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I know you’ve been seeing these fabulous argyle scarves all over Facebook, right? It seems like they are everywhere I turn. You may even get the idea that it’s something new. But, really, it’s not new. I promise. Intentional color pooling has been around and around and around.
What does it mean? It simply means that you use a variegated yarn and you plan out the color changes so that they form a pattern in the resulting fabric.
For the one going viral right now, the pooling pattern is argyle. There are different patterns that can be formed in color pooling. I did some zebra stripes once. Of course, that was just a happy thing and was completely unplanned. It just happened that way.
I’m sure everyone has experienced pooling when working with variegated yarns at one time or another. You are crocheting along and there are pretty multicolors then there are suddenly big expanses of one color where the color has “pooled”. Intentional pooling is just planning it out so the color pools into a pattern.
For the first time, you are going to be forced to pay attention to your gauge whether you like it or not!
I have to admit that I don’t really know why this went viral so quickly. It’s not an easy thing to accomplish. Everything about it has to be spot on. You have to find the “sweet spot” between the yarn, the length of color changes, the hook, the number of stitches and your TENSION! Yes, my friends. For the first time, you are going to be forced to pay attention to your gauge whether you like it or not!
And, once you get that perfect tension, you’re going to have to maintain that perfect tension. If you tend to change your tension with your mood (or with watching tense movies, like me), you’re going to change your pooling, mid-stream. (You see what I did there?) You may find that you have to change crochet hooks as you make those gradual changes in tension.
I’m not going to go into huge details about the steps you take in order to find the sweet spot because others have already written about it and have posted some resources below. I will give you some basics, though. You’re going to work in crochet moss stitch, sometimes known as linen stitch. You don’t have to work in moss stitch to get intentional color pooling; the one above is in straight half double crochet, for example. My zebra stripes that I mentioned above were in a small shell stitch pattern. The moss stitch version is just what’s trending right now. You’ll need an even number of stitches for moss stitch. (See the video from Moogly below.)
No matter what you read, you’re going to have to do some work on your own. You have to play. You have to experiment. You aren’t going to be able to just pick up your hook and go. What works with one yarn isn’t going to work for all of them. I’ve even seen people who have tried it, couldn’t get it and called it a hoax. It’s not going to work for all multicolor yarns. It’s work. If you’re up to the challenge, try this “new” technique and have some fun!
Planned Pooling App Really clever app. I’m not sure whether it will work with crochet, but it was definitely fun for playing with the colors and seeing what would happen with different pooling patterns.
Argyle Crochet by Jaime Eads Maraia (Kindle book, not free) This book is very thorough, including all the information on decoding the color changes and how to handle them. Unlike the currently-trending stitch pattern of moss stitch, this book uses straight single rows to create the projects. The author also includes information on making wider projects. She includes a list of yarns that do and do not argyle in her technique which is nicely extensive. (Disclaimer: I bought this book myself for this mini book review.)
Glamour 4 You: 4 Easy Steps to Color Pooling A very nice free online tutorial which I recommend for anyone wanting to start pooling in moss stitch. There are written instructions as well as a video and a long list of tested variegated yarns which will work.
Lesley Hahn YouTube Channel Raw, unedited video footage with a lot of detail about pooling/plaiding (five videos currently) including video in different stitch patterns and making wider projects with multiple repeats of the color patterning.