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How to Crochet With Multiple Strands of Yarn
Multi strand crochet is a way to add weight, texture, or color to a crochet project. Learn how to do it here!
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Holding two or more yarns together while you crochet offers new possibilities. You can create your own "designer" yarn by combining colors or types of yarn, and you can create a heavier yarn from lighter yarns.
With this page, learn how to crochet with multiple strands of yarn. If you are not familiar with this concept, then you are in the right place!
You can crochet with one strand in the standard way or try this technique with two, three, or even four strands.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Below, you will learn about separating yarn, winding a center-pull ball for ease of use, understanding yarn weights before taking on multi strand crochet, strand weight suggestions, choosing a crochet hook, testing your work, examples, and more.
Trying to figure out the best yarn to use for the project you want to make can be tricky - and then having to match your crochet hook to that, oh man! That's why we've put together this page to go over tips on choosing: Best Yarn for Crochet
When Crocheting With Multiple Strands, Keep the Yarns Separate
If you are using two or more yarns from different balls, don't wind them together. The yarns may not flow through your fingers at the same rate as you work. Instead, pull from each ball separately and simply hold them together in your hand.
For Multi Strand Crochet, Wind a Center-Pull Ball
If you are using two strands from the same ball, you'll need to pull from the outside of the ball or skein and the inside at the same time. If you are working with three strands of yarn, you may want to use two ends from one ball and one end from a second ball.
This is much easier if you first wind a center-pull ball or "cake". You can do this on a yarn winder or by hand.
Image below: See a center-pull ball with two strands. Use a center-pull ball for best results for multi stand crochet.
Image below: I'm showing how to hold the yarn strands together as if they are one yarn.
Understand Yarn Weights Before Starting
When you combine yarns, you are changing their weights, so that together they act like a heavier yarn. (In this instance, "weight" doesn't mean how much they weigh, but is more about their diameter.)
To learn about yarn weights, review the Craft Yarn Council's Yarn Weight Chart. We also have a guide, Types of Yarn + Yarn Weights Explained, and there is a free printable yarn weights chart.
The chart below suggests how yarn weights might combine to create a heavier weight. Yarn weight descriptions are a range. Some (4) medium/worsted yarns are on the heavy side and some on the lighter side of the range, so the chart is just a guideline.
You can also combine two different weights of yarn—a fingering weight and a dk weight, for example.
|Rules of Thumb |
for Yarn Weight Combinations
|2 lace = fingering or sport|
|2 fingering = sport or dk|
|2 sport = light worsted|
|2 dk = worsted or heavy worsted|
|2 worsted = bulky or super bulky|
|2 bulky = super bulky|
|3 worsted = super bulky|
Use a Larger Hook When Crocheting With Multiple Strands
Since you are creating a fatter yarn, you'll need a bigger hook. Try this: Hold the yarn strands together, fold them in half, and stick the folded strands through the hole in a hook gauge. Whatever hole they fit through comfortably is a good hook size to start with.
Test Out Your Multi Strand Idea
To really understand what kind of fabric you'll be creating with multiple strands, you'll need to try it out. Holding your strands together, and using a hook in the appropriate size, crochet a 6" or larger square.
Are you happy with the fabric you made? If the yarns are different colors or different fibers, are you happy with how they look together? Don't be afraid to try different combinations of hook size and yarns until you are satisfied.
Image below: Both swatches are (4) medium/worsted weight, but the blue-green swatch is much larger than the orange swatch.
Image below: This swatch was crocheted with 2 different colored strands of Red Heart With Love.
Image below: This swatch was crocheted with 2 strands of Red Heart Soft Yarn in the same color.
Image below: This swatch was crocheted with 3 strands of Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable. Combining strands of a variegated yarn creates a whole new yarn!
About the Author:
Edie Eckman is a crochet and knit designer, teacher, and editor. Her best-selling crochet books include Around the Corner Crochet Borders, The Crochet Answer Book, and Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs.
Find Edie on social media and at www.edieeckman.com.
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