Create Beautiful Color Fades on Your Amigurumi with This Easy Trick
There’s just something so stunning about ombre. Maybe it’s the smooth transition of colors or shades, but it’s just gorgeous to look at. Did you know you can create your own custom color fades on any amigurumi you want? And what’s even better is that it’s super easy and can be applied to almost any project! Let’s dive into how to create beautiful color fades on your amigurumi with this easy trick!
Create Beautiful Color Fades on Your Amigurumi with This easy Trick
Things to Keep In Mind
It’s time to pick your project! However, before you go diving in, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
- Would this project look good with color fades?
- In order to get decent color transitions, you’ll need a minimum of 6 rows of space so if you’re working on a pattern that makes very short limbs or a tiny body, this may not be the best option.
- Another aspect to consider is if a project will be overly complicated or involve a bunch of layered pieces. In either case, it may not be worth the effort to do the color changes if they’re going to be covered up or throw off the shaping.
- What yarn are you using?
- We’ll get more into this later on in the article, but the best color fades involve closely related shades of colors, so you’ll need to pick a yarn line that offers a bunch of options. Or you can get yarn cakes that already produce an ombre effect and separate the shades.
- What is the purpose of your project?
- If you’re making an amigurumi just because you want to or to practice your skills, this is an excellent exercise. However, if you’re making a bunch of toys for a market or otherwise trying to produce a bunch of inventory for sale, I don’t recommend this simply because it takes more time. But all the work pays off if you’re really trying to wow someone as a gift or enter a show.
The image on the left is the Dino S’more pattern from Rasmussen Resin and the image on the right is my Bubbles the Bear pattern. While I absolutely loved making the Dino S’more, it’s not a pattern that would work well with color fades because the body is too short and covered by other elements. In contrast, Bubbles has several open areas where color fades would look great either on the sweater part itself or the actual bear. I’ll show an example a little further down.
First and foremost, always keep in mind what yarn you are using for this project because it determines how successful the color fades are. For the following samples I’ll be illustrating, I’ve gotten several cakes of Lionbrand Mandala and separated all the colors into individual cakes of yarn.
Pro Tip: This is actually a really cost-effective way to get a bunch of different colors of the same kind of yarn. While you don’t get a lot of yardage per color, there’s still plenty to work with for practicing this technique on small to medium amigurumi.
Once you’ve chosen a yarn, it’s time to pick colors. You need to decide if you want to stick with one color (monochromatic) or transition between 2 (or more) colors.
A monochromatic example would be from light orange to dark orange like in the image below:
This kind of transition is arguably the easiest since you’re just changing from lighter shades to darker shades (or vise versa). If you’re using several colors from the same skein of yarn like Red Heart Super Saver Ombre, this is definitely the way to go since you’ll already have shades in between the dark and light.
When you’re working with multiple colors, it’s a good idea to consult the color wheel.
In general when creating successful color transitions, you’ll want to stay on one side of the color wheel at a time. For example, transitioning from bright yellow to light green. If you’re interested in learning more about color theory, check out this article: How the Pick the Perfect Colors for Your Crochet Projects.
The trick is to pick your starting and end colors first. Then pick out a middle color that connects them. You can choose as many middle colors as you like and the more there are, the smoother the fade will be.
In the example above, I used 2 colors in between the yellow and the light green which created a smoother transition that just 1 middle color.
If two colors just won’t cut it and you want to incorporate 3 or more, I still recommend staying on one side of the color wheel. For this example, let’s pick orange as our starting color and blue as our ending color. Following the color wheel, the main colors in between them are red and purple, so that means we need at least those two colors in between to transition.
In the sample below, I chose a light orange, pink, light purple, and light blue to show how the fades blend. While the transition is not as smooth, the colors are all a similar shade and work together pretty harmoniously. If I were to add another middle shade in between each core color, the transitions would be even softer.
