Introduction to Intarsia

Intarsia Knitting

Intarsia knitting is a technique used to incorporate areas of color into your knitting. This could mean pictures, shapes or polka dots. For each block of contrasting color you will use a different length of yarn. The yarn is not carried across the back of the work, as in Fair Isle, but rather twisted around the main color at the edges of the secondary color.

How to do it:

Step 1

You can use any method of joining a different color of yarn into your work to get started. We are using the Slip Knot Join. Join in the yarn and knit the contrast color stitches.

Step 2

When you have finished knitting the contrast color stitches, join a new strand of the main color yarn. The main color yarn will come from two separate balls now, one on either side of the contrast color. You will now have three strands of working yarn.

Step 3

Turn your work to complete the purl stitches on the wrong side. Work the first strand until you get to the color change. Drop the first color and pick up the second color, bringing it up from behind the first.

Step 4

Work across the contrast color stitches until you reach the main color again. Bring the main color up from behind the contrast color again. Work to the end of the row.

Step 5

You are now back on the knit side of the fabric. Work as you did for the purl side, dropping the old yarn when it is time to change colors and bringing up the new yarn between the old yarn and the back of the fabric.

Important Tips

  • Keep your tension even as you work the color changes. This will help to avoid gaps in the fabric.
  • Make sure that you bring the new yarn up from underneath the old yarn each time to create a twist in the yarns that prevents holes.
  • Go back when you are done with the contrast color to even out any loose stitches and securely weave in the contrast color where you started and finished with it.
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