Some Subtel or Not So Subtel Changes

ScannedImageOne thing that I enjoy experimenting with is visual effects in crochet. There are many different ways that this can be accomplished, textural stitches, various stitch locations, colors, but this time I was actually working with a carry a long thread.


Swatch using a Carry Along thread

I challenged myself to play with something that is relatively simple yet has interest. So I was working with a Tunisian Simple Stitch, changing color on every forward and return pass. I find that I really enjoy this with 3 colors as each row sets up really nicely for the next, and eventually you do not even have to think about what color you are on the strand you need is already there. (If you would like to give it a try for yourself, I have a free pattern using the stitch technique here.)

I was working with some vibrant colors, and wanted to tone it down a bit and even tie the colors together better, so I picked up some Twist Carry Along Yarn from Kreinik Threads and it did the trick. Many would find a complimentary color and add similar color thread to the work, I instead decided to go big, and I pared a color that would stand out, gold. This allows for the colors to actually find more harmony together. The eye begins to tone down the brightness of the vibrant yarns as they have a constant that is running through all of them. One of the reasons I chose the gold as the carry a long color was that if I am going to put in this extra work, I want it to be seen. I want someone to recognize my effort, if you have a hard time telling that there was something different done then it almost seems like there is no payoff for my extra work. I decided to be bold.


Swatch without a thread

Using a carry a long thread is actually pretty easy, you just work 2 strands together, one being your main yarn and the other being your thread. The only difficulty comes in changing the color of the main yarn, you want to make sure that you do not get everything too tangled, so remember to overlap your yarns in a consistent direction and keep the thread out of the twist.

So if you want to challenge yourself, reach into your stash of yarn and pull out a couple of yarns are random, now use them together, if the colors seem like they won’t work try using a thread, either the same as I tried, or even a metallic sewing thread or a beautiful embroidery type. See how it can change the effect. Play, you might find a pleasant surprise.

My Color Change

ScannedImageSometimes what makes the biggest difference with the appearance of your work, are the things that it is assumed you know. For crochet this means those little things in a pattern that state; “weave in ends”, “change color”, “finish off”, “yarn over”, and the unwritten beginning slip knot.

These are areas that I have taken a little time and explored, to see what feels most comfortable to me. I have some past posts talking about weaving in ends and yarning over, so today I thought I would take a look at color changing.


Completing a stitch and working the next stitch in a new color

I have played with a couple different approaches to changing color since I started crocheting oh, so many years ago. I think in the beginning I just tied the colors together, sometimes at the end of my last stitch and started the next stitch with the new color, having a little knot at the top of the stitch. I mean I would cut the working yarn and tie the new color to it, and just keep crocheting away, so it was just one long piece of yarn in my experience. It is not exactly perfect, always a little unsure of exactly where the color will change at, and then there is the little knot, so it adds a slightly different texture.


Changing color at the last yarn over of the adjacent stitch


Smooth transition of color, see how the last loop of the purple stitch actually rests on top of the next stitch shown in the previous photo, creating a straight white line

Then I graduated to the point of changing the color after completing a stitch, and begin the new color with the next stitch. It was similar to the cut and tie method I did in the beginning, but I did not necessarily create a knot. I would cross the yarns over each other so that the last loop of the first color would get to loose. But if you look at this approach, it does not leave a smooth “straight” line of the color change, there is a little color overlap in the newly created stitch. The reason for this is due to the stitch construction for crochet stitches. The last yarn over and pull through of a stitch, actually creates the top of the next stitch adjacent.

So then I realized that I needed to change color at the last yarn over and pull through of the point of the color change. This gives me a cleaner color change, and a secure transition of yarns. It allows my work to have an appearance that looks a little more skilled. Granted I have ends to weave in, but this simple technique has taken my work to new level.