Need help with design on circ knitting project

I really tried hard to do a search here so I wouldn’t have to start a new topic, but I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for.

I like to knit wool shorts and pants as diaper covers for my son. I knit them in the round on circ needles. Now that I have the basics down, I would really like to jazz them up with a design on the backside.

For simplicity sake, suppose I want to put a solid colored object on the rear.

Am I going to have to stop (cut) the main color on every row when I come to the design color, start the design color, stop it, and then restart the main color?

Is there an easier way?


It kind of depends on the design. Do you have something in mind? It sounds like you might need intarsia, but here are some things I know.

Fair Isle and Intarsia are two ways of working with color and design and are used for different types of designs. I’m still learning all this, but in the few fair isle things I’ve done you don’t have to cut the yarn. You can “carry” it across about 5 stitches by catching it behind the working color. I cut it when I moved up more than a couple rows though. You don’t want a lot of long strands to catch little toes in.

Intarsia is for bigger blocks of color. In this case you have two (or more) colors going at once and when switching to the next color you have to twist the two together and then drop the one you aren’t using till you need it again. I haven’t actually done intarsia yet, but that is my understanding. Someone who knows more will come along soon!

It’s very difficult to do intarsia in the round, and you’ve figured out why, unless the main color is carried across as part of the motif. You can work back and forth and seam up one side and do whatever pattern you want.

If you carry the mc as part of the pattern, you can knit across using the mc and contrasting color. For the next round though, the cc yarn is in the wrong place. The mc yarn will have been knit around back to the beginning of the motif. What you would do then is to knit the mc stitches and slip the cc stitches. Turn your work and slip the mc stitches as you purl your cc stitches.This puts the cc stitches back in the right place for the next round.

After all the stitches are knit, you slip them all and continue to knit with the mc on the other side of the motif.

There is a way to knit back and forth yet connect the sides to be in the round, but I don’t remember that technique off hand. :thinking:


The design will be too large for fair isle and the colors will end up on the wrong side for intarsia.

Please let me know if you remember how this is done.


The best I can recall is that you increase one and the end of the row, turn and purl back even though it’s in the round, and then knit two together–the last and first stitches, to join them. Make sense?

I searched and found a few links. Maybe they will help.

Intarsia in the round
Intarsia in the round 2 … about half way down the page.