Planned Pooling Pattern

Crochet Planned Pooling
Planned Pooling with Variegated Yarn
Planned Pooling with Variegated Yarn

Planned Pooling with Variegated Yarn

Planned Pooling you say? What is it? Surely it isn’t a group of moms bringing our kids to the local pool for a quick dip.

As a firestorm of fury in the crochet world, this concept really isn’t new but the attention to it over the past few days has got people like me to wake up as the results online have been stunning. In fact, some of the examples on The Crochet Crowd have been stellar!

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Planned Pooling Information

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Resources I Looked at When Researching This:

Our Laura Jean first jumped on this a couple of weeks ago. She struggled to get a design going and it took her 9 tries. She kept changing her hook and finally got it but the hook size was smaller than recommended. For myself, I tried this 6 times and I couldn’t get it to work. I used the exact same yarn and hook as Laura Jean and it just wouldn’t work.

The common denominator of success is the stitch counts to start. It’s certainly agreed upon the resources that the moss stitch is the way to go. Some call the same stitch by other names but it’s still the same.

We realized that we have to cycle through the colour scheme and be one stitch off so that the colours can shift by one stitch in this design. Many of the resources are telling us to concentrate on the stitch counts. But in the same brand of yarn, the length of the repeat cycle of colour may be the difference and the lengths of the colours may be different. This means you cannot have the same thing across multiple brands and colour schemes.

Glamour4You YouTube Tutorial solved the issues in a simple way to adapt on the fly. It solved the issues of trying to cycle through without knowing the counts and just undoing the chain at the end of unused chains was brilliant. The technique by the host literally flipped the lid open to making this concept inclusive to all with different tensions.

For the record, I never stated I created this concept but I did research. If any credit is to be extended for the conceptual execution, it should be to Glamour4You. She is a great host and is a worthy YouTube Channel to subscribe to.

What is Planned Pooling?

This is an exciting technique to get variegated yarns to “pool” the colours so that you get a tartan or harlequin effect. It is something to experiment with. With different tensions and types of yarn, it will make a difference if it works for you.

Caron Simply Soft Camo
Caron Simply Soft Camo

What to Look for In A Yarn Ball

A great yarn suggestion with great colourway lengths and contrasting colours is Caron Simply Soft Camo. This is used in the tutorial example.

  1. Look for consistent colour changes in the ball. Stripes of colour should be about 6″ to 12″ in length before changing to the next colour.
  2. Colours that transition under 6″ or the colours are slow to change from one colour to another will not work for you.
  3. The colours don’t need to be equal in lengths for the colour transitions but keep an eye that no colour is less than 6″ in length.
  4. The number of colours in a yarn ball doesn’t matter. It’s the length of the colour that is more critical.
Yarn Planned Pooling with Mikey
Yarn Planned Pooling with Mikey

Advice that Doesn’t Work

There is advice out there to tell you how many chains to do with this concept, you need to ignore this advice. I have several reasons why:

  1. The person giving this advice is most likely has different tension than you. Their advice isn’t wrong but you need to match their tension exactly to make it work.
  2. Different brands of yarn and even the same brands may have different lengths of colourways of the yarn sequence. Therefore, the chain counts cannot be consistent. For example. Bernat Super Value, the lengths of variegated colours in different colourways can be and are different. Each brand and colourway is to be treated uniquely and not the same as each other. I will show you what to look for.
  3. Different balls may have more or fewer colours. The chain count may not make sense for the yarn you are using.
  4. Changing your hook sizes using the advice of a chain count doesn’t fix the issue.
Yarn Planned Pooling with Mikey
Yarn Planned Pooling with Mikey

Concept To Get It Right the First Time

All of the concepts will be shown in the tutorial for those who need a visual and further description of steps. If this is new for you, you will most likely notice a shift in your tension like Laura Jean’s Example of the blue scarf where the crossing overlooks quicker in the beginning. It’s because she relaxed and understood the concept. Chances are, you may need to try an example to become comfortable and then your 2nd version will be more consistent in colour.

Yarn Review

  1. Review the yarn by pulling out the yarn and looking for the sequence of variegated yarn colourway. Know where the colours begin to repeat.
  2. This works better if the variegated yarn has contrasting colours to make the popping of the cross overs more dominant.
  3. Look for the colours to be a minimum of 6″ but no greater than 12″.
  4. Use the recommended hook size on the ball band.


  1. Starting as close as you can to where colour is changing abruptly from one to another to create your slip knot. Note that your starting chain will not be creating any pooling at all but you need a foundation on where to start. So the chain will not match the project but it’s hardly noticeable.
  2. Chain until the complete colour sequence is complete. This means you will stop once the colour sequence begins to repeat. It doesn’t matter which colour you start with. Stop on the colour before the next colour (which is repeating) begins.
  3. Moss Stitch Across. SC 4th Chain from hook. *Ch 1, skip next chain, sc into next. Repeat * Across. You will not use the entire chain. You will stop when the colour sequence is completed. This will leave unused chains that you will undo later. This prevents you from having to constantly restart your chain and will get you on your way quicker.
  4. Before you continue, back up 1 stitch and ch-1 and pull out the stitch. This will cause the first row to be the same colour as the row below and will cause an automatic shift in the pattern. Turn.
  5. Each row is the same going forward. Ch 2, sc into next ch-1 space, *ch 1, 1 sc in next ch-1 space. Repeat * across. Turn.
  6. Repeat step 5 until your project is complete.

