Planned Pooling with a V Stitch

The trend of creating an argyle color pattern from variegated yarn is becoming quite popular, but it is not the only effect you can get from planned pooling. Pooling is when certain colors “stack” or “group” together from a variegated yarn, and as planned pooling might suggest, you can plan where the colors fall from the yarn and create a pattern.

Usually this argyle effect is created with yarn that has a color repeat of at least 6-18” (15-46cm) and using what some call the moss or linen stitch. This stitch is a single crochet and a chain 1, with all single crochet stitches worked in the chain-1 space the row below.

Planned Pooling Scarf www.lindadeancrochet.com

Planned Pooling Scarf Photo courtesy Red Heart

When color repeats are longer, let’s say 24” (61cm) argyle may not be effective, but you can use other stitches to come up with various patterns. My Planned Pooling Scarf that has just been released by Red Heart Yarn, is worked in a longer color repeats, using a V stitch (a double crochet, chain 1, double crochet) worked in the chain-1 space of the V stitch of the row below. The V stitch uses more yarn then the “moss stitch” and the chain works to help give a little flexibility in getting the color placed in the correct place. (Marly Bird offers great tips in getting the yarn to pool in her video, here).

The Neon Stripes color of Red Heart Super Saver offers a really great opportunity to create this large stitch color pattern. I have also seen this yarn worked up in a pooled pattern with shell stitches, and popcorn stitches. It creates a similar color effect, but a definitely different texture.

Planned Pooling Scarf www.lindadeancrochet.com

Planned Pooling Scarf Photo courtesy Red Heart

This design creates a fabric that is a bit lighter than the argyle, which makes for a nice drape, and the color play makes for a very fun flair. The fringe gives it a classic feel, while the pooling is quite modern. Hope you feel inspired to give it a try.

A Really Fun Technique- Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers

Sometimes you have a design where the yarn does all the work, this means that the stitches may be fairly easy, but since the yarn has character the item really looks more difficult than it is. This is true with color pooling projects, like my latest design Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers from Red Heart Yarns.

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers www.lindadeancrochet.com

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers Photo courtesy, Red Heart

Planned Pooling is when you plan your stitches to have the colors of variegated yarns stack up in a desired way. I might be exaggerating slightly about it being completely easy, you do have to pay attention to your tension so that you place the correct color in the correct stitch (Marly Bird has a great video about it here).

So these wristers look great and keep your arms warm, and only take two skeins (one for the argyle, one for the trim). The argyle is worked in what is referred to as a “Moss” or “Linen” stitch, which is simply a single crochet and a chain 1, worked into a chain-1 space. This stitch has a benefit to planned pooling as it is very forgiving with a change in tension. It is necessary to change your tension (either make a stitch tighter or looser) to ensure that the correct color is worked in the correct location.

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers www.lindadeancrochet.com

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers Photo courtesy Red Heart Yarn

It may take a little practice to get the hang of this technique, but then you might become addicted…I have talked to several people that once they finally discovered how to make the planned pooling work, had to try it with every color variegated yarn they could find, just to see if they could get that yarn to pool too.

The wristers are worked as a rectangle then seemed, then the trim is added. If you need the wristers to fit a wider arm you simply work the rectangle longer, if you want the wristers to fit your arm longer then you work the trim wider. Making it an easy to customize pattern. The added bonus to this pattern, besides it being free, is that it is available in a free e-book with 9 planned pooling patterns….and did you notice that my design is gracing the cover? Yes, I think that is kind of cool.

Simple Basket- Crochet for A Difference

There are various ways that crochet impacts organizations and individuals every day. I have always tried to use my crochet ability to make a local impact, so I want to share a crochet stitch and inspire you to Crochet For A Difference.

I have stated it in past posts, that crochet specialty stitch pattern names really are not known universally, but in order to make it clear about the stitch I am discussing I have to give it a name, so I want to share the Simple Basket Stitch Pattern with you.

Front post double crochet www.lindadeancrochet.com

Where to work a Front Post Double Crochet, insert the hook around the post.

This stitch pattern is worked in double crochet with the only variation being the Front Post Double Crochet. This Front Post stitch can seem intimidating, but essentially it is the same double crochet that you have always worked it is just in a different location. To work this stitch you begin with a yarn over and insert the hook around the body or post of the next stitch from the front to the back and then to the front again, and then work it as a regular double crochet by working a yarn over then pulling it through, then yarn over again and pull through two loops, twice.

To work the Simple Basket you need to create chain that is a multiple of 4, then add 2 more chains.

Row 1: Work a double crochet in each chain across, turn.

Row 2: Chain 3, [front post double crochet in the next 2 stitches, double crochet in the next 2 stitches] repeating across until 1 stitch remains, double crochet in the last stitch, turn.

