece so, should be using the simple basic colour change. I just figured that if one uses the Invisible Join or the second tutorial that would be fine. It wasn’t. Sorry June for asking the dumb questions I have been asking, I just thought a colour change eas a colour change Q

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    June Gilbank
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