Jumping from One Ball to Another or Knots in Balls.

If you need to change your yarn ball if you run out of yarn or if there is a knot in the ball.

  1. You need to cut out the knot as the knot may not be at the right interval for colourway or the distance of the colour is compromised by the knot. Go to Step 3.
  2. If you need to attach another ball of yarn, you need to watch the colourway. Go to Step 3.
  3. When attaching the next strand, pinpoint an exact same colour transition point. For example. Say you are ending and there is a black/red switch of colour. The next ball should be at the black/red switch to begin. This will keep your sequence in line and at the same colour point. If you are not careful here, you will ruin the pooling effect of the work already done. The pooling will automatically change to something new and will look different than what you have established.


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Laura Jean Bartholomew
Laura Jean Bartholomew. The Crochet Crowd Seeker

That’s it for now. Have a super day!

Laura Jean


  1. i CAN HONESTLY SAY THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER GIVEN UP. ON MY 11TH TRY. first of all I dont want a wide scarf.

  2. And is I want to make something wider? Will it work to create “columns” within same piece or will I be regulated to joing strips for baby blanket? I crochet yarn pooling.

    • Marty Moore

      I think your only alternative would be to chain twice the entire color repeat so your project would end up double the fabric directed above. Or, if you want larger triple or quadruple, etc. the key factor being to complete the ENTIRE repeat as many times as necessary to get your desired width while following the above directions. Thank you Laura Jean for demistifying this technique.

  3. Wendy Jeffreys

    I have tried and tried and tried. I followed the Glamor4you tutorial and even used some of the yarn she suggested. I cannot make it work. 🙁

  4. vivian white

    I have done this sincd the 70s and sc works and the afghan stich is amazing!

    • cyndy

      I am not finding any luck with figuring what yarn to us. I have gone through all my variegated yarn and nothing seems to be right. most have short colors in between,and that seems ok but makes the color section too long and some are soooo long that one color is 1 yd long. Could you tell me some name brands that you have used before that would work. I understand the theory of it and i tried a color and worked 12 rows and it had no pattern. Please help is you can. grrrr.
      thanks, Cyndy

  5. Lauren Conforti

    I have a question… In the Concepts section, Under “Begin”, at #4, it says “Before you continue, back up 1 stitch and ch-1 and pull out the stitch.” What does “pull out the stitch” mean? I can’t wait to try this! It seems a little intimidating, but I want to try it. I love plaid! 🙂

  6. I have seen several articles on this and the recommended stitch seems to be either the linen stitch or the moss stitch. Surely this technique can work with other stitches?? Seems either of these 2 stitches create a pretty dense and somewhat stiff fabric.

  7. Melanie Tipton

    I have a skein of red heart Super Saver antique in the color it has a total of five color runs where do I start what hook size do I use I have been working on this for 2 days very frustrated I cannot get it thank you

    • ToriLeigh

      Fantastic tutorial!! Thank you for all the equations. I couldn’t have done it without your formula and videos! I just completed my 2nd scarf. Both without fringe. I need to do 4 more scarves as I am giving them as stocking stuffers.

  8. Celine

    do you think it’ll work with a thinner yarn ? the only variegeted yarn I have is Mini Mochi and the color are quiet long but beautifully gradient change (english isn’t my language, sorry)

    • Paula

      According to the article above the color change needs to be between 6″ and 12″

  9. So I was just wondering could you make this pooling into a blanket. Would it work or not?

    • Paula

      It could work if you did as the above describes and then sew the panels together.

    • Sherry

      Try for the calculator and and her YouTube tutorial is excellent

  10. Jeanette

    I was wondering if anyone has used this technique to make a blanket?

    • Pam

      Yes. Works fine. Just do more than one repeat of the color sequence. Check out

  11. so frustrated – tried four different varigated with h F I J G hooks….nothing works so far – her video says 34 chains – i even tried to match the yarn she had – nothing works – need more details or specific yarn brand / color? i understand the concept but everytime I’ve done about 4 inches and nothing …

    • The thing with this technique is that it is very dependent on your individual tension. You may also need to adjust your starting chains. There is no way to write an exact pattern as each dye lot may also be slightly different. It is truly a concept that has to be worked out by each person for each ball of yarn.

    • I had to try it several times. Finally… worked. I have Red Heart 4 color variegated yarn, a 5 mm hook, and started with 42 stitches (started in the 4th chain) so I’m working rows of 38. Each yarn will be different, I probably started this with a different combination of stitches and hook sizes at least 20 times. It might not take some else that long. Have fun and create beauty!

