Experiments with colour

I so want to have a go at colour pooling. I’d really like an argyle pattern but anything would be great. I routed around in my stash to find some variegated yarn to give it a go and the only one that looked suitable was this rainbow yarn. The rest was in too long sections and would only ever make horizontal stripes.

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So I followed the various instructions I found, pulled out a length of yarn and looked for repeats in the colour changes:

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So far, so good. I then chained for one colour repeat and then single crocheted back and forth a few times. Then I counted how many single crochets took up one colour repeat. 30. so I chained that many and held on to my excitement for the wonderful patterns that were about to appear….

…except they didn’t. It just looked blobby and horrible. So I tried one SC fewer on the next row. Still just a mess. many more stitch counts later and I had this:

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You can see here that 16 SC is exactly one half of a colour repeat because perfectly lined up you have 3 pinks, then the next row it’s 2 blues and a yellow, three pinks again, etc. all exactly aligned. This should mean that 32 stitches is exactly one colour repeat rather than the 30 I counted initially. You don’t want the exact colour repeat otherwise you just see vertical stripes as in the 16 SC patch above so I tried 31 SC:

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hmmm, some vague diagonals that are not really anything to write home about. I wondered if it was the yarn or just me doing something wrong and took to the internet where I found this great guide from The Crochet Crowd. Here they say that yarns with short colour changes won’t work. coloured lengths should ideally be between 6 and 12 inches. In this yarn the lengths are 1 to 3 inches. doh! At the bottom of this other great pooling tutorial from Glamour 4 U there is a list of yarns that they say will work so I think I’ll order one of those and give it another try.

So then I moved on to what I should do with this rainbow yarn – it looks patchy and awful in SC from these few blocks I’ve made so I needed something else. I remembered reading somewhere that a good trick to harmonise variegated yarn was to use two different types together. Counter intuitive but I thought I’d give it a go with some of the long colour change balls I had. First up was a blue and apricot sock yarn:

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Which did improve the rainbow stuff quite substantially. The slowly changing flecks of peach and blue did have a calming effect on the jarring jumpiness of the rainbow:

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Next I tried something similar to the rainbow but with much longer and gradual changes:

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I needed a 10mm hook to crochet these two together but it did have the advantage that it worked up quickly. And it turn out beautiful!

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So I kept going. I went for one whole repeat of the longer colour changing yarn and then a little more so that the pink was mirrored at each end:

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