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How do you add new yarn to crochet?

Adding new yarn to an existing crochet project is a common technique used to change colors or when you run out of yarn. With some advanced planning and execution, you can add new yarn seamlessly so that the transition is smooth and invisible in your finished project. In this article, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for easily adding new yarn to crochet.

Prepare the New Yarn

Before you add new yarn, you’ll want to make sure the new yarn is prepared properly. Here are some tips for prepping new yarn:

  • Select the right type/weight of new yarn – Match the weight (light, medium, bulky), fiber type, and texture of the new yarn to the old yarn as closely as possible. This will provide the most consistent gauge.
  • Wind the new yarn into a ball – Winding yarn into a ball helps prevent tangling and knotting when working with it. Use a yarn winder or wind by hand into a center-pull ball.
  • Count rows or rounds – Counting rows or rounds completed will help you determine exactly where to join the new yarn.

Where to Join New Yarn

Strategically choosing where to join new yarn in your crochet work can make the transition nearly invisible. Here are some of the best places to join new yarn:

  • Color changes – When changing yarn color, join new yarn at the beginning of a row or round.
  • Between motifs – Joining between separate motifs or individual granny squares hides the transition.
  • Edges and seams – Joining new yarn along edges and seams helps hide the change.
  • Between increases/decreases – Joining between shaping helps disguise the new yarn.

How to Join New Yarn in Crochet

Once you’ve prepared the new yarn and decided on the join location, it’s time to add the new yarn. Here are step-by-step instructions for joining new yarn:

  1. Work to the chosen joining spot with the old yarn. Complete the row or round.
  2. Clip the old yarn, leaving a 4-6 inch tail.
  3. Tie the new yarn to the tail of the old yarn with a secure knot.
  4. Work several stitches with both yarns held together. This locks the new yarn in place.
  5. Drop the old yarn tail and continue crocheting just with the new yarn.
  6. Weave in all ends neatly when finished.

Joining the yarns together and working a few stitches with both ends ensures a strong, nearly invisible transition. Take care weaving in the ends neatly and you’ll get a flawless finish.

Special Techniques for Joining New Yarn

In addition to the basic joining method, there are some special techniques for adding new yarn in crochet. These include:

Back Loop Join

For this method, work to the joining spot in the old yarn as usual. Then:

  1. Insert hook into back loop only of next stitch.
  2. Pull up a loop with the new yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail.
  3. Draw this loop through the loop on hook to join.
  4. Continue crocheting into the back loop for several more stitches to secure the new yarn.

Russian Join

A Russian join interlocks the plies of the old and new yarns together:

  1. When ready to join, unwind plies on the ends of both yarns to expose the individual plies.
  2. Overlap a ply from each end and twist together.
  3. Repeat with remaining plies, twisting in the opposite direction for each join.
  4. Trim excess yarn and continue crocheting.

Braided Join

The braided join is done by intertwining the two yarn ends together:

  1. Separate the plies on both yarn ends and align together.
  2. Twist one ply from each end together.
  3. Fold this join flat against the wrong side of fabric.
  4. Repeat twisting with remaining ply sets.
  5. Trim excess and continue crocheting.

Tips for Seamless Yarn Changes

Follow these tips for clean, seamless yarn changes every time you need to add new yarn:

  • Join new yarn in an inconspicuous spot in the pattern.
  • Make sure old and new yarns share the same attributes (type, weight, dye lot).
  • Allow 4-6 inch tails on both yarns to join and weave.
  • Hold old and new yarn together for several stitches.
  • Maintain even tension with both yarns as you join.
  • Weave in all ends securely and neatly.

When to Change Yarn

Knowing when you’ll need to add new yarn is half the battle. Here are some instances when you’ll likely need to join new yarn:

  • Changing colors – Join a new color at the beginning of a row/round.
  • Running low on yarn – End old yarn when just a few yards remain.
  • New dye lot – Start the new dye lot at edge or seam for consistency.
  • New yarn type or weight – Join new yarn at edge or seam for stability.
  • New bobbin – Secure ends and continue with minimal interruption.


Whether you’re changing colors, running low on yarn, or just trying to hide where you connected new yarn, the techniques covered will help you make seamless joins every time. With some strategic planning and careful execution, you can add new yarn to your crochet projects while maintaining even tension and a flawless fabric appearance. Mastering smooth yarn joins will take your crochet skills to the next level.

Technique When to Use How to Join
Basic Join Changing yarn type or color Tie new yarn to old yarn end, work several stitches with both, drop old yarn
Back Loop Join Changing colors mid-row Insert hook into back loop, draw up loop with new yarn, complete stitches in back loop
Russian Join Natural fiber yarns Unwind plies, twist matching plies together
Braided Join Acrylic and other smooth yarns Separate plies, braid matching plies together

This table summarizes the different techniques for joining new yarn while crocheting. It includes when each method is best used and step-by-step instructions for completing the join.