Intarsia Is Harder Than It Looks

I’m working on my first Intsarsia project, a hat knit flat. It’s a lot more complicated than it looks.

All of those crazy bobbins love to tangle together and just crossing the yarns at each color change is an exercise in patience to untangle them.

I’m doing this because I wanted to learn to work with more than one color, as well as to learn to seam as I have never knit anything that needed seaming.

I have to admit that I am not really liking the way it’s looking, but I’m plugging away at it anyway as it’s more of a learning exercise anyway. It’s definitely not going to be my best work. :rofl:

I wonder if Fair Isle would be any easier?

Do yourself a favor and take the yarn off the bobbins. It’s much easier to pull strands up one at a time to untangle than to untwist the bobbins. You can’t avoid twisting, since you have to twist the yarns, but this makes it easier.

Sometimes you can just hold the yarns and let the project spin to untangle, too.

FairIsle is probably less attention-sucking, and if done right there’s no real twisting, but each creates such a different look.

I prefer Fair Isle for the way it looks, but I agree with Ingrid, it’s easier off the bobbins.

Oh, I shouldn’t have opened this - I’m really liking stranded knitting, think I can avoid intarsia forever? (answering myself - no, I’ll want to try it eventually)

Good tip on the no bobbins, if (when) I ever try it, I’ll just the yarn dangle free.

Hmmm, so winding it into center pull bobbins is a bad idea?

OK, I can see how pulling loose yarn would be easier.

The shapes I was trying to make still look like crap though. I have no idea what I did wrong but what were meant to be diamond shapes look more like blobs. :wall:

Braden is an advocate of Armenian Knitting. He can obviously explain it better than I, but basically my understanding is that you carry the colors along and trap the floats as you go. Uses more yarn, but eliminates the hanging pieces and all of the weaving in of ends. I just know those would drive me insane so I’m going to try this technique.

I’ve ordered the EZ/MS dvd A Knitting Glossary which teaches Armenian Knitting (among the other 129 techniques!). Can’t wait to try it out.

Is Armenian knitting the same as color stranding?

I always wondered about all those strings inside. I realize they are carried but it seems like in gloves your fingers would get stuck and even in a hat that you might get your fingers tangled up in the thereads and pull something that wasn’t meant to be pulled. Maybe I’m just challenged when it comes to putting on outerware…

I’m not sure. We need Braden’s help with this one, as he is the expert. That is unless, Meg Swansen is secretly lurking around here :teehee:

Ditto for the hanging threads…I can post an update once my dvd comes in a few days, but hopefully we’ll have heard from Braden by then.

I think that’s pretty much it.

Oh, I like the sound of Armenian knitting - I would imagine it’s similar to stranding just with VERY long floats that you catch every so often.

Having made my first stranded stuff - if the floats are no longer than 4 stitches, they are typically also less than an inch long, at least in the hats and mittens I’ve done (with fingering and worsted weight yarns) and the floats aren’t terribly loose (at least mine haven’t been) so it’s more like a 2nd layer to the item, rather than loose loops.

May the FORCE be with you:notworthy:

Have you tried any slip-stitch colour patterns before? I’ve done one - - and loved it. I got Barbara G Walkers ‘Mosaic knitting’ for Christmas so I hope to be experimenting more soon :mrgreen:

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I checked out the Armenian knitting technique and that looks a lot better and less fiddly to me. I’ve frogged the disaster I had going and cast on again, in the round this time, and have restarted with that technique.

So far I’m liking it a lot better and really like the way you strand in the floats every few stitches to reduce all those loose strings on the inside.

We’ll see how it goes.

Wow! You are a quick study. How did you learn the technique? I couldn’t find any instructions on line and am (impatiently) waiting for my dvd.
Hope it continues to work well for you. Happy New Year!

here’s what i do when working with multiple colors:

i wind what i’ll need into balls (theportion that requires the most yarn i work straight from the skein). Then i go and use those smaller laundry baskets (or plastic bins from the dollar store, just something to prevent my ball from rolling across the floor and enticing the cats to play) and keep them separate that way. if i need to shuffle the bins around, it’s easy enough to do.

I couldn’t find any online instructions either. I IM’ed a very experienced knitter I know and she explained it to me. For the most part it seems reasonably simple. You carry both colors at all times, and simply use a wrap technique to hide the currently unused color behind the active stitch.

Slip your needle through the stitch to knit, wrap the unused color clockwise, wrap the working color the normal way, then take the unused color back counterclockwise and then work the stitch normally. I tried it as she explained it and have done several rounds now, and the unused color is hidden but still carried along without loose strings in the back.

I did misunderstand one point, she said to do this for every stitch to totally eliminate all of those string in back instead of every few stitches as I mistakenly said earlier.

I have done both and sometimes I like bobbins and other times I like the other way. My problem with pulling the yarn is, if the skein happens to have a knot boy its a huge pain. Other then that :yay: I am proud of you for learning this kind of knitting. Its so rewarding when you see it finished but you learn to prepare yourself for work and know what your getting into before you attempts it again! Its not a kind of knit you just jump on when someone who has never knitted wants a pair of socks or sweater :wink: However it sure makes some beautiful projects and it also gives you a challenge and with knitting I love a good challenge! :thumbsup:

Keep up the good work! Mary:knitting:

Thanks Mason for the explanation. I have done Fair Isle and really enjoyed it and it looks like Armenian will be a lot of fun if labor intensive.

You’re welcome, but I musta missed something somewhere :rofl: The wrapping for the unsused color doesn’t seem to be working like I thought and now I’m just doing regular stranded knitting.

Guess it’s time to order a book.