Use the discount code SILLY to get your first month of the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club for free!


Changing colors and stranding yarn in crochet colorwork

Crocheting the dragon’s tummy

This dragon sports a differently colored tummy, which may seem hard, but is actually quite easy once I show you some helpful tips. There are two important pieces to getting a nice looking tummy:

  1. Changing colors cleanly so that you have a nice edge along the sides of the tummy.
  2. Managing the not-in-use color of yarn so that you don’t end up with a mess.

I’ll show you how to do both today, so that you can finish crocheting your dragon’s body! On Thursday, I’ll show you a third part, how to snip and knot the ends so that you can stuff your dragon nicely.

Do you want to know how to change colors?

Of course you do!

So, I made this little video of me doing the first color change: (click on the square icon in the lower right corner of the video to view it in full screen)

Not so hard, is it?

How to carry your yarn

There are lots of ways to manage your yarn when you’re doing color changes, but the technique I’m going to recommend is stranding your yarn, and then cutting and knotting it. The advantage to this technique is that it’s comfortable for crocheting (i.e., you aren’t interrupted by cutting the yarn twice every round) and it achieves the desired look.

If you’ve crocheted Nelson the owl, then you’re probably familiar with the technique. But, I’m going to review it, here… because the dragon adds in some complicating factors!

When you get to a color change, you want to carry the unused color of yarn along the back. But, since we’re going to cut this yarn later on… you need to make sure you have at least 3″ carried along the back. See how loose my pink strand is?

If you pull the yarn tightly, you won’t have enough yarn to cut and tie the ends, later!

So, keep doing this (carrying the unused color of yarn across the back of the work) every color change. You’ll start to get lots of strands:

By the end… you’ll have a lot!

In this post I show you how to snip & tie off these ends – including why you don’t want to just leave them as is!

Frequently asked questions

My stitches on the edges look very loose and icky. What did I do wrong?

Nothing went wrong! That’s normal. It’s just because we’re doing the strands so loosely… we’ll clean them all up tomorrow!

The dragon’s tummy looks crooked, what gives?

When you work in the round, the crochet stitches always bias a little bit to the right (if you’re right-handed). This actually happens all the time, but you don’t really notice until there’s a color change to show it off. There are some ways to fix it, but honestly, they’re a bit of a pain. I like to think of the curving tummy as a feature… it gives the dragon some sassy character!

This color change thing is really annoying.

That’s not a question! Anyway, yeah, I know. There’s no shame in crocheting the dragon’s body all in one color, and skipping the color changes. In fact, I’ve already spotted some finished dragons in our Ravelry group that did just that… and they look fantastic! Your crochet shouldn’t annoy you – do what works for you!


  1. Oh for pete’s sake. Judging by the photo here, I’ve sewed the snout on the wrong side. If I hold the head upside down like yours in the first photo, my stitches are running the other way. What did I do wrong? Cripe I feel like a moron…. 🙁

    • @Kim- Don’t freak out! It may be a problem… but it may not be!
      How about you email me a photo:
      That way, I can have a look and let you know how serious it is 🙂

    • Anonymous SAYS...

      We’ve all done stuff like that.
      Don’t beat yourself up.
      It will get easier.

  2. Hi Stacey:

    I sent you an email and 2 photos. I hope you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about. Thank you.

  3. Erika SAYS...

    How do you get the edges of the belly to look so neat? That’s my only issue when making my own dragon with a different color belly.

    • @Erika- I think you’ll want to have a look at this blog post:

      • Erika SAYS...

        I read the whole blog already. What I was asking was the outline edge of the belly. How do you not make it lean crookedly? Is there a count for each row?

        • @Erika- the color changes will bias slightly to the right.

          • Erika SAYS...

            How would you fix that?

          • I wouldn’t! It’s the way the pattern is written, and crochet naturally biases.
            If you wanted to play around with the pattern on your own, feel free!