I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of knitting and crochet books with Leisure Arts, and here’s one of the most popular: Yarn Pooling Made Easy. Crochet color pooling is a fun technique that lets you make argyle prints and other similar graphic color designs using basic crochet stitches. It looks harder than it is; this book tells you absolutely everything you need to know about how to do yarn pooling in crochet.
When I released Yarn Pooling Made Easy in 2017, I wanted to celebrate this new book with an online party. We did a big blog tour featuring reviews from some of my favorite designer friends. And I also did ten days of videos showcasing the patterns in the book along with tips and hints for planned pooling. While the giveaways are long over, I think all of the reviews and videos can help you learn a lot more about Yarn Pooling Made Easy.
NOTE: This post was originally for the blog tour in 2017. It’s been updated to highlight what you would want to know from the book today, to make crochet planned pooling more accessible to you. Any mentions of giveaways are outdated; all giveaways related to Yarn Pooling Made Easy have already passed.
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I’m So Excited About Planned Pooling
Planned pooling crochet became a hot topic around 2016. People realized that you could take advantage of the color changes in multicolored yarn to “pool” the colors in specific, planned out ways. This means that you can create beautiful prints using a single ball of yarn (or multiple balls from the same dye lot.) Although people immediately loved the idea of crochet pooling, they found that there was a tough learning curve to getting started.
I immediately knew that this was an area I wanted to help people with. It’s such a fun aspect of the craft that allows you to make the most use of color in crochet. I got very serious very quick about using my skills to teach others how to do this. Therefore, anyone who needs some guidance of where to start with planned pooling should head to my YouTube channel and watch the videos in my planned pooling playlist. Additionally, check out my Total Beginners Guide to Crochet Planned Pooling, which lays it all out for you and links to all of the blog posts on the topic that you’ll need to go Fromm beginner to advanced. And, of course, Yarn Pooling Made Easy is a resource you should consider, since it shows you start to finish how to crochet this color technique.
Reading through my blog posts you will see that I was lucky to have two wonderful ladies help me get the information out to you on the planned pooling topic. These two ladies are also a part of the Planned Pooling Crochet Facebook group. Head over to the group page for some amazing support from others who love to work with planned pooling crochet.
More About Yarn Pooling Made Easy
With 8 original designs in the book, I hope that you will find something that you love. You’ll have all of the instruction you’ll need to make:
- 3 different scarfs: a zig zag, a hooded scarf, and another one that especially showcase the planned pooling technique
- Matching set of cowl, writers, and hat – especially great for gifting
- Baby things: cocoon and car seat cover
- Child’s sweater
- Crochet planned pooling poncho with raglan yoke
And below you’ll learn even more about all of these patterns. Each was designed in Red Heart yarns, which is why Red Heart joined Leisure Arts (the publisher – check out all my books with them) to offer giveaways for the original blog tour.
The blog tour was years ago and the giveaways are over, but something new has happened since then that I want to make sure you know about: Red Heart created a yarn specifically for Planned Pooling. If you really want to have Yarn Pooling Made Easy for you then using this yarn is a great place to start!
Learn More About Each Project on YouTube!
In addition to the original blog tour, at the time that I released Yarn Pooling Made Easy, I also did a ten day YouTube video tour of the book. While the giveaways mentioned in the videos are no longer relevant, the videos DO have a ton of information you might still enjoy.
Each video shows you a pattern in the book in more detail. If you want to get a chance to see exactly what’s in Yarn Pooling Made Easy – and also just to get a better idea of what things look like when crocheted in this technique, then these videos will help.
In each video, I also talk to you more about the yarn choices for planned pooling. I give you tips and tricks that are exactly the things I used to create Yarn Pooling Made Easy. And I often give you some behind-the-scenes fun information about the pattern
The first video is all about the scarf that you see on the cover of Yarn Pooling Made Easy. I mention that it’s great to start planned pooling with a crochet scarf like this one because it only requires one color sequence. As you start color pooling, you’ll discover that multiple sequences is a more advanced skill. You’ll also get a tip on where to go if you get stuck with crochet planned pooling.
This pattern set is great for two big reasons: you get the chance to make different types of items using the planned pooling technique so you’ll grow your skills quickly. And you end up with a matching set that you can wear or gift. Learn from the video what my thought process was about why this pattern set makes a perfect choice as the second pattern in the Yarn Pooling Made Easy book.
In this video, I explain that each pattern in Yarn Pooling Made Easy gets a little bit harder than the last. After all, you want to start easy and build your skills with a new technique right? So, learn what makes this zig zag scarf a little more challenging than the first full scarf in the book. And you’ll also get some inside info on who helped me make this pattern really work out right!
