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To Pool or not to Pool.....

So....what is pooling, or colour pooling? My definition is 'where particular colours within a yarn skein/colourway gather on your working piece, to create a solid patch or path'


Image from Ruth Huskisson, perfect sock pooling using yarn from FiveMoons


A lot of variegated yarn will pool, and we went through a phase a while back where it was 'cool to pool' and patterns were being matched with commercial yarns to create a definite effect, much like tartan. No. That's all I want to say on that one!!!


But is it 'cool to pool'? Do you like your colour to pool on a project? To pool or not to pool.....that is the question? Now I have seen some epic examples of pooling, and I have seen some absolute munters!! But isn't colour pooling subjective? Isn't it just a personal choice? Is one persons' ugly another persons' perfection?


For the sake of this Blog, these examples and their comments are therefore very much my own personal choice and opinion.....just putting that out there before I get a shitstorm of abuse!!


Let's have a look at some awesome pooling examples......


Knitted by Lyn Warwick, using Fleabubs yarn, I particularly like the contrast between the dark and the rainbow, and how it falls very randomly. The white patches, or 'flashes' add to the overall effect and make the colours 'pop'.



This example was sent to me by Anna Gladstone-Buthanan. I knew the dyer before I read her email, because it's very distinctive of Felt Fusions beautiful colour style. This...this....I bloody love this!! I know others would hate it but it makes my eyes all happy and perky!!



Here I have a photo sent in by Carol Potter, I am not sure who the dyer was, I would guess at Vez from Truly Hooked. This is an excellent example of variegated pooling, there is a pattern to the way the colours flow in horizontal stripes.


Now, I want to show you these photos.....in my honest opinion these are the most AMAZEBALLS examples, using 'Whiff of Unicorn' from Jo.Knit.Sew. To be fair it had a head start because the colour way is immense......but what I wanted to show is what a difference tension, or a few extra stitches will make.


This first pic is attempt number one, a top for my Daughter. Those 'flashes' though.....aren't they incredible. Such a shame that it was too bitchin' small for her!! I almost cried as I ripped it out as I knew that a larger size would not recreate this effect. However.......



Holy cheeseballs look how version two turned out!! Those stripes are perfect!! My only problem now was that she grew so it no longer fits, and although for a fleeting moment I was tempted to create another being just so it was worn again, my uterus started to violently punch me from within in protest!! It doesn't fit the dog either, so it has been donated to a good home, where it is worn and loved once more.


And now the downside to pooling....


When it doesn't fucking match!! I know I could have avoided this by ensuring to start at the same point in the colour way for each sock, but life too short for that shiz, and I've always liked to live dangerously!! Although they don't match, I still bloody love them, the colours make it all better!!


If you have a garment that is pooling, and you want to break it up a bit, just whack a different colour/skein in there.....this is actually three different colour way, each with different pooling qualities, and I love the end result!




This is one of my semi solids, and you can see some subtle pooling here because I have dip dyed to create a lighter and darker shade within the skein.


So, whether you like to pool, and always choose variegated yarns with a pre determined colour sequence, or hate it and only every use speckles and solids.....or are like me, and love the surprise......I hope this little insight into the Lala mind of pooling has been helpful!


Thank you to everyone who sent me examples, I'm sorry I couldn't use them all but I really enjoyed seeing them!


Happy hooking


Lots of love Lala xxx





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