A Walker in the City Scarf: planned color pooling

There was a boom of color pooling in crochet a few years ago. You could see those designs literally everywhere online, and I was dying to try this technique myself. I never got a chance, but the idea was still sitting at my desk. When Scheepjes introduced their brand-new Downtown yarn earlier this year, I felt like that was the right moment. I was still not very sure if this yarn is suitable for color-pooling. So, I tried, and it worked! 

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Color pooling, which is also called planned yarn pooling, is a specific technique for working with variegated yarns to create a specific color-based effect in crochet design. The technique requires the use of variegated yarn that has a short repeating sequence of colors. 

If you have not heard about crochet color pooling before, please search online, and you will come up with tons of search results about basics of this technique. There are also lots of video tutorials about how to do it. In this blog post, I will just explain how I made my own scarf, without going deep into the theory of the technique. 

Originally, planned pooling used moss stitch (or linen stitch), for yarns with shorter color repeats. Scheepjes Downtown is a self-striping yarn with fairly long color repeats, so to achieve the diamond effect with a linen stitch, you would need a really long foundation chain, and it would become longer even than the king-sized throw. 

But there is another stitch which also works perfectly for color pooling, and it’s a so-called Granny stitch (yes, the same one we use for basic granny squares). I learned this method of planned color pooling from Sarah of Repeat Crafter Me, and I used it for my A Walker In The City Scarf. 

With granny method, we use clusters of 3dc instead of single crochet stitches (US terms are used in this tutorial throughout). And the diamonds in the stitch pattern are much bigger. As already mentioned, the length of the color repeats in the Downtown yarn are fairly long: approx. 6m each. It means that even with the granny stitch you can come up with a different number of clusters depending on the hook size you choose, and a specific gauge you can obtain. Please, follow the steps below to figure out your own gauge and to complete the scarf. 



  • Scheepjes Downtown (75% wool, 25% nylon; 50g/200m, fingering weight) 

409 City Shopper x 6 balls

  • Lining (optional): Scheepjes Metropolis (75% wool, 25% nylon; 50g/200m, fingering weight) 

008 Beirut x 4 balls

  • 3mm crochet hook
  • 3.5mm needles
  • Yarn needle to weave in tails and sew top part and lining together

You can find Downtown yarn in your local Scheepjes shop, or via online retailers: Wool Warehouse* (UK, international shipping), Caro's Atelier* (NL, Europe), Taemombo (US & Canada).


20 clusters per one color repeat (you might also obtain 18-19 clusters, which will result in a shorter length of the scarf) 


35cm x 190cm / 14in x 75in 

Pattern notes

The Walker in the City Scarf is worked in planned color pooling technique with granny clusters (3dc worked into a space between two clusters from a previous row).  The top with diamonds is worked with Scheepjes Downtown yarn in rows back and forth. The lining (optional) is knitted with Scheepjes Metropolis yarn in the same size as the top. Then top and lining are sewn together using a yarn needle and mattress stitch.


Step 1. Make a gauge swatch

You need a gauge swatch to see how many clusters fit into one color repeat. Use instructions below, which will be at the same time your instructions for the entire scarf (except of number of chains to begin): 

Row 1. To begin, ch38, 1dc in third ch from hook, *skip 2 ch, 3dc in next ch; rep from * to last 2 ch, skip 2 ch, 1dc to end, turn. 

Row 2. Ch2 (counts as first dc), 2dc in sp before next cluster, *skip 3dc, 3dc in next sp between two clusters; rep from * to end working last 3dc in sp before last dc from prev row, turn. Make sure the clusters are started and finished with the same color, and transition between colors does not appear in the middle of the clusters. Adjust the tension, if needed. 

Row 3. Ch3 (counts as first dc), *skip 3dc, 3dc in next sp between two clusters; rep from * to last 3 dc, skip 2 dc, 1dc to end, turn. 

Rep Rows 2-3 two more times. At this point you should have used two full color repeats, and now you need to count how many clusters fit in one repeat. Please, note that single dc in the beginning and end of some rows do not count as a cluster. So, you only need to count the groups of 3dc. Some clusters will be worked with a transition section between two color repeats. You can count them towards one repeat. 

You might get a different number of clusters per different colors, but you should choose just one number, stick to it, and apply it to all color repeats in the pattern. 

For example, I have got 20 clusters, and Laura of Taemombo had 18 per color repeat. You might also get 19 clusters. Just make sure the stitches are tight enough (and neat). 

Step 2. Make a foundation chain

Now, when you know how many clusters will be made with one color repeat, you can make a foundation chain. I suggest that you make a foundation chain with contrast color to save color sequences. 

I chose solid blue Metropolis for my scarf. The same color I used for the knitted lining. You will need at least 360 chains to begin (and you can adjust this number as you go). 

Step 3. Find the middle of the first color repeat in a ball

After your foundation chain is finished, unwind the Downtown ball to find the first transition between two colors. Continue unwinding the ball to find the end of the color repeat. Then find a middle of this repeat and make a slip knot of a transition and start making the first dc of Row 1 into the first foundation chain. Make sure to begin into the same chain as the foundation tail. Then it will be easier to add more chains if needed, or unravel the unwanted chains on the other end, after finishing row 1. 

