Saturday, November 1, 2008

Intarsia in the Round

It's that time of year again: National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo as it is often referred to on teh interwebs. My goal is to post something daily throughout the month of November.

Today's topic is intarsia in the round. Intarsia involves knitting a section of color that's different from the rest of whatever's being knit. In ordinary, back-and-forth knitting, it is easy to do. You knit the intarsia section and finish the row. When you come back to the intarsia section on the next row, the alternate color yarn is right where you need it to be.

When knitting in the round, this doesn't work because the yarn is not where it needs to be. This has been bugging me, because I had an idea for some socks that I wanted to do with intarsia sections in them. I could not figure out how to it. Now I've learned how: Knit the first row of whatever you're doing until you're done with the intarsia section. Stop. Turn the work around and go back the other way (probably purling) doing the second row of intarsia stitches. Don't work any of the main color stitches, just slip them. When you finish the second row of intarsia stitches, Stop. Turn the work back around the right way. Slip the intarsia stitches you just worked. Pick up the main color yarn and knit around as usual. Repeat until the intarsia section is complete.

I found out about this technique when I downloaded the final Super Sock Scarefest pattern. Janine Le Cras is the person I have to thank, as she's the author of Black Widow Socks that uses intarsia in the round. If you'd like to see a tutorial, Janine recommends this.


M said...

So, I am trying to knit my daughter a christmas stocking. Doing a horse design I made myself.
I understand what you are saying about knitting through to the end of the intarsia and then stop and turn around and purl the intarsia back until at the beginning of the intarsia. And I get the slipping intarsia stitches, BUT how am I supposed to connect the intarsia patch to my MC that I am knitting?

I need more HELP please!


Paula said...

Melanie, I'm obviously no expert but will share how I do it. (Click on the link at the end of the post if expert help is what you're looking for).

Round 1 Part 1: I knit MC and intarsia just as I would if I was knitting flat. I stop when I get to the end of the intarsia.

Round 2 Part 1: I turn the piece around and start to work the intarsia section for the second row from the back. Before I start, I make sure the MC is looped around the intarsia colors so there's no hole. I purl the intarsia section and then stop.

Round 1 Part 2: I go back to where I dropped MC and complete the first round.

Round 2 Part 2: I continue to knit around with the MC. When I come to the intarsia stitches, I don't do anything to them, just slip them. If what you're doing is anything like what I did, you'll have a big long MC float. I catch it every few stitches as I knit the next row.

I hope your answer is somewhere in all of that!

byhandbyjean-knitting around said...

Thank you. I have done some Intarsia in the Round but this was a very simple explanation of how one method works.

byhandbyjean-knitting around said...

Thank you for your help. Nice simple explanation of one method of doing intarsia in the round.

Anonymous said...

This is more of a question than an answer: In flat intarsia, two bobbins of the MC are used. Could a person eliminate the "floating" of the MC by somehow dropping of the one bobbin, inserting the different color, and then finishing the row up with the second bobbin. A person could then TURN and do a purled row using that same bobbin, insert the different color, drop that bobbin and pick up the first on she was using of the MC, continue around the rest of that row to the color change.....and work in that fashion continually, being sure to twist the yarns as changes are made so as to prevent holes from appearing.
It would mean working more in the fashion that a flat object is done (because of the turning) instead of the continually working with the right side facing you, .....wouldn't it?

Paula said...

It sounds like it would work. The trick is to keep from leaving holes. I'll give it a try next time I attempt this.

Intarsia Knitting said...

Whenever possible, weave the yarn tail into the back of an area of the same color. This will prevent the weaving from showing through on the right side of the work. Because there will be so many ends to weave in, take a break from knitting every now and then as you work to weave in a few.