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The way I see it, Kay definitively and for all time sorts out the tangle here. Ann shares her solid-gold intarsia tips here, and you’ll find platinum video instruction from Jen Arnall-Culliford here.

This is a travelogue of my very first intarsia project (!)—a motif and color odyssey. Consider it a pattern in pictures.

Strength for the Journey and a Compass

I started out with an I-Cushion Kites Bright Bundle, a copy of Field Guide No. 16: Painterly, and a whole lot of dread about the technique I’d never tried and that looked prohibitively fiddly.

Take a moment (or a few hours) to appreciate that palette picked by Kaffe Fassett. That collection of colors is the reason I overcame the dread.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

I cast on as instructed for a Kites motif I-Cushion because the width seemed just right for a wrap.

All the dread is in the places where the yarns meet. Those 8-color junctures were not my happy places.

If you really want to knit this wrap and you’re inexperienced as I was, cast on the number of stitches for the I-Cushion, but start with the Cityscape motif just like Jen recommends and demonstrates here.

And Now We Zig Zag

Around the time the Kites motif was making me wish I’d never been born, a higher power, er, Rowan Yarns, sent me an email announcement about Kaffe Fassett’s Oversized Zig Zag Wrap. I was completely smitten.

I adapted the idea by working the incline on the right side only—copying the slant angle of the Kites.

I really enjoyed the zigging and also the zagging. This long stretch of simple single joins helped me develop my intarsia muscle memory and come to terms with the tangle. I worked this section so that Peach Felted Tweed made one complete trip from edge to edge and back.

At that point there was no keeping me down on the farm.


This is my favorite part. That is all. Doesn’t it shimmer?

I worked one complete I-Cushion chart of boxes, choosing colors just because I liked them next to one another or because they hadn’t been used recently.

Earned My Stripes

Earlier in my journey when the Kites were getting me down, I thought I might eventually break out into random horizontal stripes and be done with the whole intarsia thing. (By the way, this bundle would make an amazing, narrower Garter Stripe Shawl. Just saying.)

But because the Zig Zag got me into a rhythm working the joins, and the Cityscape motif turned me into an intarsia devotee: vertical stripes!

Wild Card

For my finale, I worked horizontal stripes after all, but with a bit of visual, geometrical intarsia interest. The aim here was to work one of the colors in each stripe to turn out square-ish. For example the block of Heliotrope Felted Tweed in the top stripe is 11 stitches wide and 14 rows tall. And the wee blip of Peach nestled between Sulfur and Black is 3 stitches wide and 4 rows tall.

Ritual Display

I worked a four-row garter stitch border at the ends and edges. Normally, picking up 400+ stitches for a border is something I would put off forever and a day, but not for this beauty.

All 18 inches by 96 inches (45 x 244 cm). Felted Tweed blocks so beautifully. Don’t get me started.

Scrap Happy

There’s so much left over! I’m thinking about revisiting the Coins motif for a(nother) cowl from Field Guide No. 13: Master Class. And the shorter lengths are perfect for crochet coasters and mats—aka doilies.

Can you tell I really love this FO?

The Oversized Zig Zag Wrap by Kaffe Fassett

In case you were wondering: 2 balls of Black and 1 ball each of Scarlet, Ciel, Lime, French Mustard, Iris, Ultramarine, Peach, Frozen, Watery, Heliotrope, Scree, Sulfur, Electric Green, Avocado, Zinnia, Pink Bliss.

Keep it Handy

Here’s how to save this article in your MDK account with one click.

About The Author

An artist in multiple media by nature and by education, Cristina Shiffman is a knitter, sewist, potter, and photographer who also draws, paints, and dyes with natural materials. Cristina has been collaborating with MDK since 2017.


  • Gorgeous! Love the “travel” diary Cristina. This calls for a bubbly celebration…

    • It’s perfect!

  • Oh, Christina, this is truly magnificent! Once again, you inspire me!

  • Your wrap is an absolute masterpiece!