 Step 4. Begin with granny clusters

UPDATE: Some colorways of Scheepjes Downtown yarn have 6 colors, and some of them have 10 colors per ball. To make ALL colorways work for pooling, start with middle of one color, complete FIVE full color repeats, and finish with 1/2 of next color. The last color will be either the same as beginning of Row 1 (in case you have 6 repeats in your ball), or a different color (for 10 repeats).

Row 1. Work 1dc in first ch, *skip 2 ch, 3dc in next ch; rep from * using ½ of color repeat for the beginning, FIVE next full color repeats, and ½ color repeat for the end, then skip 2 ch, work 1dc to end, turn. Make sure you work ½ of clusters in one color in the beginning and end of the first row. So basically, you will begin with ½ of one color, then you will make 5 total color repeats and finish with ½ of the same (or different) color as in the beginning. 

If your gauge is 20 clusters per repeat, you will have 10 clusters in one color in the beginning and end of the first row. For odd number of clusters, you will get one cluster more on one end. So, for 19 clusters, you will have 9 and 10 clusters in the one color on both sides of the scarf. 

Step 5. Continue with granny clusters 

Repeat Rows 2-3 for the gauge swatch until your scarf reaches the desired width. Count the clusters in each color well. You should have the same number in each color repeat throughout. 

Please, note that in Downtown yarn, some repeats are slightly longer than the others. So, you might need to crochet a bit looser or tighter in some colors to get the same number of repeats. For example, if you are coming to the end of the color repeat and get 21 clusters instead of 20 (your gauge), you will need to unravel a few clusters and remake them with a looser gauge. And vice versa, if you get 19 clusters instead of 20, it means you need to unravel and rework them tighter to save yarn for one additional cluster. 

The clusters worked with transition sections between the colors, can be counted towards the previous or next color sequence. 


Tips & Tricks 

Adding new balls of yarn 

When one ball of yarn is over, we need to add another one and keep the same color scheme at the same time. You will need to unwind to the same color you stopped with, and at the same time before joining a new ball you should estimate how much more yarn in the same color will be needed to finish the number of clusters as per gauge. 

So, if you have already made 6 clusters with previous ball, you need to add new ball in such a way, that you have enough yarn to finish 14 more clusters in same color (if our gauge is 20 clusters). 

What is important here is to check if the colors in a new ball run in the same direction as in the previous ball. Sometimes it can happen, that the balls are winded differently, and instead of, say, yellow-green-orange sequence, we get orange-green-yellow sequence. In this case, the entire ball should be rewound by hand. 


Yarn industry accepts a certain number of knots in a ball. For variegated yarns, and especially for color pooling, it might become a headache, as we need the colors to flow continuously. 

Usually, the knot breaks the color repeat, and we need to unwind more to find a new start of the same color. Please do not throw the unwound parts of yarn away but keep them instead, as you might need them to restore parts of the color sequences while adding a new ball of yarn, or while repairing another knot in the next balls. 

When fixing the knots, always check if next colors flow in the same direction. If not, rewind the rest of the ball by hand. 

Lining (optional) 

You might keep the Downtown scarf with just one patterned layer, or you can add lining for extra warmth and a fancy touch. I used 4 skeins of Scheepjes Metropolis in solid color for mine and knitted it using 3.5 mm needles. 

Before starting the lining, block your top part to estimate final measurements. Then make a gauge swatch with yarn for lining and estimate how many stitches you need to cast on for lining. My gauge for knitted lining width was 21 sts per 10cm/4in. And my top crochet part was 35cm/14in. 

I used this simple formula to calculate the number of stitches I needed for the lining: 

  • 21 sts (gauge) x 35cm (scarf’s width)/10cm = 73.5 sts

For inches the formula will be similar: 

  • 21 sts (gauge) x 14in (scarf’s width)/4in = 73.5 sts 

I cast on 75 sts for lining.


Block top part and lining to the same measurements and sew them together using the same yarn as for lining and yarn needle (with a mattress stitch). 

And here is a beautiful version of the Walker in the City Scarf made by Laura of Taemombo. She used a Scheepejs Downtown in the shade Leafy Surbub (6 skeins), and Scheepjes Sweetheart in color 07 (2 skeins, 6mm needles). Laura had 18 clusters for one color repeat, and her finished scarf measures approx. 33cm x 175 cm/13 x 69in.


Hope you enjoy this tutorial!

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  1. The pooled scarf is just beautiful (as usual) and the method you used to come up with it is inspired!

    1. I think this method is just genius. So happy Sarah has come up with it :)

  2. Ok. Explicação perfeita! Só um tanto quanto complicada...

  3. Do you have the pattern for purchase anywhere? I absolutely LOVE it! I've never attempted Planned Pooling before but I'm really wanting to give it a try with your pattern.

    1. Well, there is no pattern for this scarf for sale, because this is not my method. But all steps are described on my blog here. And following them, you can create your own scarf :)


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