Little Lessons: Getting into the Intarsi-swing!

By Jen Arnall-Culliford
December 7, 2020

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23 Comments
  • On Saturday I had the good fortune to join a Zoom gathering that included Kaffe Fassett and other artists as part of Melanie Falick’s Making a Life series. Kaffe held up his current knitting — intarsia with a tangle hanging off the back of it. He cheerfully said that if the tangle got too bad and he could not free the strand he wanted, he’d cut it off and introduce a new one!

    • I was on that call as well and loved his tangle! My daughter was the dancer to whom he offered advice. She was in a ballet class during the call and I cannot wait for the recording so she can hear what he and Erin said!

  • Does this method work with superwash wool yarn?

    • Sorry – that was a bit brisk! I meant the felted join – and thank you!

      • Hi Julia! No, I’m afraid that for the felted join to work, it needs a yarn that would felt. If you want to join a superwash yarn in a similar way, then I’d recommend the Russian Join (a google search will bring up video tutorials I’m sure). I hope that helps! 🙂

  • would love to see a video of “pulling from the tangle”… just watching someone knit away for 10 minutes, see how this works. I’m so close to ordering painterly because I’m so intrigued by all the videos but… I ineed to see this tangle before I jump in. So much to knit… so little time! Thank you for all the wonderful tools you offer us!

    • If you watch the estimating yarn quantities video, I knit across the row at around the 3 minute mark, and I am talking through things, but you can see me pull from the tangle a couple of times. I hope that helps!

  • These videos are invaluable… I have never done Intarsia or even changed colours in a pattern before so this is going to be a challenging project as I am doing the Kite’s throw. I couldn’t get my mind around how much yarn to use or how to join them so now I am ready to start once my wool arrives…thank you so much.

    • I’m so glad it was helpful to you! 🙂

  • I almost fainted, when she broke off one of the plys, while felting the two ends together. That will solve my lump problem I sometimes get when felting two ends together. I have always used bobins and I can’t wait to throw them away.

  • I am entranced by this whole “pull from the tangle” idea! It feels like a metaphor for my life at the moment! Maybe the whole world!

  • Thank you Jen! Your videos are so helpful. I am also knitting the Watercolor cowl and when you reach row 12, the first wrong side row after completing the little square, do you carry the darker color across the 5 stitches of the top of the square or do you start with another strand of yarn. I hope that makes sense.

    • That’s one of the next videos! 😀 I carried what is the darker yarn in the pattern (and daftly the lighter yarn in my cowl – sorry about that!) along the top of the final row of the contrast colour square. That puts the darker yarn in the right place for the first wrong side row after the square. I do hope that helps!

      • Thank you, more than helpful! ❤️

        • I was wondering about that too. Thank you!

  • Thank you so much both videos were so useful!

  • Started this cowl and for the first time doing intarsia without bobbins. LOVING IT!

  • I love the idea of a felted join. Does it work on super wash wool? Thank you!

  • Thanks that’s a really helpfull articles.
    The technic in video is so great.

  • Forget the balls and bobbins, YES! That was my revelation in the early 90s, when I discovered Kaffe‘s work and that’s been my way with intarsia ever since…

  • I have a question about twisting the yarn when you are working on the diagonal. Do you still always go anti clockwise?

  • Great videos! Thank you for the clear instructions!

  • Absolutely wonderful videos on Intarsia. Explained all my topics for the watercolor cowl super clearly and taking the fear out of the soon-to-come tangle mess. Just terrific. Thank you.