How to Carry Yarn up Sides When Crocheting Stripes

Avoid Weaving in Ends When Crocheting Stripes

First Color Change
Amy Solovay

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 will help you save time when you are crocheting stripes; it will eliminate the need for weaving in an excessive amount of ends, leaving you with only a few at the beginning and end to deal with.


You'll need two different colors of yarn: color A and color B. You'll also need a crochet hook. In our sample swatch, we're using baby pink yarn as color A and baby blue yarn as color B.


Crochet two rows of single crochet in color A. When you get to the last stitch, stop short of completing the last step. (View A.)

Grab color B with your hook. (View B.)

Pull it through to complete the stitch. (View C.) Do not cut color A!

Work the turning chain with color B as you normally would. (View D.)

Second Color Change

Second Color Change
Amy Solovay

Finish crocheting two rows in color B. When you get to the last stitch, leave the last step incomplete in preparation for the next color change. (View E.)

Remember how you didn't cut color A when you were finished working the first two rows? Since you didn't cut it, it should still be hanging around down there, just waiting for you to pick it back up and keep going. That's exactly what you're going to do: grab color A with your hook, (View F) and pull it through to complete the stitch. (View G.)

Work your turning chain in color A. (View H.)

Striped Crochet With Colors Carried up the Sides of the Work

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

That's it, in a nutshell. From here, you just keep repeating those basic steps every time you change colors to make a new stripe.

Views I and J show another color change, completed exactly the same way.

View K is a close-up photo of the side of the Afghan block; this picture shows how the carried yarns will look.

Striped Crochet Afghan Block With Carried Yarns

Close-Up Photos of the Striped Crochet Fabric Swatch.
Amy Solovay

View L shows how the sides look after several more rows have been added to the afghan block.

View M is a photo of the block before the edging has been added.

Stripes With Edging Added

Stripes With Edging Added
Amy Solovay

View N is a close-up photo showing how that same edge looks after an edging of single crochet has been added over top. See how well the edging hides the carried yarns? You can't even tell they are under there.

When to Use This Technique

This technique can be used successfully under the following circumstances:

  • When you are crocheting a stripe or colorwork pattern in a color that will be used again within several rows. For example, the striped pattern shown in this tutorial is ideal for use with the technique, since both colors are used frequently and within a few rows of each other.
  • When you are crocheting a project that will have either side seams, an edging, or some other means of hiding the carried yarns. For example, this afghan block was completed with a simple edging of single crochet. This technique could also be successfully used to create sweaters, where the carried yarns will be hidden in the side seams of the garment.

When NOT to Use This Technique

This technique isn't ideal for the following circumstances:

  • If you're using a color that won't be repeated again for more than a few rows, carrying the yarn up the sides is not a good idea. In that case, go ahead and cut the yarn.
  • Even then, you aren't necessarily doomed to weaving in lots of ends. Depending on the colors and yarns you are using, you might be able to crochet overtop of the ends, which may be easier and quicker than weaving them all in.
  • If you're working on a seamless project, and you don't plan to put an edging on it, you'll have to evaluate whether the pitfalls outweigh the benefits of carrying your yarn.
  • One of the downsides to this technique: Things can catch on the carried yarns if you leave them exposed. It's really preferable to bury them under edgings or hide them in seams. If you don't camouflage the carried yarns, you'll have to put up with the risk of the yarns catching on things when you use/wear the finished project.