Intarsia--Holes with New Yarn Joins--Help!

Ok, so I’m knitting Kaffe Fassett’s “Petunia.” It is a ton of triangles, in tons of colors, knit in intarsia.

I understand intarsia. I know how to cross the yarns for each color change. What has me absolutely stumped–and I have spent hours searching for the answer to this question–is how to prevent holes when you are completely changing colors frequently. There are tons of places where the triangles come down to one stitch and then change to another color in the next row.

So, every 8 rows or so, you are changing to a whole new set of colors for the triangles–and the one-stitch points of the triangles are the problem area. When I’m changing all the colors at once, there is nothing to keep the yarns crossed because there is no previous row holding the yarn there. So, my left sweater front looks great everywhere except for the one-stitch points of the triangles–where there are holes!

I have tried weaving the yarn ends in as I go, but that just makes the back more of a mess. I have been going back every few rows and weaving in the ends with my darning needle, but that really slows things down and just isn’t as neat on the front as I would like. Also, I want to be knitting, not weaving in 10-million ends. Is this just the way Kaffe’s patterns have to be done, or is there some secret to this new row of color that I cannot find anywhere–including in his books!

Veteran intarsia knitters–please help! What detail am I missing here?

It is very important to remember that Intarsia knitting looks rather like a bowl of Cheerios (full of holes) until it is properly darned in; this is especially so with a design that has many colour blocks that start with one stitch. Don’t be disheartened.

I just finally found this little tidbit by Lucy Neatby on her website. Is this really true? Oh, horrors!

I suppose it depends on how you knit it… if I wrap the yarn properly and tightly enough (not TOO tightly though) I don’t ever have any holes

I was thinking you could do a fair isle weave in unused color in the stitch before the color change.

My color work has been by rows and I use what Amy describes in her video’s here on KH as a double knit in join on the Tips page for my color changes. I think of it as equivalent to a duplicate stitch join but done as you knit so less (or no) duplicate stitch weaving in later.

It is fiddly to learn the spacing for stitches before the color change, and even more so with two color changes that are just one stitch apart.

Good luck!

Thanks, Jack that was very helpful. Now, I’ll just have to give it a try!