Cabana Boy

I’m teaching a pooling class at Knit Maine this fall; we’ll talk about both applied pooling and planned pooling. We’ll be using this cheery yarn from Keith Leonard at Yarn Snob. The colorway is Cabana Boy, and it’s awesome.

This is what it looks like when the skein is untwisted. You can tell by looking at it that the colors will pool, if you want them to. I definitely want them to! I like that bit of organization in my knitting, rather than random color riot everywhere.

Spiraling is a type of pooling. If you are knitting on the number of stitches that uses exactly one (or more) pass around your skein, the colors will pool and align straight up, in this case orange above orange, pink above pink, blue above blue. If that’s not your number, your colors will spiral to the right or left, depending on if you’re working more or fewer stitches than that magic number. If I wanted this hat to pool straight up, it would only be about 72 stitches, and would fit a baby/toddler. The yarn is the boss! If I wanted a different sized hat, the color stripe is going to spiral instead of stack.

In applied pooling, you let the yarn tell you when to do something. Every time that color appears, it’s a signal to use a particular stitch pattern. In this case, I did crossed stitches using multiple yarn overs. But you don’t have to be that fancy, you could go as simple as purling every time you’re above a particular color (because the purl stitch will create a bump in that color on a stockinette background).

So that’s the work knitting going on right now. I’m probably going to knit a Shall We Dance cowl with it, because that’s what I’m most likely to wear.

You know what I’m not wearing? These glasses!

(Previously my progressives, Rx sunglasses, bifocals, and computer glasses)

I had cataract surgeries in May, and at the same time corrected my vision from extreme myopia to 20/20 and 20/25. The world looks bright and colorful and CLEAR! No more haziness. I’ll re-use two of these frames, one for sunglasses with a reader bottom, and one for computer glasses. Because I’m still OLD and need readers now. Every day I wake up amazed that I can just open my eyes and SEE. Thrilling!

15 responses to “Cabana Boy

  1. Andrea Roosth

    Thank you for the information on the spiraling!!!! I have seen assigned or applied pooling before but I love the spiraling effect and did not even know it had a name or how to do it! THANK YOU!

    • It all depends on how your yarn was dyed! And you can tell by looking at the untwisted skein. If it were all over speckle color, it wouldn’t spiral like this.


  2. “Old”, you say ? – I’ll give you “old”, you youthful creature !!! Super news about the cataract surgery: we are one in that. 🙂 But it was more important for you I feel: mine was just the ageing factor,

    • Not being nearsighted for the first time since I was 6 is pretty amazing! But the vibrancy of colors now is also astounding. I had no idea I was seeing the world through what looked like a nicotine haze, until I had one eye done and one eye not. Whoa.


  3. Isn’t cataract surgery just the best? I love being able to go out in the world without wearing glasses all the time (though I will say that reaching for readers does become tedious at times! If only my arms would stretch…)

    • The novelty has not worn off! Every day I turn to DH and exclaim, “I CAN SEE EVERYTHING!”

      I do need readers, and the pop on/pop off was getting annoying. So I now have progressive glasses with no correction on top, mid range and reading range on the bottom. My old frames, but my eyes look enormous now that they’re not behind -10 and -13 lenses! Anyway, I can wear these or not wear these when I’m out and about. Thrilling to be able to see!


  4. So jealous! I haven’t been able to just open my eyes and see since I was, like, 8.

  5. And when I reflect how important colour has always been to you, my small clever friend, I know how much joy you’re now deriving from it. I wonder if your tastes – in terms of it in your designing – might change a bit. It’ll be interesting to see ! 😀

    • It’s amazing to see how different the colors look. But I think my pretty conservative color sense will remain. I still like a monochromatic palette (a light and dark of the same color). And only one of my knitted projects surprised me when I saw what the color really was.

      Most shocking? White. Biscuit the cat has bright white fur, not off white! The weirdest time was between surgeries; I’d close one eye and then the other to compare.

      And the lighting in my house seems much brighter. Maybe DH ran around and changed all the bulbs, but I doubt it.


  6. OMG! Did you get LAL lenses?

    • Just regular IOLs. But I was so nearsighted (-10 and -13) that I couldn’t see clearly past 4 inches from my nose. Seeing distance without glasses is amazing!


  7. Very helpful post on cataract/vision correcting surgery(ies). Thank you. QUESTION: How did you know how to pick the correct “computer glasses”?

    • I don’t actually have a prescription for my computer/piano glasses yet; I’ll get a prescription next week. But I’m just using cheap readers from Fred Meyer right now. There’s a sign next to them so you can figure out how strong you want them to be. Currently using a 1.5 magnification for iPad/computer/piano/reading.


  8. Congratulations on your cataract/vision correction surgery!!
    That is beautiful yarn – sounds like a fun class 🙂