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.

Knitted Yarn that Allows Crochet Stitches to Shine!

ScannedImageLooking for something different to crochet with? Want something with a little stretch and great stitch definition? Well Red Heart Strata comes to mind.

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Single and Double Crochet in Red Heart Strata yarn, every part of the stitch is highlighted.

This 76% acrylic, 24% nylon…well for lack of a better term….yarn, can fit the build. Strata is actually a more like a knit fabric, but it is not any cut strips like some T-Shirt yarns, it is a knit tube around a soft fill. This tube filled with fluff, creates a “yarn” that has some body and does not lay flat on itself when used. As the encasing is knit in what appears to be the fashion of an I-cord, there is no seam, no fray edges, just a smooth round pliable material.

The stitch definition with Strata is very impressive. The unique structure of this “yarn” with the soft roundness of the strand allows parts of your stitches to become more visible in a sense, causing a different appearance with even every day stitches. By this I mean that even a fabric of just simple or double crochet will look like there is great texture. It allows every yarn over and every pull through an opportunity to stand out on their own, and almost seem separate from the overall body of the stitch. I think this gives crochet a fun opportunity, as with minimal effort you can get a fabric that has a textured feel.

This is definitely a “yarn” to be worked on large hooks and needles, as even through it feels like a more medium weight, it works up as a bulky. This allows for fast projects, however with the small yardage per ball, just 95yrds/86m, you may require more skeins that first imagined to complete a desired project.

I can easily envision household items with is “yarn”, like towels or trivets, potholders or mats, maybe even a nice bath robe or pool side cover up. With the overall tendency of this “yarn” to seem heavy, and stretch, I would caution garment construction in most cases.

Overall though an interesting “yarn” that can offer a lot to the imagination.

The Final Gift Bag Giveaway!

ScannedImageWow after 4 other giveaways from the gift bag at the Marly Bird Designer Dinner at TNNA Summer Trade Show in Columbus, OH, there is still enough yarn to have 1 more!

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Classic Elite Yarns, Red Heart Yarn & Knit Picks

The yarns for the final giveaway all have something pretty special about them. Like the Knit Picks Wool of the Andres. It has a beautiful heather of brown, and is created with 100% Peruvian Highland wool. It is not the softest yarn I have ever experienced, but it has great stitch definition and durability, great for outer ware or accessories. It is easy to see why many people use this as a “go-to” yarn.

Red Heart Boutique Infinity definitely is something special as well! It is a chain ply bulky weight acrylic/polyester/wool/nylon yarn. A chain ply is a yarn that is not strands spun together as basic yarns are, it is usually a single strand that worked like a crochet chain or like a knit I-cord. This is a very simplistic explanation, as the process for each company varies, but it should at least give you an idea. It has a little sparkle to it, and will work up quickly.

The yarns from Classic Elite Yarns are fitting the title. Inca Alpaca seems lush, with a nice hand and nicely saturated color. It offers great drape and I image would make some nice accessories, such as a shawl or gloves, maybe even a hat, but it can even work up as a nice sweater. While Fresco is comprised of wool/baby alpaca/angora is a lighter weight and softer than Inca Alpaca. It is quite yummy. They even have their own drawstring project bag, and who does not need another project bag?

This last gift bag giveaway definitely has some fun and interesting things to play with, and if you would like to sample the above mentioned, please leave a comment on this post by the end of Friday, July 31, 2015. One comment will be chosen at random with the winner announced the following day on my Facebook page and Twitter.

A Knitters Give Away!

ScannedImageYes, knitting. It is not my forte, however I do have some knitting items to share with you from the Marly Bird Designer Dinner, as this dinner is for all kinds of fiber designers not just crocheters. (If you want to read about my relationship to knitting, I share it here.)

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Clover and Knitter’s Pride needles, Purrfectly Catchy Designs stitch markers, Red Heart and Brown Sheep Yarns.

Since I am not a knitter I am not able to give a thorough review of the needles, but I can pass along what others have told me. First I have heard nothing but good things about the Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina FC 24” circular needles (US 5/3.75mm, 24”/60cm). I have heard that they are smooth to use and that the joins at almost seamless. I know that this helps them move the loops along well and helps speed up your knitting. Others have commented that the tips are sharp, I know that this helps you pick up the new loops. So overall I have sounds like these are worth checking out.

The Bamboo Needles from Clover are another that I have heard good things about. The needles are US8/5mm, 9”/23cm, and feel great in the hand (or so I have been told). I also understand that they give very consistent work and that many find them reliable.

I will admit that stitch markers are something that I know almost less about then needles. Don’t get me wrong, when I crochet I occasionally use stitch markers, usually working in the round and marking the beginning of the round. But to be honest, I usually just use a safety pin of a string of yarn. In crochet we have to make sure that the stitch markers are removable or instead they become beads. However almost every knitter I know has a wide assortment of styles of stitch markers, some are just basic rings, but others are almost like jewelry. The Purrfectly Catchy Designs by Chappy are stitch markers that qualify as the latter. Beautiful beads adorn twists of colored metal wire to create a marker that I could imagine as earrings.

Now at least yarn I have a little knowledge about. Red Heart shared a skein of Sparkle Soft in the goody bag from the dinner, and I must say if feels nice in the hand. The metallic thread twisted in it is not evenly plied, meaning that it is not evenly spaced in its appearance on this medium weight yarn, creating a more random and natural spacing for the shine. I could easily see this worked up as a nice accessory; a hat, a scarf, maybe even gloves.

Brown Sheep Company is another yarn company with the lasting of longevity, and they are sharing a skein of Lambs Pride Super Wash Sport. This light weight 100% wool yarn has an even hand, and is definitely a go-to yarn for consistency and reliability. I can easily see this yarn worked up as a sweater, gloves, and maybe even some home accessories.

I would love to know your thoughts on knitting needles and yarn (yes, even learning more about knitting, I believe will help my crocheting, even if it is not a skill I have mastered).

If you would like to enjoy these 5 items yourself, please leave a comment about your knitting thoughts on this post by the end Wednesday, July 21, 2015. One lucky comment will be chosen at random the following day, and announced via my Facebook page and Twitter.