Assigned Pooling

When I first saw the above words I couldn’t quite understand what they meant. Assigned, my understanding is organised, to be or do something with structure or form. Pooling, as far as knitting with hand dyed yarn is concerned is something that most knitters try to avoid i.e. areas of one colour instead of two or more colours. On further investigation, I realised that assigned pooling could be a good thing and an attractive knitting technique. Another consideration is why? Why would anyone want to use a yarn that changes colour and then changes back to the original colour and then continues back and forth to the end of the skein? Not being the same as speckled, tweed, fades or multicoloured yarns the assigned pooling yarn is measured lengths of colours throughout the skein. You can then make with the different colours without having to join-in another skein of a different colour. I remember a few years ago at a spinning group, hearing someone extoll the praises of the technique of ‘spit splicing’. We were shown how and decided that it was a good technique but preferred to use tap water. It is one way of joining yarn. Other than that there is the Russian, knot and tails, braided, overlap, knit double, back join and others which all work fine and everyone have their preference. However, these methods would be tiresome and impractical to use every few stitches, hence the use offhand dyed Assigned Pooling skeins.


The simplest use would be to knit garter stitch and create stripes. You may prefer to accentuate one of the colours by using a textured stitch and retain the remaining colour/s as a background from which the textured stitch will stand out. If a skein contains 3 colours, you may wish to use one textured stitch for colour A, a different textured stitch for colour B and colour C would remain as the background such as garter stitch.

Textured Stitches

There are many textured stitches to choose from. Two of my favourites are bobble stitch and eyelash stitch. Depending upon colours and finished article, certain stitches lend themselves to some and not others. I think the pink bobble stitch and darker pink background would look better with a different textured stitch.

Here I used madder to achieve light and dark pink.

The skeins above were dyed using woad which is blue and comfrey.


I was invited by my friend Kate to chop down as much comfrey as I wanted of this precious plant. Back at the workshop I stripped the leaves from the stems and made the dye. Next, I prepared the yarn, Wensleydale 4ply (together with my hairy friend), tied the skeins and mordanted them. The comfrey, when boiled was soon ready. Then I added the wool yarn. Next I need blue dye. My Japanese Indigo is growing nicely but will not be ready until med summer when I shall make the dye and return the comfrey dyed yarn to the dye pot.

Basket (£20.00)