Tag Archives: planned pooling

New classes: Planned Pooling and next Brioche!

I have a couple new classes coming soon!

First up: Shall We Dance. Learn how to tame your skein with planned pooling! Space dyed yarns can be so pretty in the skein, but so jumbly when you knit them. Learn how to tame the color monster with planned color pooling. This Aran weight cowl in your choice of three simple stitch patterns will give you a quick jump start into planned pooling. Make the colors dance by adjusting your tension.

Instructions are given so you can find your magic number to cast on, in order to make the colors pool.

Scarlet Tang of Huckleberry Knits dyed a special 2 Ply BFL Aran for this class at For Yarn’s Sake. We have two colorways, Rock Candy (rainbow) and Legion of Boom (blues and greens, Seahawks colors). The class is this Sunday, May 19; register by phone or on the website. Hope to see you there!

My other new class is Next Steps in Brioche at Northwest Wools. I’ve taught four beginning brioche classes there since the beginning of the year. It’s time to move on to the next thing: increases and decreases! We’re using my Heliotrope Cowl and Heliotrope Hat patterns. Class will cover increases and decreases, and fixing mistakes. (Not that we’ll make any, right?) This class is on Friday, May 31. Call Northwest Wools to register, 503-244-5024.

So glad I finally played with planned pooling, and I’m still deep in a sea of brioche! What new techniques do you want to learn?

Introducing: Shall We Dance

Shall We Dance is an adventure in planned pooling.

Space dyed yarns can be so pretty in the skein, but so jumbly when you knit them. Learn how to tame the color monster with planned color pooling. This Aran weight cowl in your choice of three simple stitch patterns will give you a quick jump start into planned pooling. Make the colors dance by adjusting your tension!

Instructions are given so you can find your magic number to cast on, in order to make the colors pool.

The Huckleberry Knits 2 Ply BFL Aran was specially dyed for this project. I used all of the skein, and the cowl measures 32″ x 8″.

I consulted with Scarlet Tang of Huckleberry Knits to come up with colors and a yarn base that would work well for a class. We chose her Rock Candy and Legion of Boom (Seattle Seahawks colors) colorways, shown here on her Willow fingering weight. (My first planned pooling cowl is on the left, knit with ancient Lorna’s Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies in Cat Bordhi Aha!, purchased at Sock Summit 2011.) We’re using a 2 Ply BFL Aran which isn’t one of her usual bases, but I love it! It’s soft and lovely to knit. This yarn will be available at For Yarn’s Sake, and I’m teaching a planned pooling class there on Sunday May 19.

I also knit a version in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Plushy. This skein has more yardage, but I chose to finish the cowl at 33″ x 6.5″, using 60% of the skein. It’s bouncy and fun to knit with, but a litle harder to get accurate measurements because it’s so wonderfully springy!

The Shall We Dance pattern is available through Ravelry download. It’s 10% off through March 31, 2019, no coupon code needed. Newsletter subscribers will have a 20% off coupon, so sign up if you want to be in on my special offers!

Everyone into the pool!

Thank you to Amanda Woodruff for tech editing.

Planned Pooling, now with Yarn Chicken!

I finished my Planned Pooling cowl. It was an adventure!

I started by trying to stack the colors exactly. Then I loosened my gauge for a bit to get the colors to veer to the right (because the colors were starting earlier than before). Of course I had to veer back to the left, by knitting a little tighter for a bit. You don’t have to change gauge for the whole round, just enough to get the first stitches of the previous stacking to change. But you do have to keep checking to see what your colors are up to. Eventually I decided to stop paying attention and just let the colors dance, since I knew that they would more or less stack.

If you want matching cast on and bind off edges, you can use a provisional cast on, and then use your favorite bind off on both edges. The bind off colors won’t match the knitting exactly; binding off uses more yarn than a regular round of knitting. Since the colors weren’t going to match, I didn’t feel that fussy, so I used a long tail cast on and the usual bind off.

