Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

Intentional Pooling at Lancaster Yarn Shop


Intentional Pooling Class at Lancaster Yarn Shop
Last Saturday I had the honour of teaching a class on Intentional (planned) Pooling at the Lancaster Yarn Shop in Intercourse, Pennsylvania (Lancaster County). It’s a great way to use some of those multi-coloured, handpainted skeins of yarn hiding in your stash and it’s one of my favourite techniques to teach. The bonus of teaching this at Lancaster Yarn Shop is that they have their own line of Kettle Dyed Yarn that is perfect for this technique and comes in very generous skeins of 484 yards.

There were 7 students and 1 dog (Geisha) in the class; Geisha was very well behaved!
Geisha the greyhound
The class started by selecting the yarn they wanted to use from the shop offerings, with colourways Rhubarb and Plaid Shirt being the most popular – although Rainbow was also a popular choice. Once everyone had their yarn, everyone spread out and started to assess their yarn. As the yarn is not dyed to be symmetrical, class members had to decide if they wanted to knit their project as it looked in the skein (using a single skein) or if they wanted to use two skeins and have a wider piece that was symmetrical with one row being the circumference of the skein. About half the students decided to do a narrower piece and the rest decided on the wider, symmetrical version. With that decision being made, they moved on to laying out the yarn to match up the colour repeats to establish the length of the rows and mark where the yarn turned.

Laying out the rows
After marking the turns for the first rows, we calculated estimated stitch counts and everyone got to knitting. Intentional pooling isn’t an exact science, there really isn’t a way to get it to work out perfectly right at the start. Individual knitting tension, type of needle, humidity, how you knit – it can all play in altering tension. The next part of the class was fine tuning all of these to ensure that the colours would line up. For some it required changing needle size, for others it was a matter of learning the tricks to tweak rows as knitting. Soon, the pooling began to show as you can see in Cheryl’s project shown below worked in the colour Rainbow.
The beginning of a pooling project

Three hours passed very quickly and all too soon it was time to pack up. Barb from the class members sent me this picture of her scarf the next day – she’s made great progress. I think she was bit by the pooling bug, it can be highly addictive!

I’ll be teaching classes on Intentional Pooling this fall at Shall We Knit? in Waterloo, Ontario, both an introductory class and one on working pooling with lace (like the class shown above). You can find a list of all my upcoming classes here. You can also sign up for my periodic newsletter (in sidebar ->) which includes information on classes as well as new designs.
Pooling project in Tanis Blue Label Yarn with Kettle dyed yarn in back of picture.

Upcoming Class: Valencia Scarf at Cast On! Cast Off!


I’m so thrilled to be teaching my Valencia Scarf pattern at Cast On! Cast Off! in St. John’s, NL on August 20, 6 – 9 p.m.

Valencia wrap worn closed
Want to learn to work from charts? Interested in trying lace? This is the class for you. In one session, you’ll learn the basics of knitting lace in a geometric pattern, how to work from charts, and hints to make lace knitting an easy and enjoyable process. This project can be worked in either fingering weight for a scarf or in a heavier weight yarn for a wrap.

Class size is limited and preregistration is required. Call the shop at (709) 739-7318 to reserve your spot!

Looking for a listing of all upcoming classes I’ll be teaching? For now, follow this link: Upcoming Classes.

Upcoming Class: Intentional (Planned) Pooling at Lancaster Yarn Shop


Intentional Pooling
Looking for something new to do with your skeins of handpainted yarn? Come join me for a class on Intentional (Planned) Pooling at Lancaster Yarn Shop on Saturday, August 2nd, 1 to 4 p.m. This is one of my favourite classes to teach and I’m really looking to teaching my first class outside of Ontario.

This class will teach you how to assess the colors in your yarn and line them up to create vertical stripes utilizing the natural pooling effects of the yarn and leave with the start of a scarf. You’ll also learn to read a chart and knit a basic lace pattern.

Class size is limited and preregistration is required. Call the shop at (717) 768-8007 to reserve your spot!

Eclectic Closet Newsletter


You may have noticed the “subscribe to our mailing list” feature on the website recently and wondered about it. Maybe you’re one of those who signed up and never received anything?

I’ve been planning to start a newsletter for a while and today, the first issue went out! If you aren’t signed up, you can read it by clicking here (and then go sign up). If you’re already signed up, check your inbox.

At this point I anticipate sending out the newsletter to announce new designs, highlight upcoming classes or when there’s something important to share – perhaps once every month or two.

Intentional Pooling – Upcoming Classes


Ever wondered what to do with that skein of handpainted sock yarn sitting in your stash?
STR Farmhouse loop
You know, the one with all the bright colours that starts making blobs of colours in weird spots when you try and turn it into socks.

Well how about turning it into something fabulous like this!
Pooling Scarf
(Yes, I realize it’s not the same skein of yarn – some imagination is called for here)

I really enjoy teaching the Intentional Pooling class. This class teaches you how to assess the colours in your yarn and line them up to create vertical stripes utilizing the natural pooling effects of the yarn and leave with the start of a scarf. And if you’re new to lace, you’ll also learn to read a chart and knit a basic lace pattern.

If you’re planning to attend the Knitter’s Frolic held by the Downtown Knit Collective in Toronto on April 26 (and if you’re not you really should – it’s THE fibre festival to be at in the spring in Ontario), you can register to take my class Saturday afternoon from 1 – 4 p.m.

If you’re further south, I’ll also be teaching this class on August 2nd in the afternoon at the Lancaster Yarn Shop in Intercourse, PA. Their shop kettle-dyed yarn is perfect for this technique.

What do you need for the class? Here’s the list: 350-500 yards handpainted sock/fingering weight yarn painted across the skein (see first photo above), stitch markets (6-10), a selection of needles between sizes 3mm and 4mm, contrasting coloured thread (for lifelines), sewing needle, and scissors.

Any questions? Please leave them in the comments.

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