intarsia tangles

Hello guys - I am trying to do a scarf now that has circles in intarsia built into it - I understand using differnt colors of yarn for each part of the pattern, and I get that you're supposed to have two different "skeins" of yarn for a "right" and "left" side of a pattern when there's a second color in the middle of the row - but here's where I got confused last night (and ended up ripping the project out) -

what do you do when your contrasting colors don't line up from row to row? (like in a curve) - the "back" of the piece is not hidden so it's not like I can just carry yarn like in fair isle... the only thing I could think might be the answer would be to cut and re-start each row for the different colors -

anyone have any ideas on where I can go to figure this out? I want to get knitting on this before I will be able to get to my LYS... so I'm askin my yarn boys!

help help help!




MMario's picture

How big are the jogs from row to row? If they are more then a stitch or two I would say cut and weave in the ends for each row - but if it is a single stitch or even two you whould be able to wrap the yarn around the other colour and knit away.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

kylewilliam's picture

some of the jogs are 3 or 4 stitches... and some are "backwards" meaning I am changing colors 4 stitches before the row below has the contrasting yarn hanging out - so does that mean I should "read ahad" and twist the yarns together on the lower row to "line up" the CC yarn for the next row?



MMario's picture

with a 4 stitch difference I'd probably say cut the CC and reposition.

the problem here being that the colour changes are not lining up vertically - so if he tries to carry the CC yarn without cutting it he will still have runs on the "wrong" side


MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation


If I'm understanding what you are doing, I think the problem can be solved by using yarn bobbins. You don't need to buy any. You can use just a piece of cardboard for each color. I did a scarf in several colors and the bobbins worked great. This enables you to make a fabric such as a scarf with multiple vertical stripes and no long carry-overs on the wrong side.

I think you can use the same trick as we do in circular knitting to eleviate the 'lining up' issue. Try picking up the stitch that you want to line up to as you knit the new stitch. This will cause an optical illusion that they really do line up. Some people don't like circular striped socks for this very reason: you can see where the preceding row stopped and the new one began.

If I'm not even close to what your problem is, just ignore this.

But: I hope it helps! =^D

~Mike in Tampa (home to the Sunken Buccaneers - - - (sigh) . . . )

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Yahoo Id: stickywarp2001

MMario's picture

DUH! *whacks forehead*

Kyle - - semi-solution. Use TWO bobbins of the contrast colour. You can use short lengths from the second one to "fill in" where the difference is too great to carry the yarn - which should reduce the number of times you need to cut. I think.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

kylewilliam's picture

here's one ladie's video: - then click on increasing stitches in intarsia

that shows kind of what I'm talking about - she says that if it's 3 stitches or less you just wrap and move up - it seems to make sense - I thank everyone for their input - I also think it'll be easier for me if I blow up the pattern a little more -




Tallguy's picture

This is a lot harder to write out than it is to do!!

I would just carry that contrast yarn along to the next position while in the row before. Planning here. What I mean is that when you end one colour, and you know that you will be needing it 4 stitches further on when doing the row above, you just carry it along, and catch it every second stitch on this row. Does that make any sense? So that when you are doing the row back, that colour is already waiting for you in its proper place. The same applies when you are decreasing colour areas -- plan ahead by placing the yarn into the correct position for the next row.

But that still does leave rather unattractive loops and stranding on the reverse side. That is why you do scarves like these in double layers -- usually in the round (if Fair Isle), or double wide, and then make a seam. Then you have two faces, with all the ugly stranding on the inside. Scarves are notorious for always showing their wrong sides! Another reason for using a reversible pattern.