Plan Your Color Fades
Now that you’ve chosen a pattern, your yarn and your colors it’s time to plan out where you want your color transitions to be. I like to sketch the complete design and then add in the spots where I think color fades would look good. However, if drawing isn’t your thing, you can always print out a black and white image of the pattern you’re making and use colored pencils on top of it.
Ideally you want to look for areas where there are several straight single crochet rows (no shaping). Depending on how many colors you’re using, you may need more space. In the previous examples, I made my free Mini Octopus pattern and used 4 colors each time. The transition rows themselves need 2-3 rows per color. In this case I needed between 8 and 12 rows to complete the transition.
Take your drawing or printed image and mark where you want the colors to change and then make notes on the pattern when you’ll need to start this transition.
How to Transition Colors
I’m totally a visual person, so if you’re like me an it’s easier to see this being done, check out the video tutorial below. If you’re totally new to changing colors, or just need a refresher, check out this article: Quick Guide to Color Changes in Amigurumi.
- 2.5mm crochet hook
- 4 colors of yarn (I used 4 shades of orange from a cake of Lionbrand Mandala)
- Tapestry needle
- Stitch marker
(**) – See Project Notes section
- MR – magic ring (**)
- Sc – single crochet (**)
- Inc – increase (**)
- Dec – decrease (**)
- BLsc – back loop single crochet
- This project is written in US terminology.
- Unless otherwise specified, work in continuous rounds without using a slip stitch to join rows.
- Move stitch markers up each row as you go.
- Magic Ring: Create a magic ring and work the specified number of single crochet into it (ex. MR6 = 6sc into the ring).
- Single Crochet: Unless otherwise specified, this project uses the yarn under technique. Insert your hook into the stitch, yarn under, pull up a loop (2 loops on your hook), yarn under, and pull through both loops.
- Increase: work 2sc into the same stitch.
- Decrease: Unless otherwise specified, use the invisible decrease method. Insert your hook into the front loop of the next stitch, then insert your hook into the front loop of the following stitch, yarn over and pull through the first loop (3 loops on the hook), then yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on the hook.
Start with color A.
Rnd 1: inc 6 times. (12)
Rnd 2: [inc, sc] 6 times. (18)
Rnd 3: [sc, inc, sc] 6 times. (24)
Rnd 4: BLsc around. (24)
Rnd 5: sc around. (24)
NOTE: Rnd 6 starts the first of the 3 rnds that will transition us from one color to the next.
Rnd 6: [A: sc, B: sc] 12 times. (24) Don’t switch back to Color A in the final stitch.
Rnd 7: [B: sc, A: sc] 12 times. (24)
Cute Color A and continue only in Color B.
Rnd 8: sc around. (24)
NOTE: from here on, repeat Rnds 6-8 each time you want to transition colors. For the sample I completed in the video, the pattern continues below.
Rnd 9: [B: sc, C: sc] 12 times. (24) Don’t switch back to Color B in the final stitch.
Rnd 10: [C: sc, B: sc] 12 times. (24)
Cute Color B and continue only in Color C.
Rnd 11: sc around. (24)
Rnd 12: [C: sc, D: sc] 12 times. (24) Don’t switch back to Color C in the final stitch.
Rnd 13: [D: sc, C: sc] 12 times. (24)
Cute Color C and continue only in Color D.
Rnd 14: sc around. (24)
You can stop here or keep going by transitioning the colors back the other way in the same fashion.
This is one of my absolute favorite techniques to use to transition colors and it can be applied to almost any amigurumi project. I even did a test mushroom where I used 7 colors to transition from white to black at the top.
Once you get the hang of the pattern of switching colors regularly, I recommend trying this technique on more complex patterns. Don’t be afraid to switch colors when doing increases or decreases either. Just play around with it and have fun!
What do you think about this technique? Would you give it a go and customize and amigurumi with it? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to give me a follow over on YouTube if you like my videos.
I hope you enjoyed this article and I can’t wait to see what fantastic creations you whip up!