I love dyeing up long-repeat colourways. I also love the way they look when skeined up. However, knitting with them can be challenging. The biggest issue is pooling, which looks fabulous for socks but can, for some people, be a problem in larger projects like shawls and sweaters. This is where assigned pooling comes to the rescue!
So, how does assigned pooling work? Basically, the shortest colour repeat is worked into a 'yarn hungry' textured-stitch pattern (i.e. bobbles/nups, wrapped stitches or even short rows) which gathers together this colour repeat in small clusters. Every time you come to the colour change, this stitch pattern is worked. The longest colour repeat forms the 'background' that is usually worked in stockinette stitch. It's a very creative and interesting way to deal with yarns that pool.
So, what colours work best for assigned-pooling projects? You want to look for yarns that have been dyed in two distinct sections: one will be long, and the second short. Here's an example of our colour Aster that we developed especially for assigned pooling; it was used for our sample shawl (pattern is Calico by Dawn Barker).
If you are searching for assigned pooling projects, you must check out Dawn Barker who is the creative innovator behind this fabulous technique. She has a ton of patterns developed especially for long-repeat colourways. Here's just a few!
Have you tried assigned pooling before? Is this something you are interested in trying? Let us know in the comments below!