Simple Basket Stitch www.lindadeancrochet.com

Simple Basket Stitch

Repeat Row 2 until you have reached the desired length.

To help visually understand where each stitch goes so that you do not have to worry about counting, essentially if the stitch you are working into appears to be pushed forward then work a front post double crochet, if the stitch you are working into appears to be pushed away from you work it as a double crochet stitch.

The texture created gives a great visual as well as esthetic feel. It has a nice loft to it that really helps the stitch feel like it is harder than it is. This can create a great blanket that you may consider to donate to a homeless shelter. It is estimated that any given night in the United States that over 600,000 people were experiencing homelessness only 17% of those are consider chronically homeless (source greendoors.org). Meaning that a great percentage of those experiencing homeless on any given night, are in a short term housing situation and a simple blanket can make a difficult time a little more bearable. Find one in your community here.

Pinwheel Blanket- A Work of Many Ideas

The Pinwheel Blanket is one that takes a little different approach then I usually do; it is comprised of small motifs that make a larger motif, then joined together. I will admit, I usually think a little more simplistic, I have a motif and that motif gets joined to other motifs, so making a motif out of motifs…well that is like an ah ha moment.

Pinwheel Blanket www.lindadeancrochet.com

Pinwheel Blanket Crochet Now Issue 10

I did not make this realization on my own, I had help. I often believe the best designs come out of a collaboration, ideas always grow when you listen to others…sometimes for the better, like this one. I had worked the smaller motifs together, mostly to see how they looked joined together as I think the join point creates a really interesting effect. It was the editor of Crochet Now that mentioned that the block created looked great just as they were and should be treated like motifs, this allows the join point to become a highlight.

This collaboration has opened my eyes to many different attachment and joining, sometimes it just takes a different view to open up a new world.

So about Pinwheel Blanket, the initial small motif is only comprised of three rounds, so it works up quickly. It grew from a flower, and I feel it has a floral feel. It is at the join point that I see the pinwheel, with a feeling of the whirly-gigs I have seen in the garden. So I guess in a sense this throw has a garden feel for me. With flowers and whirly-gigs it does have an outdoor feel, and even the colors are bright like flowers.

Each small motif is joined to create a square that is the bordered with a main color and joined to other squares, this creates a patchwork and rustic charm while in keeping with garden feel. This is a great project that can be worked as a portable, take on the go and create a fabulous blanket. Check this design in Issue 10 of Crochet Now.

Crochet For a Difference- Stacked Clusters

Crocheters often have a desire, or a need to help others…at least in my experiences, and there are so many ways to Crochet for a Difference. I have found various local opportunities that can benefit from the handiwork skills of crochet and am sharing some stitch ideas and some organizations for you to make a difference in your local community.

I don’t really buy into the “crochet stitch names” kind of thing, meaning, unlike knitting that has an understanding that “garter stitch” is nothing but knitting every stitch, I don’t feel that there is anything that really fits this in crochet. If I call something a “popcorn”, all I am essentially saying is that it is a group of stitches that are joined at the top and bottom of the stitch…I am not telling you how many, or where the stitch is worked, there are just to many variables to be consistent over all the possibilities. So with that said, I have to have some way to differentiate from the stitches I want to share, thus they will have names, but keep in mind my names may not match what another designer may refer to the set of stitch patterns.

So I will refer to this stitch pattern as the Stacked Clusters.

A Cluster stitch is basically where the base of many stitches are worked into the same point, but are finished together as one stitch, in a manner of speaking, like a decrease worked in the same location.

For this stitch pattern the Cluster (Cl) stitch will be worked as follows: [Yarn over, insert hook into indicated stitch, Yarn over, pull through a loop, Yarn over pull through 2 loops] three times, there will be 4 loops on hook, yarn over and pull through all 4 loops.

Stacked Clusters www.lindadeancrochet.com

Stacked Clusters

Row 1: Create a chain that is a multiple of two, single crochet in the second chain from hook, [chain 1, skip 1 chain, single crochet in next chain] repeat across, turn.

Row 2: Chain 3, [Cl in chain-1 space, chain 1] repeat across, double crochet in last stitch, turn.

Row 3: Chain 1, single crochet in same stitch, [chain 1, skip 1 stitch, single crochet in next stitch] repeat across, turn.

Repeat Rows 2 & 3 until desired length.

For some more fun with this stitch, use two colors and change colors every row. Leave long tails when changing yarn and create fringe as you work.

Consider creating a lap size blanket and donating it to a local dialysis center. People receiving medical treatments such as dialysis, sit for an extended period of time, and often this alone can make anyone feel cold. Find a dialysis center near you…here.