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Advanced Crochet Techniques Part Two: Colorwork

March 11th, 2013

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In celebration of National Crochet Month, I’ll be featuring advanced crochet techniques each Monday on the Notebook. Missed last week’s feature on Tunisian crochet? Check it out here.

No matter what you call it–colorwork, tapestry crochet, fair isle, intarsia, jacquard or otherwise–the art of working a design into the fabric of a crocheted product simply by changing colors is a skill that never gets tired. Though intarsia has long been popular in Scandinavian-inspired knitwear, especially sweaters in rich neutrals, it is a method that lends itself to nearly any personal style, from formal and traditional to the fun, “geeky” project a friend is doing with the logos of favorite video games. Whether you seek to create a colorful abstract jacquard pattern or really want a blanket with your favorite sports team’s logo stitched in, learning colorwork is the way to get there.

As difficult as it may look, the great news about colorwork–which is most typically called tapestry when talking about crochet–is that it’s a relatively easy skill to learn, and only requires the patience of changing colors multiple times and following a chart as opposed to a typical pattern.

step2 colorwork  All you have to do to change a color mid-row is to crochet your stitch except for the last yarn over and pull through.
step1 colorwork The last yarn over will be with your new color, and you’ll pull that color through the two loops left on your hook from the previous color.
step3 colorwork Once you’ve linked that new yarn in, you’ll continue crocheting as you had previously.Just don’t forget to weave those ends in as you would any other end to ensure your treasured project doesn’t unravel!

Now that you know the basics of how to change colors in crochet, take a look at some of these crochet blocks from stitch finder that will put those skills to work!

Cat's Head Crochet Block  Homestead Crochet Block
 Cat’s Head Crochet Block(also available:  Dog’s Head Crochet Block) Homestead Crochet Block
Fair Isle Crochet
 Twinkle, Twinkle Crochet Stitch Fair Isle Crochet Block

Think you’ve conquered the basics and you’re ready to take on the next challenge? Try your hand at one of these beautiful afghan patterns that utilize the same technique, and let us know how you make out in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram.

 Image of Nature's Bounty Afghan Image of Intarsia Brocade Afghan
 Nature’s Bounty Afghan Intarsia Brocade Afghan

What new projects will you take on now that you know the basics of colorwork?

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  • JudyHughes

    Keep’em coming….please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cheri-Kelly/100001440781510 Cheri Kelly

    Do you carry the yarn or tie off with each color change in the middle of rows. When i change at end of row i tie off

    • http://blog.lionbrand.com/ Ashley Tedesco

      Hi Cheri,

      It depends largely on preference, as well as whether or not you’ll be picking the color up again shortly. You won’t want to tie knots, particularly in the middle of the piece as they will be very noticeable, but if you don’t want to carry the yarn under the following stitches, you can cut the yarn about two to four inches from the stitch and weave that end in with a tapestry needle. Hope this helps!

      Ashley

  • Dina

    I would love to see the back side of these as well, just for an idea as to how both sides should look.

  • Pingback: Learn to Crochet Four Different Kinds of Lace! | Lion Brand Notebook

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