Selecting Your Color Scheme
If you’re set about incorporating multiple colors of yarn in your project, the first place to start is to decide which colors you want to use for your project. The goal is to pick colors that complement one another and would look good when joined together. There are several no-brainer color combinations you can choose from, but there are also a lot of edgy color combinations out there. What you can do is choose your color scheme while you are perusing that yarn aisle. You can put two yarns close to one another in good lighting and scrutinize the effect they will have when paired together. When you’re in doubt, wrap a few inches of the two yarns together on a white index card. Look at it in broad daylight and decide if you’re happy with the color scheme you have chosen.
Incorporating Color in Your Pattern
Now that you’ve chosen your colors already, the next step is for you to decide where you want the colors to start. If your pattern calls for different colors, all you have to do is follow the instructions. However if you’re crocheting without a pattern, this decision solely falls on your hands. You get to decide how much of each color you want in your work and decide on the number of rows and chains you want in your pattern.
Say, you want to create a placemat with 48 stitches going across. The most important thing you need to do, even before you start working on the project, is to decipher exactly how many rows of each color you want to use.
Joining Two Colors Together
How you will join the two colors will depend entirely on the stitch you are using for that project.
If you are working in single crochet, the first step is to work across the row until before the last stitch. When you are about to begin the last stitch, insert the hook and draw up a loop. As you are working six inches from the end of the new color, draw the new color through both loops on the hook to complete the single crochet stitch with the new color in it. You then need to chain one and turn. Leave a six-inch tail from the old yarn and cut it. Now you have six inches of the new color and six inches of the other color that you have to loosely tie together. Later on, you will have to untie the knot and create a weave at the ends to ensure that your stitches stay in place.
What if you’re working using half double crochet stitches? There’s a slight variation on how you are going to join a new color of yarn into your project. To start, work across the row up until before the last stitch then yarn over. Then, insert the hook into the last stitch and draw up a loop. In the same manner, work six inches from the end of the new yarn color and draw the new color through all three loops on the hook to complete the first half double crochet stitch. Chain two of those, turn and then join the yarns by cutting the old yarn while leaving another six-inch tail. To complete, tie the two tails together loosely.
For double crochet stitches, what you have to do for the preliminary is the same. Work across the row up to before the last stitch, yarn over, insert hook into the last stitch, and draw up a loop. Again, working six inches from the end of the new color, draw it through the last two loops on the hook for you to complete the double crochet stitch. Chain 3 double crochet stitches then join the yarns together the same way you would for the single and half double crochet.
Completing the Project
When you join two colors, you will notice that you have a lot of loose ends. What you will have to do is weave the yarn ends so that your stitches will not unravel. You will have to begin by untying the knot you first created, then thread one of the loose strands into a yarn needle and insert a half inch of it down the side edge. Cut the excess and thread the other strand and then weave it up the edge in the opposite direction.
Weaving is the process by which you run the needle through a couple of stitches to lock the excess yarn into the stitches thereby securing the ends. Remember to always weave on the wrong side of your work so that it won’t be visible. When you’re working to weave different colors, weave each end along the edge of the same color.
Now if you want to join two colors in the middle of the row, what you have to do is determine when you want to add the new color and just follow the steps depending on the stitch you are using for the project. To weave the ends of different colors in the middle of the row, make sure that the knot is on the wrong side of the fabric. If it’s not, push it to the wrong side and untie the knot. Thread one loose end into the yarn needle and weave it horizontally to the right for a minimum of three stitches to lock it in. Make sure that the needle does not go through the right side when you weave it. Secure it with one small backstitch and weave for a minimum of three stitches again. For the other loose end, redo the same process but going to the left side.
Basically, how you crochet doesn’t change when you’re changing or joining colors of different yarns. The only difference is the amount of weaving you will be doing in comparison to just using a single colored yarn. Nonetheless, if this makes your project more attractive, why not go for it? Hello rainbow-colored scarves and fancy rugs!