Color Pooling 104: Argyle in the Round

We’ve already explored ways to crochet argyle patterns by deliberately color pooling certain variegated yarns. It’s possible to make scarves, blankets, or other flat objects. What about crocheting in the round? Can a variegated yarn work its argyle magic this way? The answer is yes and no.

Why am I hedging? The answer has to do with what you mean by “crocheting in the round” and how you’ll make the argyle pattern. In short, you have to turn your work to get your project to pool in the argyle print in the round. Projects worked in the round don’t usually involve turning, but they can. Let’s take a look at how to crochet the argyle pattern working in the round.

Argyle Tutorials

If you don’t know how to crochet the argyle pattern, first read Color Pooling 101 and make a few samples. Color Pooling 102 teaches you how to crochet a zigzag print, or half of an argyle/crisscross. Color Pooling 103 explains how to make wider argyle patterns with multiples of argyles, which is how I made the drawstring bags shown there.

To create the argyle look, colors have to shift one stitch from row to row. This is easy to do when working in the round. Before you begin, decide approximately how big around the project needs to be. (I say approximate because it’s easier if you know how many argyle crisscrosses around you want it to be, rather than how many inches around.) Pull a strand of yarn out of the skein and figure out the color sequence. (What are the colors in order before they repeat again?) The Red Heart Soft in colorway Greyscale pictured here has an ABAC color sequence: medium gray, dark gray, medium gray, light gray. Decide how many color sequences around your project needs to be.

Stripe Color Pooling in the Round

color pooling
In the example shown here, I wanted to make a drawstring bag with a complete argyle on each side, requiring two color sequences around. After swatching, I calculated it would take 52 foundation chains to get through the color sequence twice. I single-crocheted through two color sequences, then since the color needs to shift one, I pulled out the last stitch. (The unused foundation chain can just be untied by pulling the tail through it.) Working in the round here meant that I just continued crocheting around and around. Instead of joining each round, I crocheted right on top of the first stitch of the first row and continued around to prevent an unsightly join seam up one side of the work.

The color shifted one stitch starting in Round 2. But a funny thing happened in Round 3: the color continued to shift one stitch in the same direction, rather than shifting back and forth. So instead of making an argyle crisscross pattern, these colors formed diagonal stripes (one for each of the four colors)! This is what will happen if you follow all the argyle rules and work in the round continuously. The same thing will also happen if you join at the end of each round but continue to work around and around, only you’ll have a joining seam too.

Argyle Color Pooling in the Round

To get the argyle pattern, you will need to join each round with a slip stitch and turn your work. Let’s look at how I crocheted the argyle drawstring bag.

Again, I wanted to make the bag two sequences around. Using my swatch, I determined the number of foundation chain stitches I needed. On Round 1, I crocheted through the color sequence twice in moss stitch. I pulled out the last single crochet, chained 1, and joined the row with a slip stitch. I chained 2 to start the next round, turned my work, and crocheted in moss stitch around. Again, I joined the round with a slip stitch, chained 2, and turned. The colors of Round 3 should shift one stitch later than they do in Round 1. I followed all the rules of the argyle pattern (adjusting tension as needed) and joined every round, and turned every round. Voila! The argyle pattern in the round!

Working back and forth on a tubular object does create a joining seam, but because I crocheted through entire sequences in Round 1, the join is fairly invisible. It did not break up the argyle crisscross pattern.

What happens if my project requires half a color sequence to reach the size I want? If you crochet through a half sequence, say 2.5 or 3.5, you can still produce an argyle pattern, but the pattern will not crisscross at the seam. Colors will form a zigzag next to the complete argyle crisscrosses. You’ll get a cleaner look by crocheting through the color sequence in whole-number multiples , but crocheting through half sequences gives you more sizing options. (See Color Pooling 102 and 103 for more explanation on crocheting through half sequences.)

Finishing Touches

I finished each bag by turning the joining seam to the side (if there was a seam), flattening the bag, and slip stitching the two edges together on the inside to form the bottom seam. I crocheting in black around the top for several rows. I created twisted cords, folded the black in half and sewed the cord inside the black section. The beautiful market bag in Color Pooling 103 can also be made in the round: crochet through that color sequence three times for the solid part of the bag.

With this joining technique, you can now crochet cylindrical shapes with the argyle pattern. What will you crochet next?

—Deborah Bagley


Other Crochet Projects to Try


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