If you're going to Intarsia School, you're going to need crayons, er, yarn

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  • When I first read Painterly I went “eek! Intarsia”. I didn’t know the word existed, but now that Jen Arnold-Culliford created it I have definitely been in the intarsia-no camp forever. So I knew it was inevitable we would have a fairy godmother sprinkle some fairy dust – and Jen, thanks to your lovely little Intro I can be nudged into the intarsi-yes camp.

    • Wonderful video. Would Jen be able to explain how to add in a new color yarn not used before and not leave a hole?

      • I bet Jen will have an idea here but in my experience the only way to get rid of that hole is when you weave in the end—and that closes it up perfectly. So this doesn’t trouble me any more.

      • There are a few possible ways to avoid that hole… First would be to attach the yarn in some way to the knitted fabric – either by weaving in the end before you start to work with it, or by knitting the end in. I don’t think that this is the best solution since you are then joining the yarn in behind a different colour yarn, and this can lead to the different colour peeping through. Alternatively you could do a felted join so that the old colour yarn joins seamlessly to the new colour yarn – but that also wouldn’t work here, since you need to leave the old colour yarn to use on subsequent rows. I’ve got a video to come where you’ll see how I join in the new yarn, leaving a tail to weave in later, and I hope you’ll find that helpful.

        • Thank you Kay and Jen for your answers. I look forward to your next video.

        • Thanks. I am eager to learn how to start a new color without a hole, and am struggling with this on Kaffe’s zig zag shawl. Looking forward to the new video.

  • Fabulous post and video. I’m ready to give intarsia a try.

    • I’ve always stayed away from patterns that mentioned fair isle and intarsia, but watching Jen made me think MAYBE I can do this. Thank you.

  • I don’t seem to have the icon on my account to save articles

    • You need to log back in. This happens to me too occasionally and I have no idea why— I’m guessing my network but who knows!

  • Yes!!!

  • You make it look so easy! I might just give it a try.

  • I like to weave my ends in as I’m knitting and do a sort of pseudowrap when adding a new yarn

  • This really makes it sound so easy that I can’t wait to try it. Many, many thanks for the tips and videos.

  • I am so in love with the Village Scarf I can hardly stand it! I’m thinking the fam will pony up a new stash of felted tweed for an early Christmas present so I can build those houses! These videos are invaluable, Jen in calming down the nerves for using soooo many colors. You have a gift.

  • Jen’s how to videos are priceless. She is the master at explaining knitting techniques and this is not an exception. Even if you know how to do a technique, she offers a better way to do it every time.

  • Really well done, Teacher Jen! I seriously feel I could sit down and do intarsia right now. Thank you so much.

  • MDK delivers again!

  • You are using different colors than the ones included in your kit. I really like the colors you chose. Are these bright colors listed in the book? If not, could you list the colors you used?

    • Jen’s swatch uses Felted Tweed in these colors: Clay, Barbara, Iris, Vaseline Green, Turquoise, Zinnia, Pine, and Electric Green.

  • I think my cityscape kit is coming today. The videos were extremely helpful. Looking forward to incorporating these techniques.

    • When will Cityscape kit be back in stock? I can’t wait!

  • I had the privilege of taking an intarsia class with Sylvia Watts-Cherry (the amazing designer known as @withcherriesontoptoo) and she made it seem so easy, which as Jen says, it really is.

    Kaffe’s patterns are sooooo GORGEOUS and I’m definitely going to knit at least a pillow and perhaps a scarf………….

  • In my late 20s, with no more experience than garter-stitch scarves as a teenager, I made an intarsia sweater from a kit – wanted the sweater & figured how hard can it be? I knew no knitters & there was no YouTube then, but got a great ‘teach yourself to knit’ pamphlet (a Leisure Arts pamphlet by Evie Rosen). Fortunately no one had ever told me intarsia was supposed to be hard so I just kept following he instructions in the pamphlet and the kit, which seemed logical, and found out knitting sure was fun. The sweater turned out beautifully – when people asked where I got it, no one believed I made it myself. I still wear it occasionally although it’s more, um, ‘fitted,’ now…
    Folks, if I as a rank beginner with only a knitting pamphlet for back up could make a lovely intarsia sweater, you definitely can do this! It really isn’t hard, twisting the new color quickly becomes second nature.

  • Love this technique…..just finished an angel stocking….knitted in two pieces…don’t enjoy that part of the project…enjoy trying different methods to achieve the same result….working on a hat…deb

  • I nearly swooned when I saw the Kites Throw kit. So I jumped in head first and ordered It. Then II watched Jen’s video and thought, I got this covered UNTIL I read that joining yarns on a diagonal in intarsia is a little more complicated than joining in rectangles. Jen, will you please do another video that covers this?

    • Hi Myra,

      I want to reassure you that it’s the exact same process to change colors, with the only difference being that you cross one extra stitch when you do the little switcharoo of the two colors.

      If you’re at all hesitant, I highly recommend that you cast on 1 repeat of the chart so you can practice it on a small format. I’ve just knit a bunch of diagonals on the Village Chart (where the roof slants) and following Jen’s directions in the video worked just fine.

      Kay (intarsia-mad in New York)

      • Thanks Kay. I can’t wait to try it.

  • I wonder why you haven’t mentioned weaving ends in as you knit?!? When KF’s first book came out I couldn’t wait to knit the cover sweater, the kind ladies at my LYS showed me this simple technique which not only kept me from going crazy but actually finishing the sweater :}}}

  • Thanks I never thought it would be that easy..

  • I had to laugh when Jen said “And all I need to do now is continue weaving in the rest of the ends.” I would add, “12,000 more times!” Still though, it doesn’t look difficult and something you could do while watching TV, unlike many things with knitting.

  • Great videos, thank you!

  • As brief as the instructions are for the cityscape scarf, I’m wondering in I am missing something.

    The special instructions state to work the first and last stitch as stockinette but the whole thing is stockinette, so why make the clarification? Makes me think I am missing something. The pattern is 50 st wide and the cast on is 52 – I’m assuming just add a k and p at beginning and end as appropriate?

    • That’s right. You’re not missing anything. You add two stitches so that you’ll have an extra stitch at each edge for later, when you pick up for the border. And those two stitches are in stockinette, the same as the rest of the knitting.

  • On the cityscape scarf, do you strand the yarn across the door and window or do you make a few more blocks with the house color?

    • Mary, did you figure out the answer? I’m having the same issue.

    • I’ve just made a cityscape cushion cover and I stranded the doors and windows. But on a scarf the back will look neater if you you use intarsia.

  • I’m very new to all of this, but I just feel like the term “counter-clockwise” does not represent what my eyes are seeing. She is passing the old yarn to the left and over the new yarn.

    • Yes – that IS counter-clockwise from where Jen and we are sitting. And the new yarn comes under. Try it and you’ll see that it is exactly as she describes.

  • Thank you for explaining so well

  • Hooked on Kaffe stranded but now have to try the intarsia. What I don’t get when making the scarf is does one line it or what? Not a fan of having the wrong side show when wearing. Lots of left over from my Coin project. Thank you

  • Bellísimo trabajo. Gracias por compartir y te seguiré quiero hacer un cardigan a dos agujas. Éxitos