Find out in this video why this is one of my personal favorite crochet projects in Yarn Pooling Made Easy. (Here’s a hint.) And you’ll also see what makes this a car seat cover rather than just a baby blanket.
With this project you get the chance to combine a solid yarn with planned pooling. Another new skill!
Here’s the third crochet scarf pattern in the book. As you can see, this one is different because it has a hood. So it’s cozy. But visit the video to find out what else is different about making this crochet scarf. Also – there’s a tiny error in the book (we’ve already got the errata for this) and you can find out from this video what it was!
Isn’t this the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? I love it. Learn the different parts to it and the stitch used throughout when you watch the short video.
Make yourself a beautiful crochet poncho using the planned pooling technique. From this video, you can learn about a crochet pattern I’ve made that this is similar to – and find out what’s different about the two patterns.
What People Think About Yarn Pooling Made Easy
When I make a purchase I always feel better when a friend has recommended the item. To help you see how great the new projects are, I shared a copy of the book with some of my friends so they could review it and share their honest opinion. Here are some excerpts from – and the links to – the original blog posts that were part of the Yarn Pooling Made Easy blog tour. I hope they give you more insight into why this book remains one of the most popular books on this unique crochet technique.
This blog review shares how the designer, who ended up making the car seat cover, had tried yarn pooling in the past and failed. She recommends Yarn Pooling Made Easy as the best resource for solving this problem.
Similarly, Julie of Accrochet said, “Planned colour pooling has been around for about a year, but is not necessarily easy to pick up. This book aims to help you with this!” Meet Julie here.
Here’s another person who tried the technique, didn’t get it at first, and then succeeded thanks to the book. She writes, “Since there are so many variables for achieving successful color pooling, Marly breaks it all down and explains the secret to the technique and how to apply it to the 10 gorgeous patterns in the book.”
She calls me a “pioneer in discovering the secrets of planned color pooling for crochet.” And adds: “Marly Bird has taken this concept (of planned pooling) to a whole new level so you too, can enjoy the benefits of working this technique with style, precision, and success!”
This one was a fun review. On the one hand, it echoes some of the others when she says, “As a lover argyle patterns I found myself attempting the technique but with little success and lots of frustration, until NOW!” But then she decided to learn the basics of the technique from the book as a tool to crochet her own unique design. It’s a planned pooling throw pillow and the post links to her pattern (just click the image of it.) Meet Maria here.
One great point made in this review: “One thing that I noticed when people would post about their pooled projects is that they never really knew what to make with it. They would end up with a long skinny crocheted piece that they could turn into a scarf but that was about it. Because it is so vital to keep the number of stitches just right to keep the pattern going it is hard to make anything other than a rectangle. If you didn’t want to make a scarf than what did you do with it?” This book’s 8+ patterns (because it’s ten if you count the items in the matching set separately) give you options.
Even established crocheters sometimes struggle with first learning planned pooling. In this post, Nadia shares how hard the struggle was for her. Then says, “I began to work my yarn into to the right calculations and GUESS WHAT, it works!!!! It worked out for me!!! I started to see how the pooling effect created the argyle pattern, and boy, I did an epic happy dance all over my house!!!! How thrilling!! This has been the ONLY helpful guide for me to be able to succeed on something that I was about to give up on. I am typically NOT a quitter and thank goodness, because if I was, I would not have found my way to this great book and Marly’s fantastic videos and I would not be Yarn Pooling today!”
Fun fact: I once designed a baby blanket as a gift for YARNutopia.
“Honestly, this book is refreshing and gets right into the good stuff, patterns! You get some information on how to be prepared for planned yarn pooling, some background on Marly, and then straight to the patterns. They really are quite that simple. I have to say, the two things that were evident throughout the book were: all patterns are labeled Easy, and; there is minimal weaving in of ends. Easy and little weaving in ends? I’m in! With yarn pooling, you get a gorgeous and effective design with little work at the end. That’s a win for me!”
Everyone has their favorite projects from the book. Nicki’s Homemade Crafts says, “This red Hooded Scarf is absolutely wonderful. It looks very pretty and will make any woman, or even teen or child looks special and phenomenal.”
In addition to highlighting the ease of learning this technique using the book, this book review says, “I love that each design in the book provides the pattern’s skill level, a finished item size, shopping list of materials needed, gauge information, stitch guide, the pattern, plenty of notes, and finishing/edging sections.”
And here’s a succinct summary: “If you’ve ever wondered how to control those pools of color your variegated yarn makes when you’re crocheting, you may have found your book.” Meet Marie of Underground Crafter here.
*NOTE: Just a reminder that all of these links were originally part of the Yarn Pooling Made Easy blog tour, so they mention giveaways but those are all done now. These posts are to let you know more about the book and how to learn planned pooling