Intarsia: 7 Decent Tips

By Ann Shayne
April 13, 2017

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  • Beautiful Intarsia,excellent tips and omg, River.

  • Hi Ann, great letter, love reading about a newcomer to intarsia unravelling its mysteries.
    One thing I have learned after many, many years of intarsiaing is that if you do miss drilling down to fix one of those “big whacking pathetic swiss cheese holes in the middle of your intarsia” a little judicious stitching on the wrong side works wonders at the finishing stage.
    Any chance your next intarsia project will be a Kaffe design????

  • Love your tidbits. I’m also a fan of intarsia. this blanket is one of my favorite projects.

    • Wow! This is some seriously lovely intarsia, and in cotton yarns to boot! Bravo.

  • River, yes! Intarsia, maybe.

  • Will you be getting in more of the yarn for the procrastinators among us?

    • Hi Ann! We have one of the colorways, Revere, available now. We’re working on getting more in the Sterling colorway.

      Fellow Procrastinator

      • Thank you – I await the Sterling. Love today’s pictures, just lovely.

  • Well, you win, you’re farther along than I am. I AM maneuvering 3 colors though, successfully, although my stitch count is off (somehow I have more than I should) but I’m ok with that. This project is a TV project, not a reading project, so I am alternating it with a Storm Mountain sweater that has been ripped back to the cast on and is now moving apace. That is a reading project, now that I have the gauge right (yes, I DID do a swatch.) Somehow it’ll all get done.

    • Brigid, does this mean that you read while you knit? I mean, something other than the pattern? How do you do that?

      • Brigid also knits things while mulching the tomatoes, rotating the tires on her car, and replacing the roof on her house. BRIGID YOU AMAZE ME.

      • Maybe she means reading in the audiobook sense of the word? That’s the way I “read” while knitting but if she’s reading reading, well, that’s just mind boggling.

        • Reading while knitting requires a tablet or kindle type device to read from with a case that helps it stand, or a lovely well-worn library book that holds open at pages, or a reading stand. I prefer my tablet as with a flick of my little finger, I turn the page.

        • Textbooks work too. Knitting while reading got my mom through studying for her PhD defense and got me through studying for my ASCP certification exam.

          Since I speed-read, I find reading while knitting a tad annoying, since I have to turn the pages so frequently, but my Kindle I can “turn the page” with my off-hand pinky, so it’s less annoying.

        • While knitting or not, run don’t walk to get a copy of “Swear on This Life” by Renee Carlino. I read it in 24 hours while juggling knives. Fabulous.

  • Thank you for the tips!! Alas, though – y’all distracted me utterly with the striped sweater, so I appear to have ordered the yarn to make One of My Very Own (or something much like it), instead of the yarn to make this shawl. Oops.

  • i just happened to think of another tip that people might find helpful. i take a LOT of wip photos and post them to my project page. I do this because i see things in a photo that i would miss in real life. i.e mistakes, noticeable ones, jump right out at you. and then you will need to decide…can i live with it or no. for me, it’s “no” 🙂

  • Wonderful tips for this project! I appreciate the mention, but I would suggest knitters interested in ways to keep yarn from tangling check out the Arnall-Cullford Knitwear Ravelry group – specifically the posts from noirem — she’s a pro in so many ways!

  • Beautiful shawl and great tips. Your mention of River has left me with an ear-worm! I keep recommending that show.

  • I am making an intarsia afghan using five different yarns across each row. To make this without driving myself nuts with the tangling, I found a box that was exactly wide enough to hold my five balls of yarn in a row. I cut a series of five notches on each long side of the box and pulled one color of yarn through each. The box sits on a TV tray in front of my knitting chair. When I turn my work, I turn the box. Works like a charm!

  • Thanks for the extra tips! I’m enjoying this pattern immensely. My first time doing intarsia. I had to start 3 times because I’m using yarn from my stash and need to make adjustments. It’s looking great so far, but I’m not nearly as close to halfway as you since I’ve been knitting Hyacinthus as well.

  • Digging deeper into my fibres these days. Even combing back thru this tutorial just to find solace & inspiration as I’ll be hybernating soon. Just acknowledging this yearly habit & claiming it as my own & embracing how it has served me well over time. Loving how learning might also be nurturing a synapse or three whilts encouraging some new pathways in the Ole grey matter…

  • Great tips! Can I ask how you fix the “big whacking pathetic swiss cheese holes” due to having failed to twist the yarns at a colour change?