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What is Color Pooling?

By: Julia Wiatr, Editor, AllFreeCrochet.com
What is Color Pooling
What is Color Pooling

Planned color pooling is a new way of working with variegated yarn so that you create planned pools of color and an almost argyle-like pattern.

You can color pool with any variegated yarn that has a repeated color sequence and order. When working with variegated yarns, most of the way the color works itself into your pattern is coincidental in that you’re letting the color fall as it may while working within a pattern’s directions. Planned color pooling is, as the name suggests, a planned technique that requires you to plan out your work in advance.

Planning out your Color Pooling

  1. You’ll need to see the full color sequence and color repeats in your skein, so unwind a long portion of yarn to make sure the chosen yarn will work.

  2. Start crocheting a chain at the start of a repeat and at the beginning of a color. Keep chaining throughout the entire sequence of color changes and stop your chain at the end of your color sequence, right before you start repeating the color sequence.
    You will then want to crochet an extra two or three chains (you want to end up with an even number of chains to start) into the next set of color repeats. 

    If your yarn colors blend from red to yellow to orange to gray before repeating, start your chain at the start of the red part of yarn and keep chaining until you’re two stitches past the gray back into the red.

  3. Start your first row by skipping the first three chains, then single crochet and chain 1 in the 4th chain from the hook. Continue with the moss stitch (sc, ch 1, sk next st) down the row, through your entire color sequence, ending on a single crochet.

    Note: Your first row will not be as long as your chain. That’s ok!

  4. At the end of the row, add or remove a set of stitches (one single crochet + chain 1). This allows your colors to slowly shift over, so that your colors don't just stack on each other row after row. (In the example below, I added one extra set of stitches)

    Note: You will only do this once, at the end of row 1. 

  5. Chain 2 to start your next row and turn. Start with a single crochet in the first ch-1 space of your previous row, then continue with your moss stitch down the row. 

  6. Repeat step 5 until your project is as long as you want it. 

Choosing the best yarn + Tips for crocheting

  1. You should start to notice the color pooling effect after a few rows. 

  2. Each color section should be a few inches - too short or too long and you won’t get the same pooling effect.

  3. Each length of color should be consistent throughout.

  4. Make sure the colors repeat in the same order.

  5. Tension is important, especially if your color sections are in slightly varying lengths. As you crochet, you’ll see the pattern start developing after row 3 or 4, and don’t be afraid to frog your work a row or two back to achieve the color pooling effect.

  6. To deal with that extra bit of starting chain, you can cut and tie it off - just be sure you cut a few chains away from your work so that you don't end up cutting into your design. 

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I have been a crocheter since I was a young girl, so it's been well over 35 years for me. Here is a COOL new technique that I have been interested in trying since last year. I think the technique is just perfect for hats and scarves! People will be amazed to discover that there are no color changes (using new yarn colors) and you will look like a ROCK STAR!

Wow, color pooling is so pretty! I'm not sure I'm brace enough to try it yet, but I definitely would like to do it one day.

That's how you do it! I had no idea it took such precision, but I guess that makes sense. This is such a cool technique!

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