I ran out of yarn before the end of the bind off. Oops. I did have a little extra yarn left over from an overly cautious long tail cast on, so that saved the day.

Biscuit helped.

What can you do in real life if you run out of yarn, and there isn’t more? If you don’t need a stretchy edge, you can bind off without knitting. I know, wut? Slip the stitches instead of knitting them, like this.

Slip one stitch knitwise. *Slip another stitch knitwise. Lift the right stitch over the left stitch and off the right needle. Repeat from * to last stitch. Using a yarn needle, run a piece of yarn through last stitch and sew in ends.

This would have worked fine for my cowl, since a small area of of less stretchy edge wouldn’t have been too troublesome. But I wouldn’t have wanted it for the entire bind off. Not bad in a pinch, though!

Final thoughts on planned pooling. Well, it’s interesting! It’s kind of like a dance. I’m used to deciding what the yarn is going to do. Even when dancing, I’ve always been a back-leader! In planned pooling, the yarn is the leader and decides the size of the project because of the color repeat. This cowl is 32″ in diameter, which is kind of an in-between length for me. It’s 6″ tall, because that’s what one skein of this yarn made.

(DH and I are in a social swing dance class; he’s learning to lead and I’m learning to follow.)

I’d love to try making argyles, but realistically I know that I like to multi-task while knitting. That means I don’t like looking at my knitting all the time to make sure my tension is even and the colors are stacking properly. But it was a fun experiment. I’m thinking of designing a class on simple planned pooling. What do you think? Do you want to know just a bit about it? I think of it as party trick knitting! I do like knowing a little bit about a lot of techniques. Planned pooling was on my bucket list for this year, so I’m starting off with a bang!

For now I’ll say thank you to my project (very KonMari), and get on to my next project, which is…brioche!

First dip in the pool with knitted planned pooling!

This yarn is 9.5 years old. I bought it at Sock Summit in the summer of 2009. I think the company changed hands somewhere along the way since then, but I still have this skein.

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies, colorway Cat Bordhi Ah Ha! This is a great yarn for teaching and learning; the short color runs mean that the color of the stitch on the next row will probably be a different color than the one below it. It makes it easy to describe what’s happening with either stitch. It’s a worsted weight single ply yarn, nice and sticky so it doesn’t ladder when you drop a stitch. It’s perfect for investigating techniques, too.

You can tell from the skein that it’s hand dyed in blocks of color. I don’t love variegated yarn when the colors are all left to arrange themselves willy-nilly, but it’s perfect for something I’ve been wanting to play with for a while. Planned pooling!

Knitting in the round with space dyed yarns like this is the easiest first foray into pooled color knitting. You can make the colors stack up, or plan so they shift to the left or the right, depending on whether the circumference of your kitting is a little longer or a little shorter than the length of your color repeat. I think. I’m still playing around with it.

Planned pooling with flat knitting lets you plan where your colors will fall in even more exciting ways. You can stack colors, but a stitch or two off the color repeat will turn into diamonds and argyles. Tammy’s scarf above is crocheted in Socks that Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. (It seems to be a bit easier to control the size of your stitches in crochet, which makes it ideal for planned pooling.)

You can play with this pooling calculator at plannedpooling.com to see what happens with different colors and stitch counts, knitted flat and in the round. That’s a little too advanced for me right now; it’s enough just trying to make sure my colors stack! I usually read while knitting, but that’s not possible when I have to watch my colors.

I’m not a complete stranger to pooling, but it’s always happened by accident. My Meander Cowls had a really interesting wandering stripe. See the little blue zigzag?

The yarn by Delicious Yarns is tonally variegated with a dip of contrasting color at the end of the skein.

All three samples pooled in interesting ways.

Have you had color pooling in your knits? Was it by accident, or on purpose? Does planned pooling interest you? It’s my January selfish knitting. I was going to knit a sweater, but now I just want to jump in the pool!