STITCHES Midwest was a fun-filled day! Spending the day with the knitting and crochet community, discovering different fiber companies,and yarn galore. Who could ask for more? Well, I was lucky enough to take one of the many classes offered at STITCHES. At 8am, I sat down for 3 hours of knitting educational fun in Basic Intarsia Techniques. When I’m not editing AllFreeCrochetAfghanPatterns, I actually knit. I learned how to knit about 5 years ago, but was always hesitant when it came to learning intarsia. Sarah Peasely, the course teacher, changed all of that.
Sarah Peasely has been teaching knitting courses for a few years and she designs beautiful patterns which are featured in various publications. Her patience and cheerful disposition immediately put the class at ease. And her basic, but thorough, explanations provided me with a better understanding as to what intarsia actually is and how fun it can be!
“So, what is intarsia?” you might be asking. Or if you know, you might be cringing. Intarsia is color work done in knitting. You create an image (or images) within your piece using different colors of yarn. The catch is that you are using multiple balls of yarn at once. Rather than knitting colors straight across, you knit with one color and then pick up mid-row with the next. Some people confuse this with fair isle, which involves carrying the strands across the entire length of your work to create a double fabric.
Sarah had us start with a simple pattern of 25 stitches across and 5 colors. It was just a few blocks, but as a newbie to intarsia, this was definitely different than knitting with just one strand of yarn. As you can see, there’s a mess of yarn hanging off the back of the piece I was working on. If you’re a neat freak, it takes some time to get used to this; however, after a few rows of knitting, it felt fairly normal to me. The key is to keep long tails (for sewing in later) and to switch your working yarn by laying it over the old one. This creates sturdy interlock and prevents holes from forming.
When starting intarsia, some of the things you’ll want to consider include:
Keep the weight of all of your yarn similar to create a smooth and even piece.
Be consistent to prevent holes. You can give your ends a light tug to tighten things up.
You’ll probably need to read a chart, so start with a simple pattern. (Knit rows are read right to left. Purl rows are read left to right.)
Long tails! All of those tails will have to be woven in at the end of your project. You don’t want to fight with nubs.
Swag Bag Giveaway!
You didn’t think we’d go to Stitches Midwest 2012 and not bring back something for all of our lovely readers did you? We collected all the swag we could into a large Stitches Swag Bag Giveaway! We picked up some awesome prizes from Lion Brand, Red Heart Yarn, Tootsie P Yarn, and much more! So don’t hesitate; enter today by answering the question below in the comments section.
- Contest open to US and Canada residents 18+
- One comment/entry per person per blog post.
- Contest closes Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 11:59p CST.
- Please comment on any of the Stitches Midwest 2012 blog posts to enter.
- Winners will be posted on StitchandUnwind.com and notified by email.