ZigZag Planned Pooling Cowl


These zigzags were an accidental discovery while teaching myself planned pooling.  These cowls are 26″ around and 8″ tall.


Please do not copy my pattern or images as your own.  Feel free to link to the pattern, but please give me credit.

As always, if you notice a mistake please let me know so I can correct it.  I’m not a professional blogger, just a mom of a handful of kids who likes to share her ideas.

This pattern is also available on Ravelry if you would like to add it to your library.

This is going to be more of a recipe than a pattern.  Your actual stitch count, hook size, and result will all depend on what type, color, and even dye lot of yarn you use.  Before you start, I highly recommend you become familiar with planned pooling in moss stitch, or at least check out some tutorials.  I for this tutorial by Marly Bird the most helpful.  She has numerous other tutorials and videos as well.

Important note:  This tutorial only covers how to do pooled zigzags in the round, either with a symmetrical or non-symmetrical color sequence.  I am working on a separate tutorial for pooled flat zigzags.

Step 1: Choose Your Yarn

You need a consistent, repeating, color pattern for any planned pooling.  For zigzags, short color changes are fine, you can still get a clear pattern.  You should be able to work with blended color, rather than abrupt color changes, as well.

My first zigzags, and this example, were both done with Red Heart Super Saver in “Mirage.”  Because of the very short color changes, I was unable to get it to pool nicely into the standard argyle.  The color order is blue, cream, blue, latte, mocha, latte.

Step 2: Choose Your Hook

I’ve been using an I (5.5 mm) hook with Red Heart Super Saver.

Step 3: Figure Out Your Stitch Count

Make a good size swatch and count your stitches in each color until you know how many you usually get.  Or try my shortcut.

Step 4: Chaining

Estimate how long you want your cowl to be.  If you have a long color repeat, you might want to count chains to make sure you chain enough to complete an even multiple of your repeat.  Remember that you need to chain 2 for every stitch of moss stitch.  I want 6 color repeats of 8 stitches each, so 48 moss stitches, or at least 96 chains.  I just kept chaining until I was sure it would be longer than I needed.  I can deal with the unused chains later.

(Side Note: If you want to make it easy on yourself, for this or other planned pooling, you can do your starting chain separately, end, and cut the yarn.  When you start you piece, begin from the beginning of that chain, rather than the end.  If, after your first row/round you have extra, unused chains, you can easily just pull them out.)

Step 5: Getting Started

I recommend starting in the middle of your widest color.  It will help disguise the turns.  For me, that’s mocha.  Turn, and make your first stitch into the 3rd chain from the hook.


The turning chains do not count as a stitch.  You can work the rest of your stitches into or around your chain.  I did mine around the chain.

Step 6: Making Diagonal Stripes

You first round is done when you have completed your planned number of color repeats.  For regular planned pooling, it is often recommended that you remove a stitch at this point.  Don’t.  You want a complete color repeat.  After the last sc of your pattern, ch 1 and make your next sc into the turning chain with which you began round 1, joining your work into a circle.  Make sure your piece is not twisted.

The color of your first stitch for each round, and its position in your color pattern, should be the same.  My color pattern began with a single mocha stitch.  Round two also begins with a single mocha stitch.



As you continue round 2, your colors should line up above and just to the right of the identical stitches from the previous round.



Continue working in a spiral.  At the end of round 2, make your next sc into the ch 1 space between the sides.  Don’t worry about the gap, just sew it closed at the end.

IMG_4760 arrow


The diagonal effect becomes much more obvious after you have completed a few rounds.


Notice that each round ends a bit to the right of the previous round, as indicated by the slant of the crochet hook.  You want to turn in the same spot in the same stripe as where you started.  For me, that’s the middle of this mocha stripe.

Note: If you want diagonal stripes, don’t turn.  Just keep working around.

Step 7a: Turning Around (Symmetrical Colors)

Note: If your color pattern is asymmetrical you need to do this step differently.  Skip this section and look at 7b below.

There’s a little fudging here.  Do what you have to to turn the piece and get the colors to line up correctly.  This is my, somewhat awkward, method.  You will have to work a bit tightly.

After your last sc, ch 1*.  Slip stitch into the top of the next sc, ch 1.  Turn your work around (and inside out.)  Sc into the ch 1 space you just made (*.)  Ch 1, and crochet as before.  Your stitches should still be just to the right of the previous round, but because you turned the piece, they should send the stripe in a new direction.  The black arrow below marks the turning sc.

IMG_4777_edited arrow


When you get to the end of the row (completed last st marked by black arrow) ch 1, and sc into the turning chain at the beginning of the round (completed st marked by white arrow.)  Continue working in a spiral.IMG_4781_edited arrows


At the end of the second round, you might notice there is a little hole under the ch 1 with which you joined rounds (black arrow.)  When I put my hook through that space I also go through a single loop from the stitch below (white arrow) to cover the hole.  IMG_4782_edited arrows


It’s a little awkward, but it’s not really very noticeable.



After a few rounds you should have some nice chevrons forming!



Step 7b: Turning Around (Non-Symmetrical Colors)

If your color pattern is not symmetrical, you can’t just turn around and keep going.  If you try, the colors just won’t line up.  (Red Heart Super Saver “Maxicana” shown)

IMG_4656 (2)


Instead of turning, end your work and cut the yarn.  Then, pull a tail out of the other end of the skein (that is, if you were pulling from the outside, pull from the inside instead.)  The other end of the yarn will have the opposite color sequence.  Turn your work, find the correct place in the color sequence, and join your yarn.  Work around, as you did to make the first set of diagonal stripes, making sure your colors line up properly.  Each stitch should fall just above and the to right of the identical stitch in the previous round.




Step 8: ZigZagging

If you want uneven zigzags (which could by super cool) turn whenever you want.

To make even zigzags, you want the same number of stitches along each diagonal before you turn.  Counter-intuitively, this does not mean you make five rounds, turn and make five rounds, turn and make five rounds, etc.  Your last round of one diagonal is also your first round of the next diagonal.  That probably sounds like nonsense, so here’s a picture.  I counted along the blue stripes.


So, if your first direction is 5 rounds, turn and work 4 rounds in the other direction, then turn and work 4 rounds, and so on.

In this project I was generally doing 5 sts along each diagonal (4 rounds after each turn.)  I started and ended with 6 rounds because I am planning to add a fuzzy border which will cover up the first and last round of stitches.

Step 9: Finishing

When your work is the size you want, join with a slip stitch at the end of a round and cut your yarn.

You probably have a tail of extra chains at the beginning of your work.  You can sew it in as is or cut it 3-4″ from your work, pull out the chains, and sew in the yarn tail.  This is also when you can close that gap between the first few rounds.

I ended my cowls with a simple sc border with Bernat Blanket Yarn (“Caramel” and “Antique White”  I used a J hook and did a sc in every ch 1 space, no chains between.

I love that the different border colors accentuate different stripe colors.  The brown brings out the blue/white/blue zigzags and the white brings out the blue/brown/blue.


3 thoughts on “ZigZag Planned Pooling Cowl

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