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Planned pooling – Crochet tutorial

Planned pooling is probably one of the biggest trends in the crochet community. It has gained popularity since 2016 when images of planned pooling took over crochet groups on Facebook. In short, planned pooling creates a pooling effect that naturally happens with variegated yarn. With a little pre-planning you can create the most amazing ‘pools’ of color designs. Let the yarn do the magic and easily create to most beautiful items with eye catchy color designs! Below you can find my photo and video tutorial of crochet planned pooling with Katia Magic Diamonds.

What is planned pooling

Planned pooling is a technique to create beautiful color effects with variegated yarn by moving up one colored stitch per row. This technique requires planning. It’s typically done with simple stitches such as single crochet or double crochet. You don’t have to be a crochet expert, although you need to be able to have a consistent tension.

Free crochet planned pooling patterns

Free crochet planned pooling patterns

1. Crochet planned pooling cowl / 2. Planned pooling crochet top 

A few tips for planned pooling

  • Tension is important. You need to have the same amount of stitches in each color section or you won’t get that color effect. Change your hook size if needed. If you have more stitches than a pattern asks for, change to a smaller hook. If you have less stitches, size up your hook.
  • Keep the color sequence in the correct order. If you add a new ball of yarn or find a knot due to manufacturer issues, reattach yarn at the exact right spot. Usually it’s easier to reattach at the end of a color change. Always make sure you are using skeins with the same dye lot, otherwise colors and length may differ.
  • There’s a helpful planned pooling website that shows you how colors will turn out. You only need to make a swatch and fill in the numbers. Play with the settings and find out which color effect you want to work with!

Planned pooling tutorial for beginners

For this tutorial I’ve used my new Planned Pooling crochet top.

Yarn: Katia Magic Diamonds color 51

Hook size: 6mm

ch: chain
sc: single crochet
st: stitch

Step 1:

Find out the color order of your yarn. Katia Magic Diamonds has 4 colors: grey, white, grey, black. Each color section has the same measurement (about 20″).

planned pooling crochet tutorial - Katia Magic Diamonds

Step 2:

Make a swatch and write down the gauge. The gauge for Katia Magic Diamonds is 13 sc x 4 rows = 4″ x 4″

Step 3:

Use your swatch to find out how many stitches you can make within a color section. With Katia Magic Diamonds, each color section has 9 sc with a 6mm hook.

Step 4:

Find out the total amount of stitches you need to get the correct measurement for your project. It should be a multiple of the number you got at step 3. Add or subtract 1 stitch. For example: if we would need 9 x 4 = 36 stitches for a toddler sized top, we would work with either 35 or 37 stitches. Let’s say we choose 35 stitches.

Step 5:

Find out if your pattern uses a turning chain as the first stitch or not. In my crochet top pattern the turning chain does not count as a stitch.

Step 6:

Make a slip knot and chain 35 + 1* turning chain. If you end up in the middle of a color section, continue making chains until you reach a new color. This is important as we need to start row 1 at the beginning of a new color section. Don’t worry about the extra chains, we will unravel them later.

*if your pattern does count the turning chain as a stitch, chain 35 (without a turning chain).

planned pooling crochet tutorial chains

Step 7:

Skip the turning ch and work a sc in the second ch from your hook. Continue working sc till you have 35 sc total. Make sure you have 9 sc in each color section. In row 1 you’ll work 9 stitches of color A, 9 of color B, 9 of color C and 8 stitches of color D. Make a turning chain and turn your work.

planned pooling crochet tutorial first row sc

Step 8:

In the next row, the colors will move up a stitch. We will start with the remaining grey stitch and then continue counting 9 + 9 + 9 stitches of each color. We will end with 7 grey stitches at the end of row 2 and start with 2 stitches of color D in row 3, and so on.

planned pooling crochet tutorial 2nd row sc

Step 9:

Continue working single crochet stitches. After a few rows the color effect should be visible already.

planned pooling crochet tutorial 3rd row sc

Step 10:

Once you are finished, remove the slip knot and unravel the unworked chains from the beginning chain. Secure the tail with a knot and weave in the ends.

planned pooling crochet tutorial remove slip knot

Video tutorial

I’ve made a video tutorial showing you how to do planned pooling crochet.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube


If you have any questions about my patterns or tutorials, feel free to join my Facebook Group. I created this group for you to share pictures/ progress, ask questions and to help each other out.

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