Y'all. I know planned color pooling is too hot for its own good right now. And I know that I just shared another color pooling project with you. But this? This is EXTREME color pooling!
Karen Robinson of Round Table Yarns brewed up a wickedly delicious self striping yarn for Halloween and even though I knew I wouldn't be making socks out of her sock yarn, I've been wanting to play with one of her self striping colorways for some time now! So, enter Tarn Wathelene:
Mmm. Just look at all that Halloweeny goodness! What I didn't realize when I ordered this yarn was just how L O N G she could make a stripe of color! It's pretty impressive! I asked her how she does it and she said she just makes extra long hanks from the yarn before dyeing using a warping mill. So simple! Although I can virtually guarantee that I would get such a long hank of yarn hopelessly tangled up in itself, so I'm still impressed.
There are four color segments in this yarn: long orange, long black, short orange, and short black. And when I say long, I mean L O N G!
Because of that, it was a little bit harder to get a feel for how this yarn would work for color pooling. Normally, simply untwisting the hank will show the color lengths, but since Karen (thankfully!) rewound her super long hanks into more reasonable sized ones, unwinding it didn't reveal the true nature of the striping just yet.
So just out of curiosity, I decided to try to recreate the original hank and see how the striping might look. So I made this mess:
Oy! I was *this* close to getting myself in a yarn barf pickle of my my own making. It's a good thing I only tried to do a couple rounds! I just could not believe how long the stripes were, though. Which actually made me really excited to play with it!
So I pulled out a hook and started crocheting. I loved the way this looked even just swatching with it.
But get this, using an E/3.5mm crochet hook and the linen stitch, a full color sequence (working through one full repeat of long orange, long black, short orange, and short black) was, wait for it, 392 stitches! Actually, it was twice that if you count the chain one spaces. Wow. Obviously I wasn't going to be making a scarf in the same way I normally do with planned color pooling!
Y'all. I'd heard of this site before, but this was the first time I used it. It's addictive! It's so neat to plug in your color numbers and see what sort of patterns you can get. You should definitely check it out.
Here are my numbers:
long orange: 129
long black: 132
short orange: 65
short black: 66
Keep in mind that I'm only counting the single crochets as stitches for my numbers here. Also, using the linen stitch will result in a fabric with a woven look rather than the solid stripes that you see in the generator, but you should get the idea. Here are a few of the possible patterns I could get with this yarn:
Just imagine the possibilities! The problem I faced in planning a design was this: a full color repeat was SO long and I only had one skein of yarn! So doing an argyle pattern would have been underwhelming, I'm afraid, even if I planned to work a scarf lengthwise. There just wouldn't be enough rows to showcase the pattern.
Doing a quarter of a pattern repeat, however, which is the fifth image in the gallery above, would be about right for a cowl and when worked in the linen stitch, it looks even cooler.
Check it out:
My biggest complaint about this project is actually that it doesn't LOOK like color pooling - it just looks like regular color work! But I only had TWO ends to weave in when I was done. Well, four after I added on the solid black edging with an additional skein of Merlin in Black Knight.
And these buttons! I absolutely love them with this. I actually bought them ages ago from a fabric store that was going out of business, but I found some similar ones at my local Joann's, so I might go get some more.
I did toggle buttons again and although I'll probably never move them from where they are now, I like having the option. Black buttons with no edging was actually my original plan, but I like the silver buttons on the black mitered edge much better!
Now I haven't written a proper pattern for this just yet, and I may not. If I do, it probably won't be for this specific piece because seriously, you guys. Color pooling with sequences this long? It's kind of a pain in the tookus. Yeah, you can just go for a while with those long colors, which is nice, but I don't know how many times I had to take out the majority of the stitches in one of the long color segments - which means about 100 stitches to rework every time I came up more than one or two stitches off. If it's only one stitch, you don't have to rework that many stitches, but four or five? Yep.
The shorter segments, even though they were still over 60 stitches each, came out pretty close each time, so those actually were okay to do. It's just too easy to end up several stitches off your goal with those super long color segments, though, because even tiny changes in your tension will add up over the course of over 100 stitches!
In other words, this was a fun challenge. And I'm beyond tickled with how it turned out. But I'm not sure I'll make a habit of color pooling with super long self-striping yarns! If, however, you want to give it a try, I believe that Karen will have this colorway available until Halloween, possibly a bit after, so go check it out now while you can!
P.S. You can check out my Tarn Wathelene Cowl project page on Ravelry if you want to see even MORE pictures or get any other details about the yarns I used, etc.