Planned Pooling For Crochet: How To Start+ Fix Mistakes

Have you heard of Planned Pooling For Crochet? It is a technique in which you work with just a single skein of variegated yarn to achieve color pooling in crochet. There is no changing of yarn skeins, you just need to make sure your stitches are lining up correctly and simply enjoy making the blanket!

You will find many crochet ideas here on my blog like this Basic Granny Square Free Written Pattern, How To Make A Temperature Blanket Yourself and many more! I have been seeing this color pooling in crochet technique all over the internet and I finally decided to give it a try and let me just say it is so much fun! The way the fabric comes together forming this color pattern is amazing to watch.

planned pooling for crochet

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How To Start Color Pooling in Crochet

1. How to choose yarn for planned pooling?

While there are many variegated yarns available in the market, not all of them will work to create Planned Pooling For Crochet. Crocheters online have a compiled a super helpful list of pooling yarns that I referred to while purchasing my yarn.

I chose the Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn in the colorway Shadow, this is a Super Bulky 6 yarn that creates a nice chunky fabric.

Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn Shadow color pooling

2. What is the best stitch for color pooling?

The Crochet Moss Stitch is the best stitch for color pooling. You can also use the single crochet in some instances, but mostly the moss stitch shines!

color pooling best stitch

3. Select the Crochet Hook Size That is Right for you

The yarn recommends an 8mm L crochet hook but that one did not work for me. I tried the P and N size hooks and found that the N hook created a repeated pattern for me.

What is the best stitch for color pooling?
what size crochet hook for color pooling

4. Define your Color Pattern

You might have never defined a color pattern before, and let me explain what that means. You want to make a small swatch of say 20 stitches, and then start working in moss stitch for a few rows. After a few rows, you will be able to see colors repeating- it will not be planned pooling yet

For me with the N hook my color pattern was 3 teal stitches, followed by 4 dark blue/brown stitches and then 4 light sand colored stitches. You will need to try different hook sizes to match the tension of your crocheting to figure out a pattern.

5. Calculate your starting chain number

Once you have a color pattern, use this website to see how the planned pooling would look

I used this Planned pooling app on my phone more. In the app, I was able to tweak the number of stitches and colors easily and move the slider to see the pooling.

planned pooling crochet calculator app
planned pooling crochet calculator app

6. Start Crocheting

38+38+4=  80, chain into 4th chain from hook

one skein color pooling

Make sure you join the new skein of yarn in correct color order

changing colors while color pooling

Here is how it looked 3 skeins in.

color pooling in crochet

All done! I used 6 skeins of yarn and the finished blanket measures 27 inches wide and 25 inches tall.

planned pooling for crochet blanket

planned pooling for crochet: Mistakes + Tips

color pooling blanket
  1. The color of the ch1 between the single crochets does not matter: The ch1 between the scs can be a middle muddy uneven color. It does’t matter as this chain will get covered by the sc of the next row. Only the color of single crochet stitch is what you need to pay attention to.
  2. Maintain the correct stitch numbers: For my blanket, the most important for me was to maintain 3 scs of the teal aqua color. This is the bold color that pops in the colorway and if I kept 3 full scs in that color the rest of the colors pooled neatly by themselves- 8 (4+4) scs of the purple/brown/beige color.
  3. Use the in between ch 1 to control color: and maintain 3 teal scs. If you find that you have only got 2 teal scs, pull out the last few stitches and then crochet tighter- especially the ch 1. What I like to do is ch 1, and then pull the yarn back with my left arm to tighten the chain as much as possible. If the opposite is true and you have extra teal yarn after 3 scs- make your chains looser. Always use the chains to adjust the color pooling, don’t make your scs tighter or looser that will look bad and uneven. The chains will get covered by the next row and are hidden.
  4. Make your turn ch 2 tighter than usual: At the end of your row, (or beginning of a new row) Turn ch2 tighter than usual so that you have enough of that color yarn left for the correct number of scs.
  5. Sneaky TIP: Have too much yarn of some color remaining after the required stitches? Add an extra loop into the sc stitch itself and continue. Have too little yarn to make the required stitches? Skip the ch1 in between. If you skip one or two in between chains on a row nothing will happen- just make sure that the next row you are creating a new sc in the space the ch1 would have been and continue along.

My biggest mistake was not buying enough yarn of the same lot. I bought 2 packs of this 3 pack of Bernat Softee Chunky Shadow Yarn for a total of 6 skeins. I would have liked to used 3 more skeins for a longer blanket but all the yarns I ordered afterwards looked so different in color! I also tried this 6 pack of Bernat Softee Chunky Shadow Yarn but it looked off.

Another mistake I made was to worry about the color pattern of my starting chain. I even tried to use a scrap white yarn but later figured out that the color pooling in crochet will occur irrespective of the starting chain. The white yarn actually helped me define my color pattern better, so it did not go to waste!

alternate cast on in color pooling

Planned Pooling for crochet Blanket

My finished blanket is chunky and the pattern just pops! I loved trying this planned pooling for crochet technique- it is so unique and satisfying. Have you tried color pooling? Let me know in the comments!

Planned pooling for crochet looks like magic but really in the end it all about counting your stitches 😉

bernat softee chunky planned pooling blanket
color pooling in crochet chunky blanket

Color Pooling in Crochet Yarns To Try:

These are bothgreat Color Pooling In Crochet yarns that I want to try

Conclusion: Color Pooling In Crochet

how to do planned pooling for crochet

Pin this tutorial here

There are so many new and different yarns to try while color pooling in crochet! Figuring out the right number of stitches and establishing a pattern in the beginning takes a bit of extra planning, but the final results are totally worth the effort!

Smitha Katti creativespace e1577349763159

Hi I’m Smitha! I live in Minnesota with my husband and two daughters. You’ll always find me painting florals in my sketchbook. And I love the sheer joy of making something with just my hands! But my bigger love is capturing it all on camera Read more.

Thanks for stopping by today! If you learnt something from this tutorial, do share this post with a friend or on social media! Tag me @smithakatti #smithakatti I’d love to see what you create!


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