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A Quick Guide to Color Pooling

by Janice Ogata and Margaret Eckman

Have you ever truly wanted to feel like a magician with your crochet hooks? Well now you can! Get ready to amaze your friends, and family when you play with variegated yarn. Red Heart Super Saver comes in a vast array of colors to try out this technique. Color pooling (also called yarn pooling) has taken the internet by storm! There are videos, a group on Facebook completely dedicated to it, and it seems everyone is trying it. So jump on this bandwagon, get out your favorite multicolored yarn, and give it a try.

Getting Started

Crochet Planned Pooling Tutorial with Marly Bird



10 Secrets to Perfect Planned Pooling Crochet

Finishing the Unused Foundation Chain from Crochet Planned Pooling

How to Create Crochet Planned Pooling Charts

 

Here's what you will need:

  • Multicolored yarn without super-short repeats -- view below for suggested yarns
  • A crochet hook that works with the yarn -- 4mm/US G-6, 4.5mm/US 7, 5mm/US H-8, 5.5mm/US I-9 are common sizes that work with worsted weight yarn
  • A darning needle
  • Some scissors
The yarn you use should change color after several inches, have consistent lengths of colors, and have a consistent color repeat. When it changes color too quickly, if the colors are very different lengths, or the colors repeat in a random order, the pooling doesn't happen. When you use Super Saver, choose a multicolor that doesn't have "print" in its name, as those yarns change color very quickly. Look on the outside of the skein to see if each individual color is about the same length as the other colors; it doesn't need to be identical, but close to the same length.

Here you can see the color 784 Bonbon Print on the left, the color 3944 Macaw in the middle, and the color 3955 Wildflower on the right. Since Bonbon Print changes color every stitch, you can't get the pooling effect. Since Macaw has a random color repeat and the colors are different lengths, pooling doesn't happen. Wildflower pools because it has several inches of each color, each color is about the same length as the color next to it, and has a consistent color repeat.

The magic happens when you use a multiple of 2 and the moss stitch (also called the linen stitch). Here's where the fun begins! Since each person is unique and crochets with a different tension, you'll have to play with your hooks and yarn to get a pattern to emerge. Don't give up! These samples took me 4 days and many attempts, but you can see there are patterns within the colors. For all the samples I used a size H hook.

This is such a neat technique that you'll want to go out and buy all the variegated yarn you can find, just to discover the patterns. Have fun, and remember all you have to do is use a multiple of 2 for your chain, and play with your tension, and hooks, and make the magic happen!

The basic pattern is the same for all of the swatches, but the number of the starting chain changes. You will need to experiment to find the hook size and starting chain that gives you the yarn pooling pattern plus a fabric you are happy with.

Basic Pattern

How to Crochet Moss Stitch

Notes

  • Always chain an even number, or the moss stitch will not work properly.
  • You will make two chains at the end of each row instead of one chain. One of the two chains is a turning chain as normal and does not count as a stitch, while the other chain counts as the first stitch.
  • Start with a 5mm/US H-8 or a 5.5mm/US I-9 hook and adjust as necessary for the pooling to happen. Keep in mind what you're using your project for, and along with the color make sure your fabric isn't too stiff or loose for the intended purpose.
  • If your project requires multiple skeins, make sure you use the same dye lot.

Chain an even number.
Row 1: Single crochet (sc) into the 4th chain from hook, *chain (ch) 1, skip one ch, sc into the next ch. Repeat from * across.
Row 2: Ch 2 to turn. Sc into the first ch space, ch 1, skip one sc, sc into the next ch space. Repeat from * across.
Repeat Row 2 until the piece is as long as you would like.

Each of the following swatches are made in Super Saver.

928 Earth and Sky 979 Mistletoe 972 Pink Camo

Patterns

Planned Pooling Argyle Poncho

 

Additional Resources and Colors

Here are some additional resources on color pooling. These are not a definitive list, but some other pages that might be useful to you.
Glamour 4 You post
ELK Studio post about color pooling in the round
Naztazia's planned pooling blanket and scarf, with written pattern and video
Marly Bird's Facebook Live video
Planned Pooling with Crochet Facebook group
Planned Color Pooling Pinterest board

Here are some of our colors that often work for planned pooling. You will have to experiment with the yarn to find what works; just because a yarn is on this list does not automatically mean you will be able to have it pool the way you want to.

E300 Super Saver

  • 301 Mirage
  • 392 Wedgewood
  • 3934 Day Glow
  • 3943 Americana
  • 3947 Bright Mix
  • 3949 Reef
  • 3952 Icelandic
  • 3955 Wildflower
  • 3958 Antique
  • 3985 Sunrise
  • 906 Heartfelt
  • 928 Earth & Sky
  • 932 Zebra
  • 938 Stars & Stripes
  • 940 Plum Pudding
  • 950 Mexicana
  • 961 Woodsy
  • 972 Pink Camo
  • 979 Mistletoe
  • 981 Fall
  • 984 Shaded Dusk
  • 988 Platoon
  • 995 Ocean
  • 996 French Country
E400 With Love
  • 1816 Waterlily
  • 1933 Echo
  • 1934 Autumn
  • 1938 Beachy
  • 1942 Plum Jam
  • 1944 Fruit Punch
  • 1948 Lavender Ivy
  • 1957 Lemon Drop
  • 1968 Delightful


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A Quick Guide to Color Pooling

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