You may remember a couple weeks ago I bought some What We Do In The Shadows yarn, which I tried unsuccessfully to make into a bat cowl. I’ve been thinking since then that maybe that yarn would best be used for some kind of planned pooling project.
For non-knitters, planned pooling is when you take yarn with a predictable dye pattern and deliberately knit it in such a way that stripes or even plaid-like patterns show up in the fabric. Doing this does require a little pre-work though. So I unwound the yarn a bit so I could identify the dye pattern.
So as it turns out, basically its half ectoplasm green and half purple/black. There’s a light patch inside the purple black area, and there’s a little blop of purple within the green, but for reasons of simplicity, I decided to just go with half and half. The next step then is to cast on some stitches using a different yarn (again to keep things simple – casting on takes more yarn than regular stitches) and see how many stitches you have of each color.
You knit through a couple rounds of the dye pattern and then figure out your average. The average for this yarn was 34 stitches of purple and 34 stitches of green, for a 68 stitch dye pattern repeat. Then you just plug your numbers into www.plannedpooling.com and start to play around with stitch patterns. The number of stitches you cast on makes a huge difference in what your pattern looks like, as does whether you are knitting flat or in the round.
For example, if I knit a double repeat of my dye pattern (136 stitches) in the round, I get this:
If I knit the same number of stitches flat, I get this
And if I knit 135 stitches in a row flat – one stitch less than the last one, I get this!
One other thing to consider is that the stripes or diamond aren’t going to be as crisp as in the generated image – this is hand-dyed yarn, so a bit a wobbliness is part of the charm. I did knit a little test swatch and tried out adding a stitch or removing one. Here’s what I wound up with
Pretty cool! So now that I have my stitch repeats, I just have to figure out what I’m going to do. I’m leaning toward a plaid look pattern. Also, I’m not a huge fan of long thin cowls, so I will probably cast on a lot of stitches and knit until I run out, then just sew the sides together. But we shall see 🙂