Monday, April 26, 2010

Pooling Schmooling

I've been known to be under a rock from time to time.

Hard to believe that this serene skein of lace could pool on it's owner

What’s all of this talk about pooling?

Are any of you familiar with the terms pooling, puddling and flashing (as yarn goes)?

Back in the day I worked with variegated yarns a lot. You've seen the show and performances (so to speak) put on by a variegated. Only recently have I been acquainted with the yarn-lingo of pooling, puddling and flashing. From my investigation, pooling and puddling are similar actions. While the pattern or striping of the knitting is going, along comes a solid which continues for a while and forms a ‘pool’ of that color within the knitting or striping. Puddling has to be the same but the solid comes together in a smaller amount.

This cowl I made for my son is flashing all over the place

This Calorimetry I made is an example of what knitters fear in terms of pooling, puddling and flashing

I’m a yarn crafter from years ago and in the 1970’s the use of variegated yarns was a big and common thing. It was fun to work on a project ooooohing and aaaahing as the yarn did its thing. The end result was always pleasant and appreciated back then. It was like getting that prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jack Box ! Through my research it seems that many crafters don’t care for some of the variegated performances. They are switching from one skein of the same color to another to keep the pooling under control.

Though it is flashing more than anything, I've named this piece 'My Pooling Shawl'

I have been working on the Wandering-The-Moor shawl (shown above) with a Malabrigo Lace in Emerald Blue. As you can see, there isn’t much pooling or puddling going on here, just a lot of flashing. I suppose someone might think this piece as being busy but I like variegated yarns. Since Wandering-The-Moor is 1/3rd straight stitch, the lace portion at the bottom will show up nicely.

I suppose concerns of variegated performances depends on what a person is knitting. I’d always made medium to larger items like hats, scarves, vests and afghans so the variegation is spread out. This morning as I went through Ravelry and Google forums about variegated yarns, the consensus seems to be that socks are the real victims of the pooling, puddling and flashing. This makes sense because socks are so small that a large pool could overwhelm one sock, giving it a huge blotch. What if the blotch is your least favorite color in the yarn. This would be a nightmare for me and a sure tear-down and redo.

According to The Knitting Fiend, it seems to be common knowledge that Lorne's Laces Variegated are notorious for pooling and flashing in a not so good way. I found plenty of blog posts talking about how many times socks were ripped out because of all the ugly variegations. The Knitting Sutra came up with a super post titled No-Pool-For-You. Check it out, it's interesting and informative.
I won’t be the bad knitter and point out socks that even the knitters said were ugly. You can search this forum though for those.

Pooling Colors Scarf

Though not the best example, this project is dedicated to pooling.

It’s all relative though. Since I was around when variegated yarns were really popular, I don’t mind them. I love that over twenty five Ravelers have embraced and knitted the Pooling Colors Scarf. Who am I to talk though ? My Knitting With Salmon post reveals my aversion to certain Noro colors and the way I manipulate the yarn.

Here are a few posts about working with pooling and variegated yarns by the Yarn Harlot, Knitting-Help, and Oregon Live.


McVal said...

I LOVE your sons scarf!

Aut said...

I never knew the terms, though I've been an unsuspecting victim at times as well. Sometimes it works out for the best, other times not so much. I think that's why I prefer crochet with variegated yarns.

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Camille said...

I have never heard those terms either. Thank you for such an informative post. Your shawl is lovely.

Christie said...

I'm not a big fan of pooling. Puddling is okay and flashing is tolerable. I guess that's why I only use variegated for I'm sure the color is broken up. :)
I think I was traumatized by a sweater my mom made for my sister in the 70's. A big pooling mess of mustard, avocado, brown and rust. Ew.

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