Monday, February 8, 2010

Intarsia knitting

I have successfully completed the top moss-stitch border on Ginny's afghan and have begun intarsia knitting the main blanket. Intarsia knitting is a method for knitting with 2+ colors where you can introduce a large solid block or shape of color in the middle of another color. I am using it to create a simple quilt block look. There isn't much to it... just make sure the color of yarn you are finishing ends up on top so the new color can go around it and lock it in place, then drop the old color and continue with the new one. Simple! All the color changes end up on the backside of your work, so it looks seamless and beautiful on the front. The tricky part is keeping all those different colors separated!

This first row of intarsia knitting on my afghan has a white moss stitch border, a square of white, a square of watermelon (raspberry pink), a square of white, a square of blue mint (turquoise), and another white border. All told, five skeins of yarn going at once! Normally, intarsia knitting is done with smaller patterns where you can trail a couple of yards of yarn behind the work or create small "bobbins" by winding up a section of yarn so it pulls from the center (see photo below). Unfortunately, since each block of my blanket will require nearly a whole skein, there is no way to get around working with so many full skeins at once. The main hang up I am having now is having to untwist all of them from each other at the end of a few rows! But I am enjoying the color changes, the new technique, and seeing the project slowly take shape. Blanket progress: 5 inches down, 55 inches to go! Oy.

Here is an excellent video on intarsia knitting, shown in both Continental and English styles: Scroll about 2/3 of the way down to "How to knit with 2 colors at a time" and intarsia knitting is the second technique.

Here is my blanket front where the intarsia looks seamless. (And my yarn is getting tangled!)

And here is the backside with the strands twisted around each other at each color change.

I realize my yarn is in a maternity clothes shopping bag, but I am not making any subtle announcements! It was just left over from a baby shower and a handy size. :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm beyond impressed. I used to be astonished by Grandpa's cousin Teddy, who could knit and crochet with the best of them. But when it's my own daughter . . . well, I'm just plain awed. :o)

    Love it!