Using Bobbins

Other Posts in This Series
Part 1: Working with Multiple Colors
Part 2: Crocheting From a Graph

Once you become comfortable with the tapestry crochet technique, you may wish to create a project with several different colors. For projects using more than three colors, it may be helpful to use bobbins to manage your unused colors. The techniques of changing colors and carry unused yarn remains the same when using bobbins, except you are working off bobbins instead of skeins or balls of yarn.

Why is it helpful to use bobbins instead of skeins or balls of yarn? The strands of yarn tend to become twisted together as you are changing and carrying colors. Despite your best efforts to keep the strands from tangling, this can become nearly impossibly when working from large skeins or balls. Working from smaller bobbins allows the strands more freedom to be moved and detangled, and additionally make the entire work in progress less heavy.

A bobbin is easily made from a 4x6 scrap of cardboard.

Cut a notch in each side about 1/2 an inch deep, and a slit in the top about 1/2 an inch long.

Wrap a single color of yarn around the notches. Secure the yarn in the slit on top to keep it from unraveling when not in use.

Use a new bobbin for each color of yarn you will be using. Allow the bobbins to hang off the back of the project as you are working, and detangle as needed.
The technique for tapestry crochet in many colors is the same as when working with two colors. Simply crochet over and carry all the unused colors. However, it should be noted that the more colors that are used, the bulkier the project will be. It may help to use a larger hook when many colors are used to reduce the bulkiness.

Keep in mind that there is no reason that you have to keep all the different colors attached to the project while you’re working on it. The reason for keeping them attached is to avoid having a multitude of ends to weave in. If, however, you get to a point where it seems to make more sense to cut the yarn, feel free to do so. You can always rejoin that color in a later spot in the pattern.

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