How to Carry Yarn up Sides When Crocheting Stripes

Ball Of Wool With Crochet Hook On Striped Paper
Renate Frost / EyeEm / Getty Images
Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Are you tired of weaving in zillions of ends when you crochet stripes? This tutorial demonstrates how to carry yarn up the sides of your work. This technique is perfect when you are crocheting a stripe or colorwork pattern in a yarn that will be used again within several rows. It's a great tool to have in your color toolbox.

A stripe pattern like the one used in this tutorial is a good example of when to use this technique. Both colors appear frequently and within a few rows of each other. The carried yarns may be visible on the edge of the piece, depending on the stitch pattern and yarn weight. It won't matter much if that edge is covered by an edging or hidden in a side seam. On the sample afghan block, the carries concealed with a simple edging of single crochet. On a striped sweater, such an edge appears on the inside, in the seam allowance of the garment.

This technique isn't ideal if you're using a color that won't be used again for more than a few rows. In that case, go ahead and cut the yarn. If you're working on a seamless project and don't plan to put an edging on it, you'll have to evaluate whether the pitfalls outweigh the benefits of carrying the yarn.

Abbreviations

  • ch = chain
  • ch # = chain # stitches, where # is the specified number of stitches
  • rep = repeat
  • sc = single crochet
  • sl = slip
  • st(s) = stitch(es)

Notes

This tutorial shows how to carry yarns up the side edge in single crochet. The same basic method can be applied to any crochet stitch.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • US K/10.5 (6.5 mm) crochet hook

Materials

  • Smooth worsted weight yarn in two light or bright colors, A and B

Instructions

  1. Setup

    With A, make slip knot on hook and chain 20 sts, or desired number for swatch.

    • Row 1: ch 1, sc in each stitch across.
  2. Joining a Second Color

    When you get to the last stitch, stop short of completing the last step.

    • Row 2: ch 1, sc in each st to last st, insert hook in last st, yo and draw through a loop; leaving a 4 to 6-inch tail, take B over hook and draw through both loops on the hook.

    The loop on the hook will be in color B; both yarns are attached to the piece.

    • Row 3: with B, ch 1, sc in each stitch across.
    First Color Change
    Amy Solovay
  3. Switching Colors

    With B work single crochet back across to the last stitch.

    • Row 4: with B, ch 1, sc in each st to last st, insert hook in last st, yo and draw through a loop, drop B and pick up A, take A over the hook, draw through both loops on the hook.

    The loop on the hook will be in color A, ready to use for the next stripe.

    Second Color Change
    Amy Solovay
  4. Continue Stripes

    Continue work single crochet stripes, switching colors at the end of every two rows, until you get the hang of the technique.

    The carried yarns will alternate up the side edge.

    Striped Crochet Swatch With Colors Carried up the Sides of the Work
    Amy Solovay

     

    Close-Up Photos of the Striped Crochet Fabric Swatch.
    Amy Solovay
  5. Add a Border

    If you'd like to hide your carried yarns, work an edging of single crochet over top. The border completely conceals the carries.

    Stripes With Edging Added
    Amy Solovay