    • Paula

      Did you read the accompanying text of this article that went along with the video? It explains the things to look at and try to make your pooling work. Tension, hook size and how you start out the project can affect the pooling. I think the text explains how to get going pretty well… You might go back and read it and try again.

  12. Cynthia Breisch

    Someone shared this equation with me and it worked beautifully. Chain though an entire color change. Multiply the number of chains you have by 1.2. add 2. Divide by 2. This is your # for your base chain. Do first single crochet in the 4th chain from hook.

    • Dee Miller

      Thanks so much for providing the formula!! As with so many aspects of crochet, you can depend on the math and formulas. Just like calculating circumference and diameters when working circles, there is math involved in determining the patterns with yarns. It is not solely haphazard. Yes, there will be slight variations and tension does matter!
      May I suggest reading the in-depth presentation for Knitting by Karla Stuebing-The Art and Science of Planned Pooling [ ].

      Also available is an online Knitting app that lets you enter number of chains/stitches, number of colors, and number of stitches for each color and shows you the pattern!! [ ] These online resources are fantastic and I hope others more knowledgeable, like Cynthia giving us the formula, will add information as it relates to Crocheting.

      I used a Lily cotton and the suggested H hook-chained enough to get all the colors, ran the formula provided above!! I just went with rows of single crochets to see what happened. It is working out very well for me. I am looking forward to experimenting with yarns and different stitches to see what evolves.

      Again, thanks to Cynthia B. and the authors of the knitting resources that have helped me!

    • Caryn

      Cynthia B, thanks for this formula. What stitch are you working for the scarf if you start the first row in the 4th chain from the hook? I ask because that is not how the moss stitch first row begins. All tutorials I’ve read or seen, on yarn pooling, have the project worked up in the moss stitch.

    • Tina Barrett

      Hi there! Thank you for a formula. This is my first time trying this. So far I have only gotten striped patterns. When you say Chain through an entire color change, do you mean the entire color pattern? So if there are 4 colors in the yarn go through all four and count the stitches?\

      • Terry

        chain through all four colors. turn and begin moss stitch in 4th CH from hook. Moss stitch through the entire color sequence, then take out the last CH, SC and CH 2 and turn. Now the end of the last color will begin the next row. SC in CH of row below, CH 1,SC in next CH and repeat across.

  13. this was very informative, I also learned a new moss stitch, not the one I know, I will do this, thanks for the information

  14. Meka B

    I tried it, and I am SO excited! I started on last night and another today! Now just to actually complete a project using this!!

  15. I can’t get the video to come up is there another place to view it

  16. Robbin Reber

    When you chain (24-36) do you turn and start in 3rd from hook? Or create a turning chain after the chain?

  17. I thought I saw zebra red heart yarn with a size G hook I can find the one that was made up and can’t find it now.

    • Lorraine Jackson

      I just completed a scarf with zebra. I used an H hook.

  18. Wendee Bates

    Did you start at the begging of a color?

  19. Joyce

    So if I understand correctly… each color in the ball needs to be 14-17 inches before changing into another color? ? If so, I must dig into my stash and find another yarn to try it with??

    • thejessicacali

      I really don’t think the Caron Cake is going to work because the color changes are hugely long.

      • Kim

        What about doing the cakes the long way? Could it work then?

  20. Caryn McKinney

    Hi! I tend to crochet tight so I wind up with odd effects from time to time. I think I discovered ‘pooling’ back when I was 14 or 15 and it was completely by accident. Mom let me do some rows on her knitting board and after she saw what I had done, she had a fit and wouldn’t let me touch it again. 😉 I’ll have to post a couple of pics after I get home tonight.

  21. Eleanore Briggs

    looks to complicated to even attempt to try it

  22. Marie

    Did you puta border around the scarf

  23. Jocelyne Immell

    What brand dose it work best with.

    • This is a technique, a concept. It takes practice and patience. I wouldn’t worry so much about the brand as long as the strips of color were somewhere between 14 to 17 in length.

      • Rachel Gaede

        I had seen this concept years ago but never understood what it was called or what type of yarn to use. I have been experimenting with yarns I have on hand but can’t seem to get the colors to “Pool”. Did you actually measure the variegated yarn stripes to determine how far apart the colors were? Just curious..psst..I did that ha ha

  24. Can you only make narrow strips when Yarn Pooling? If you made it way wider, at what color would you attach the next skein? Would you attach at the color you left off with or the color you started with? Would it NOT work on a strip wide enough for, say, like an afghan?

    • Shirley- I wrote the article as a concept, and haven’t tried. I do know from research you can make blocks and sew them together for an afghan.

  25. I have tried 3 hook sizes, 4 different yarns, 24 sts, 28 sts and 36 sts. No success yet. Will not go smaller than an “H” hook with worsted weight. Do not like a “G” hook with worsted, makes my hand hurt.

  26. Brigette Fancy

    Was your yarn a worsted weight! I’m assuming it was.

  27. Terry

    Specifically what yarn did you use?

      • Terry

        thanks Laura Jeanne. I have some Caron SS, but am using it in the mermaid tail right nw, so will wait till that’s done to try Have some cotton, but think the repeats are too short.

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