Do you like crisp, clean stripes? Want a smooth transition from one color to the next? Try working slip stitch surface crochet over color changes!
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Why Surface Crochet Over Color Changes?
This surface crochet is pretty, but do you really need it? In most situations, a normal color change is neat enough that surface crochet may feel like an unnecessary, extra step. It’s helpful though, for those situations where you need to make two different types of transitions match.
The bag shown in this video has an unusual construction, which ends up placing a sewn seam and a crocheted color change next to each other. You can sew as carefully as you like, but the seam is never going to look exactly like the color change. For this bag, I wanted both to look as similar as possible.
One answer would be to crochet each color separately and sew everything together, and surface crochet is another option. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to do the surface crochet at the color change. In a separate tutorial (coming soon), I’ll show you how to match this with surface crochet over the seam.
A note about hook size
Even and fairly loose tension is key when you surface crochet over color changes. You can use the same size hook as your project, or you may even want to go up a size. Experiment and see what looks best to you. If your fabric puckers, go up a hook size. If it looks floppy or flares out, go down a hook size.
How to Surface Crochet Over Color Changes
Starting with a slip knot
The surface crochet should be done on the right side of the fabric. You can start your surface crochet with a fresh piece of yarn by making a slip knot or twisted loop and putting it on your hook.
Starting with the working yarn
Want fewer ends to weave in? You can sometimes use the working yarn from the first color instead. This is how I did it for the bag and in the video.
Don’t change colors and fasten off as normal. Instead, you want to leave the loop of your first color “active” so you can pick it up and use it for the surface crochet. Place a stitch marker in the working loop of your first color to secure it and remove your hook. Then join the new color in the first stitch.
After you finish working the first row in your new color, secure that loop with a stitch marker and remove your hook once again. Now place your hook back in the loop of the first color, and you’re ready to start the surface crochet. You should be working on the right side of the fabric.
This method ONLY works if you change colors after a wrong side row. Otherwise, your working loop will be on the opposite edge and your slip stitches will end up on the wrong side of the fabric.
Slip stitch surface crochet
Keep the working yarn behind your work. Insert your hook into the first stitch of the row below. This is the same spot the first stitch of the new color was worked into.
Yarn over and draw up a loop, then draw that loop through the loop that was already on your hook. This completes a surface crochet slip stitch.
Repeat in each stitch across. The slip stitches should cover the edge between colors, creating a nice smooth border.
Surface Crochet Over Color Changes video tutorial
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