Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pooling and a method to fix it

Some people like how multicoloured yarn pools (or stacks), other people detest it and avoid yarns that would tend to do this. I am in the middle - a little bit of pooling on a garment is fine but when it gets too much it drives me crazy.

So when I started the MinO jacket and had knit a couple of inches, I noticed the pooling and decided that I would do something to minimize this. The most common method (and one that Fleece Artist recommends on other patterns of theirs) is to knit from two balls (or opposite ends of the same ball) at once. Knit one row, slide stitches to other end knit a second row with the second ball, turn and purl two rows back. Requires swing needles or circulars.

I decided to utilize this method, I joined the second ball, and knit away. However I didn't pay attention to where I joined the second end. Unfortunately, I had lined up the colours, so I continued to get pooling. I denied the problem figuring that since the colours should be coming in opposite order it would fix it self. I knit on. It soon became apparent that it wasn't going to resolve itself. I didn't want to rip out what I had already knitted.
  1. I had two yarns attached to the sweater
  2. I didn't want to cut the yarn but I wanted to alter how the yarns were placed
  3. I thought of intarsia and fixed the problem

What I did:
Green and blue represent the different yarns and the arrows is the direction of knitting.
  1. Knit all the way across the sweater in yarn A
  2. Knit across until there was about 20 stitches left with B
  3. Slipped those 20 stitches to the other needle
  4. Purl with A, 20 stitches
  5. Twist A and B together and knit with A to end
  6. Slip first 20 stitches to left needle
  7. Purl with B back to beginning
  8. Purl entire length of sweater with A
  9. Knit as normal

A couple of further thoughts on this method:
  1. It is a secondary method - you have to have two balls of yarn on the go (unless you join a second just for this)
  2. There is nothing magic about 20 stitches. You don't want 1/2 of stitches and you do have to slide the stitches twice. With this sweater I wouldn't go less than 20 stitches, but sliding 30 or 40 would have worked as well. My cast on was 140 sts, YMMV.
  3. You have no extra ends to weave in
  4. If pooling develops again, you can repeat this process
I was happy with how this technique stopped the pooling in the sweater, and wished I had figured it out sooner. The red arrow shows where I did the maneuvering.


Jenni said...

A. That made my head hurt.
B. Very well done, though.
C. Lovely colors.

Sarah said...

I clearly learned how to knit from the best - that was an ingenious solution, TT!