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Color Pooling Crochet Stitch Games-Class

Planned vs. Accidental Color “Pooling” Fun

Last summer’s Get Your Geek On CGOA event inspired my new three-hour crochet class in Charleston SC (July 13, 2016); some new booklets and patterns too. Many of us have been seeking insight into using hand-painted yarns. These yarns are often boldly variegated with short color changes and other indie dyeing methods. Color pooling can be exciting!

Planned Pooling Stitch Games Crochet Class CGOA Vashti Braha
                              This is the class webposter at the CGOA event headquarters.

You’re looking at stitch game projects I designed from 2009 to a month ago. (There are more but they don’t all fit in this image.) Pattern for the vivid blue striped scarf (Jempool) releases this week.

Use crochet stitches to turn the color volume up or down (or both, selectively!). Exaggerate the element of chance (accidental pooling). Or, eliminate it! (i.e. planned pooling).

What’s Color Pooling?

Variegated (multi-colored) yarns appear to have randomly and evenly mixed colors in one skein. It’s like a party in a ball—unless the colors stop looking well-blended when crocheted or knitted. A color might repeat too often, or pile (pool) up on itself row after row in a blotchy way.

Texture pooling is a variation of color pooling. Ever use a yarn with dramatic thick and thin areas, and find that these texture contrasts clump together awkwardly? They’re pooling. That happened with an expensive mohair yarn I bought because of its intermittent tinsel sections (see it above). I thought it would look magical. Instead, the tinsel just looked lumpy and stiff when I crocheted it. Love Knots retain the otherworldly look of the yarn by giving the tinsel more room. Sprinkling Love Knots among simple double crochets {UK: tr} is an exhilarating experience.

“Stitch Pooling” Turns Color Pooling into a Game

A simple stitch game I like, especially with crochet, is what I call stitch pooling. I switch to a contrasting crochet stitch when a certain color comes up as I crochet. Knitters do this when they switch from stockinette to garter whenever a certain color comes up, for example. Crochet gives us so many texture choices for creating a simple game, or a wildly challenging one! You can heighten or de-emphasize colors too. This is accidental color pooling that’s fresh and interesting. Just use familiar crochet stitches.

Pictured below are three examples of beginner-level stitch games in a pattern booklet:

Color Pooling Booklet: Crochet to the Colors Playbook, Level 1
       Crochet to the Colors Playbook: simple stitch pooling to alter color pooling. Table of Contents here.

Color Pooling According to Plan

Eliminate the element of chance and you get regular, coordinated patterns of color. The game here is to identify the unique color code of a variegated yarn. You decide where they show up in your project. (See my newsletter issue #77, Find the Color Code of Short Striping Yarns.) Then, choose the crochet stitch, gauge, and number of stitches to get the color patterning you want.

Two examples of this very different crochet experience are shown in the photo at the top: Jempool (the blue striped scarf) and the basketweave look in the top left corner.

4 thoughts on “Color Pooling Crochet Stitch Games-Class

  1. […] asked a yarn company if they would sponsor my Stitch Games class. This means they would donate enough yarn for all of the students to use. Today they said […]

  2. […] asked a yarn company if they would sponsor my Stitch Games class at the crochet conference. This means they would donate enough yarn for all of the students to […]

  3. […] in January I read a stack of crochet books (and many knitting books) as research for my Stitch Games class topic. I welcome doing this, especially in January after the hectic holidays. It’s so […]

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