Tuesday, March 21, 2017

KatKnap (Finally) Color Pools!

KatKnap (Finally) Color Pools!

And She Broke Some Rules Along The Way



Graphghans are my absolute passion in the realm of crochet. I love making a tapestry picture with the loops I weave around my hook and watching the picture come to life. When "color pooling" hit the lime light in crochet trends, it was like meeting graph crochet all over again. I have so many variegated yarns that it was almost too difficult to figure out which one to try first. After months of deliberation, I decided on my Red Heart Super Saver Blacklight, and I made this.



It's worth mention that when I selected this yarn it was because I came across some awesome pictures in some of my crochet groups on Facebook where some ladies cranked out sheer beauty with Red Heart's color "Neon". I tried countless times to get it to pool without much luck, and it turned out that I was having zero luck because I was using Red Heart "Blacklight". After searching for the magic number for Blacklight, it became very apparent that there wasn't one, that the color was temperamental to get to pool, and that masterpieces like this one from Crochet Dynamite are hard to finagle. 

The main reason I was able to find in comments on the projects and, eventually, through my own implementation, is this little bugger here. 


That little strip of pink was a thorn in the ribs! It never wanted to pool properly, and its length varied from row to row. Talk about a color poolers nightmare!

If I had to take an educated guess, every dye lot on this yarn is going to have slight variations that won't work in your favor as far as color pooling is concerned. So I'd recommend making sure that all of your skiens are from the same lot. That being said, this project only took:

  • 1 skien of Red Heart Super Saver Blacklight
  • A small amount of Red Heart Black
  • 3.75mm (F) crochet hook
  • Jewelry clasp (kind of optional)
  • Scissors
  • Yarn for weaving in the ends

The first thing that might look fishy about this (and the first rule that I broke) is the additional yarn color. Well, long story short, my husband is a genius. When I was going with the classic methodology of color pooling that Marly Bird lays out beautifully, I was on my fourth time trying to chain through and then single crochet through every color in this yarn. Guys, this yarn's pattern is insane. Orange, Green, Orange, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Yellow, Misbehaving Pink, Orange, Green, Blue, Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, Orange, Blue, Pink, Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Blue Green, Pink, repeat. WHAT?!?! 



My husband pipes in and says, "Why don't you just chain like 300 in black, and then crochet through your colors? That way you aren't off-set from the start." Did cherubs just start singing?

The first thing I did was chain 300 in the black. Then I single crocheted through the color pattern ending up at 240 stitches total. To get the colors to lay on top of one another the way that I wanted, I immediately began crocheting in the round. I always made sure to end on black (which is roughly two stitches long between colors). I also used only single crochets for this project. Perhaps that's bending a rule and not breaking it, but typically a moss stitch is used for an argyle effect. After a while of tugging and redoing and frogging and redoing and cursing huffing and redoing, I resigned to see how the project turned out if I allowed the black stitches to line up within two stitches of one another. Clear as mud? Let's explain it this way:

The biggest exclamation point surrounding color pooling is the need to keep "even tension". Guess which rule I broke? Yup. This tension is not even! Now, I want to point out, that if I had been making something to be worn like a scarf or a hat, this wouldn't have worked, but because I was making a pillow, it didn't effect the final project in a negative way. It's also important to note how tension exactly effects a color pool. The plain and simple of it is this: when you pull up a loop on your hook (to get two loops for your single crochet stitch) those two loops are the body of your stitch. You know, that little "V" we use to count our stitches. When you pull the yarn through the two loops on your hook, that is the top of your stitch. Every. Single. Time. Maybe this is elementary to a lot of you crocheters, but it's crucial knowledge to get the black lines to "line" up properly. If my black stitches weren't touching black to black on either the top or the body, I knew my alignment was off, and I undid the last 30 stitches or so, adjusted my tension, gasp! and moved right along. The bonus to doing it this way, is that you notice any alignment issue right away, so the frogging is minimal. At least, it's minimal for a color pooling project.

After several times of crocheting single crochets around and around and around, I finally ran out of my Blacklight yarn, I did another row of single crochet in black, then I sewed up both of the black ends with black yarn and stuffed along the way. The final quirk is the clasp.



 I used a necklace clasp to attach the two ends together so that it could be a neck rest pillow. Hooray jewelry making!



If something about this project isn't clear or if you have any questions, please, comment below or contact me at one of the places in my signature. What color pooling projects have you embarked on lately? What is your favorite yarn to color pool?

May muses whisper to you always,
Kat
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