  • It’s STUNNING and what a joy it will be to wrap yourself in!

  • I might be convinced to try this now!

  • What a masterpiece Cristina!


    • Inspiring!

  • I’m gobsmacked! This may be project for my stash of leftover felted tweed! Perfect for an upcoming motor home trip!

  • The front side is stunningly beautiful but I’d also like to see the back side especially for a shawl or scarf.

    • Yes I’d love to see that too. Probably a work of art in itself.

    • No worries, the wrong side of intarsia looks amazing, like a weaving.

  • This is my favorite Fassett piece ever!!!! Stupendous.

  • I join the others in expressing enthusiastic excitement (to be known as triple e!) about your incredible wrap! It’s gorgeous, a masterpiece, certainly able to be wall art between wearings, and I am all the more awed because it was your first intarsia project! I aspired to try it, but admit I haven’t yet, because I agree – it seemed so fiddly. Maybe the key in trying the new technique is to GO BIG!

  • Yup, this is possibly one of the most beautiful works of art/wraps I have ever seen. And to think you were a novice at intarsia gives hope to the rest of us. Congratulations on creating something magical with just strings and sticks. It must just be lovely to wear. I can just see it being worn elegantly while musing around in an art gallery somewhere. Hooray for you and thank you for sharing this inspiration.

  • Cristina!!! This is a masterpiece!

  • What a stunner! A piece de resistance.

  • Wow! Just WOW!!

  • Another round of applause for a stunning work of art! This also answers my dilemma of which Kaffe project to start next, just do them all! Congrats Christina!

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Outrageously beautiful. Stunning.
  • Spectacular! So inspirational!

  • Beautiful. I agree with you on the Cityscape portion. Absolutely stunning. I admire your fortitude. A work of art!

  • WOW! Such an impressive tour de force. So inspiring.

    And I think I am seeing some intarsia stripe inspirations for Ann’s pillow backs. If those are still a WIP.

  • Good to see someone else playing around with patterns to create a truly unique object. It’s beautiful!!

  • That is absolutely glorious!! And now I’m thinking for a super lightweight yet warm blanket, the same sort of free range intarsia done with a couple of lettlopi variety packs. Argh. Must. Resist. (Or not…)

  • Your wrap is amazing, Christina! I tried my first intarsia with lessons from Jen A-C’s A Year of Techniques, then bought the Watercolor Cowl pack. You inspire me to turn it into a Watercolor Wrap with cityscape and etc… or maybe I need to buy another bundle! Thank you so much for the great inspiration, and I love your ‘travel guide’ description. It is the best!

  • Reminds me of that Modern Quilt Wrap that was all the rage when I jumped into knitting. It’s beautiful.


  • Golly gee. Stupendous is the perfect word. It struck me that the phrase “Go big or go home” totally applies here. Imagine if you had gone through all those hours of wishing you’d never been born (I tend to have a hissy fit and abandon ship at this point) and it had turned out lifeless and dull. Such inspiration that you were willing to tackle the design of a master right from the get go. Maybe now I will actually take on stripes (that carrying-up-the-sides business throws me every time).

  • Amazing. I want to copy it exactly. It would be helpful to see a picture of the other side. What does the back look like?

    • Thank you, everybody!

      I will post pictures of the back onto my project page for the wrap on Ravelry, Lee Beth. I’m philacraftina there. It’s linked to the I-Cushions pattern and searchable by pattern name and by my handle.

      • Could you please post pictures here as well? Some of us don’t use ravelry at all.

        • Saw them- AWESOME. looks like quilting. Neat as a pin.

  • Brava!

  • This is stunning. I believe you have pushed me over the edge into trying intarsia. I would never copy such a work of art, but I’ll be doing something seriously inspired by this beauty.

  • Please, a small demo of how to switch colours when doing this intarsia shawl based on I-cushion. It Would be extremely helpful. I’ve tried Intarsia and of course that’s my downfall.

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