Color Pooling: I Meant to Do It!

Have you ever heard of color pooling in the worlds of knitting, crocheting, or weaving? Briefly, color pooling is when a patterned yarn “pools” in particular colors sections. This pooling may or may not be intentional. It is very common to see unintentional pooling in variegated-type yarns, where the color repeats are very short.

An example of unintentional color pooling that looks really cool can be seen on the front our Siren Sweater, knit in Infusion Handpaints.

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See the argyle thing going on there? Though unintentional in this sweater, it is very possible to intend to make argyle from a yarn like this.

Even printed yarns with longer color repeats can be intentionally pooled. A good example of this is the Pennant Scarf, designed by Erin McKenna Halsey for our Uptown Worsted Spirit Stripes yarn. (You can find a crochet version of this scarf here)

Again, we see an argyle pattern form. The reason for this pattern, my dear friends? Math! By knowing how long each color repeat is and how much yarn a stitch consumes, it is possible to figure out how to make your patterned yarn do amazing things!

However, the weaving project I’m going to share today is a much simpler way of intentionally pooling color. My project was inspired by recent Little Looms Magazine by Interweave Press.  The image on the cover of the magazine is actually a close-up of the scarf I decided to make.

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After looking at the other photos of the scarf inside, I realized our Bamboo Pop multi colorways would be perfect for this project.

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For my scarf, I chose Bamboo Pop #218 Stripe (multi) and #112 Black (solid) for the warp. I’ll be weaving with Whisper Lace #111 Ebony as weft. It’s a lighter weight than Bamboo Pop, and will allow for a warp-faced weave.

To warp, I first tried direct-warping my 16″ Cricket loom with my Bamboo Pop multi sections. The secret to this scarf is all about finding the point at which the color sections in the multi yarn repeat. I discovered that 110″ was my ideal point to wrap around the warping peg. The color repeated back on itself at that length (and also did at shorter lengths, but I like a long scarf and want to plan for fringe). But I found that it was very difficult to keep my color sections lined up with this warping method.

Plan B: use a warping board. I happen to have a warping board that I made several years ago. You can make smaller versions of this, or you can buy them. Or you can simply use two warping pegs clamped a certain distance apart. But the nice thing about a warping board is that it allows you to wind a long warp over a short distance, by wrapping the yarn back and forth between the pegs.

In this particular project, it was super helpful to have all those pegs. It allowed me to find the perfect distance in which my colors repeated. To begin, I first tied a guide string.

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Then I wrapped along and around my pegs until I found my perfect distance. Then I tied the other end to the last peg. A guide string is just that – a guide that the warp will follow as you’re wrapping it around the warping board.

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But, as you’ll see, I ended up having to adjust my path because the colors were not quite lining up.

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I took about a million pictures of this warp – it was so pretty!

When direct-warping to the rigid heddle, it’s easy enough to count my warp ends. But when using a warping board, I like to use a string to help. I knew that I was going to have 8 stripes of my multi, at 8 ends each. So I just wrapped my contrasting yarn around the warp every 8 ends.

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After warping my 9 stripes-worth of black, I was all ready to tie-on. In retrospect, I could/should have only cut one end of my warp. If I had done that, I could have simply looped one end around my back dowel, rather than having to tie all the ends on. It’s been awhile since I used a warping board!

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After tying all the ends on, I made sure they were even and ready to be wound on.

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After winding:

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And after tying onto the front dowel.

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You can see that my color sections are not perfectly lined up, but that’s okay! I really love the way they sort of bleed into each other. I can’t wait to weave this scarf.

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