Raglan, No Pooling

Here we go. I’ve taken apart a sweater I don’t wear, reconditioned the wool and now I’m going to get started on a new pullover. I hope to avoid colour pooling this time.

I’m working my Any Gauge Raglan Pullover pattern with a gauge of 5 sts = 1″. This wool has a lot of colour variation in every ball so … I’m going to knit it with 5 balls at the same time!!!

Yes, 5 balls, count ’em.

OK, OK, I didn’t start with 5. I started with one. I cast on all the stitches for the raglan neck opening with ball#1, placing markers as I went.

Then I got 3 more balls out and, working the raglan increases according to the pattern, I knit the Back with ball#1, knit the first shoulder with ball#2, knit the Front with ball#3, knit the second shoulder with ball#4. That takes me back to the beginning of the round. Each section of my raglan is knit with a different ball of wool and my first set of increases have been worked.

Here is where the Helix knitting (in this case, changing the yarn in the same place each time) comes into play. With one more ball, ball#5, I knit the Back to the marker, dropped that wool and slipped the marker. With the next ball, the wool that is sitting right there, I knit across the shoulder to the next marker. Dropped that wool and slipped the marker. Knit across the Front using the wool from the next ball that is sitting there. Slipped the marker and again with the wool that is sitting there, knit the second shoulder to the end of the round.

I know this sounds complicated but the wool you need to use is right there at each marker. You drop the wool you are knitting with, slip the marker and pick up the new wool and knit.

There is, of course, a TRICK. Do Not Twist the wool at each marker. When you approach a marker, take the wool strand you were just using and hold it to the right, slip the marker and pick up the new strand of wool from underneath. It’s not twisted.

Why bother with all this?

Two reasons. Because you don’t twist the wool when changing balls, there is no pull at the raglan lines where the markers are. It’s a smooth transition. Reason Two: THE BALLS DO NOT TANGLE.

How is this possible?

When you knit you are moving the yarn from the left needle to the right needle so the circle of knitting is moving clockwise. That twists the wool like this.

Every couple of rounds, grab your circle of knitting like a steering wheel and turn it counter-clockwise, like you’re making a left turn.

This really works!! I’m a little further along now. This is how the colour is coming out on my knit shoulder. An even distribution of uneven colour.

I’m pretty happy.

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

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Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Any Gauge knitting. Dive into your stash and cast on for a Top Down sweater that fits, or an accessory to use up those odd balls of yarn.

14 thoughts on “Raglan, No Pooling”

  1. I did 5. Colours in socks after you told our group about this. Was doing 2 at a time toe up so had 10 balls total. Sounds horrible but it worked fine for me. Cheers Sharon

    On Mon, Dec 7, 2020 at 11:40 AM Deb Gemmell: Top Down, Gauge Free and more wrote:

    > debgemmellmods posted: ” Here we go. I’ve taken apart a sweater I don’t > wear, reconditioned the wool and now I’m going to get started on a new > pullover. I hope to avoid colour pooling this time. I’m working my Any > Gauge Raglan Pullover pattern with a gauge of 5 sts = 1″. This” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This method is on my list for some Miss Babs yarns. They are beautiful but the patterning is difficult. The method (If you can call it that- I referred to it as color ‘management’🥴) from my youth was just to cut the yarn and unwind until I got to a color area I liked on the skein, etc. But there are a lot of ends to deal with.

    May I ask also, you have an article on Japanese Short rows? I am supposed to use this method on the neck of a sweater, and so far it’s total fail. I have watched 2 different videos and it is still no go.

    Thank you for all if your articles, I appreciate your humorous approach to a wonderful craft that can at times be very frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll look for an article on Japanese short rows, but I wonder if you could use another short row method? Most of them can be used interchangeably.


      1. I certainly am open to another way, and I must say most of the knitters making this sweater just loved the Japanese short rows were successful, but I am the one at the bottom of the class! I am using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sport in a dark purple, on size 4 circular knitting needles, so I don’t think the increases will show much anyway. Somehow I am just not getting it.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL. it took me awhile but I finally got the vision. Initially I thought you would be knitting 4 separate pieces since they were not joined by a twist. LOL This is definitely a new trick for an old dog.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m afraid I haven’t written about japanese short rows. They are not a favourite of mine. I think you could substitute a short row method you do like instead. It may be that the designer likes that method. It may not be integral to the pattern.


  3. That’s what I will do. I have fiddled around with this enough. May I ask why you aren’t fond of the Japanese short row method?

    Thanks. B-R

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You sure are persistent!! I’ve never cared about pooling very much but I have used your spiral method with odds & ends socks. I only had the guts to try THREE balls at a time though – you surely are the Master Spiral Blaster!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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