Little Lessons: Stepping Up Your Intarsi-game
Are you feeling the intarsi-love? I simply can’t get enough of it at the moment. It’s endlessly pleasing to choose the next set of colors on my Watercolor Cowl, and I’m deep in the rhythm of those motifs.
Today I’ve got a couple of tips to help you to manage more complex shapes in intarsia. First up is diagonal color changes …
The Key to Diagonals
Diagonal color changes are really common in intarsia motifs, and I’m not even sure how, but I got myself into a muddle the first time I did one. I was trying to put the old yarn over the new yarn, and just made a mess of things.
The key thing to remember is that the intarsia join movement is exactly the same. You move the old yarn out of the way in the anti-clockwise direction, and pick up the new yarn in the same anti-clockwise direction. If you are over thinking things (as I am wont to do) you may spot that this puts the new yarn on top of the old yarn at the join. Just roll with it—you’re doing it correctly!
Here’s a video to show you how it looks on both right and wrong side rows (you can scroll along to the part you are interested in, as the video is separated into chapters with headings over on YouTube):
No Tangle Tango
Now that you’ve got the hang of both vertical and diagonal color changes, let’s tackle a color change that happens a little distance from where it did on the last row. This tip is going to get a lot of use if you are a fan of intarsia picture knitting!
For example, working on the Watercolor Cowl by Kaffe Fassett, once per motif, the yarn isn’t where I need it!
The trick is to carry the yarn behind the next color, so that you can drop it where it’s required for the next row. It might sound complicated, but it’s a piece of cake to do. The video below shows you how to spot that your yarn won’t end up naturally in the right place for the next row, and how to “move it” so that it does.
Now that you can snake your yarn along to plonk it down wherever you need it, the world is your oyster! You can create any shape you like. Go! Spread the intarsi-joy far and wide, and share your progress in The Lounge. I’d love to see what you’re working on.
Jen’s Watercolor Cowl
Background shades: Rowan Felted Tweed in Celadon and Pine—the pattern calls for one of each.
Contrast colors: Rowan Felted Tweed in Carbon, Ginger, Amethyst, Avocado, Gilt, Watery, Camel, Maritime, Frozen, Iris, Vaseline Green, Zinnia, Barbara, Turquoise, Clay—the pattern calls for one each of fourteen contrast colors, but Jen’s thrown in another for more play in her palette.
[Editor’s Note: Our Bundles of Ten would also work wonderfully for the Watercolor Cowl.]