Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Intarsia Knitting

So it's Work In Progress Wednesday and I have progress on my Rascal Raccoon sweater to show off. If you have ever wondered why knitters avoid intarsia like the plague and you rarely see a pattern for this kind of knitting, here's why:


Yikes!  What a mess!  Intarsia for those who are not familiar with this technique, is a way to knit patterns into a sweater using blocks of one color yarn and then moving onto another color block with a different color.  Unlike Fair Isle where you carry just two colors along the entire row, you can have a number of different colors going at one time. You are picking up one color, knitting stitches within that pattern and then dropping that yarn to pick up another to fill in another part of the pattern.  Here is the front and back and what it will look like when done:


I don't  have alot of experience with this type of knitting ( does anyone?) and I am sure there will be some knitters who will be thinking there is a neater way to do this, but I just plunged into this project and I have to say it has been fun to do -- really!!  Does anyone remember when the Rowan pattern books would be filled with these patterns? 

I picked up Knitting Lessons by Lela Nargi in a used book store recently and I am really enjoying it.  It is a book of short stories about knitting,  beautifully and thoughtfully told by knitters you have never heard of and some that you will know: Vickie Howell, Trisha Malcolm, Teva Durham, Edith Eig.  Who is Edith Eig? She was the owner of the famous La Knitterie Parisienne yarn shop located close to Hollywood and a favorite hangout for knitters in the entertainment industry such as producers, directors, actresses and other woman in "The Industry".  I especially enjoyed the stories of people learning to knit and how they came to be interested in knitting.


I think this is a book that all knitters would enjoy and  you can just pick it up and read it at any time.
To see what other knitters are working on, head over to Tami's blog and read about their experiences.


  1. oh you are soooooo brave to tackle intarsia! I'll do most anything in the knit world....but I can say...unequivocally....I'll never do intarsia again!!

  2. Beautiful sweater. I once made a cat sweater for my boys. Now I'm wondering where it could be. :-)
    This books sounds like an interesting read.

  3. thats a great sweater, don't envy you all those ends though!

  4. Personally, I'd probably tackle something like that via Crochet! -- However, I'd imagine that Anyone who does a lot of Needlepoint *might* have an easier time of it..? -- whatever, You're BRAVE!! - And remember, if all else fails, just "felt" IT and turn IT into a CUSHION!

  5. I knit an intarsia sweater with kittens on the front for Alex when he was little (at least 15 years ago). It was in machine washable wool and the first time it went into the machine, some of the ends worked free and I had holes instead of parts of kittens!

    I'd hate you to suffer the same fate. Machine washable yarns tend to be extra slippery, so you need to work in ends in two directions to make sure they will stay.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! Since I am the keeper of all hand knits at my daughter's house, I will make sure to hand wash it.

  6. Man that's a lot of ends! But what a cute raccoon. Thanks for the book rec, I'll have to check that out!