Intarsia anyone??

Heya guys,

Long time no subject matter. The holidays were crazy and it has been a long time since I have really said much....but I've been keeping my eye on you all!

I have a question....I am starting a new project for my Godmother and she is a "bright" person...she has chosen a vest that is a multi colored intarsia and fair isle piece (very different from my charcoal grey and chocolate colored everything). I am only about a quarter of the way through and the tangling is a little...welll.....irritating! Any adivce on ways to manage this. Do you guys use bobbins, just let the fiber hang straight (no pun intended), or tie butterfly bundles....or what? I just thought I would check. Hope this New Year brings you all everything you desire! I'll try to be better at checking in!!!

grandcarriage's picture

It depends: In a Kaffe Fassett type sweater, where the yarn hanging off the back is less than a yard long, I let it hang. Fairisle you use the skein as normal. For intarsia that will require a lot of yarn, I used those little bobbins: as I suck at winding butterflies. They are a bit of a pain. Tell the truth, but a huge tangled mess hanging off the back of a sweater is far worse.

Not tonight honey: I'm knitting...

I mostly just let the yarns twist around each other until the whole thing becomes unmanageable, and periodically take the time to untangle them. Bobbins and butterflies are nicer to work with, but it takes time to wind them, and you often end up having to splice on another piece to complete the last few stitches of that color or else wasting several yards when you over-estimate how much you'll need.

twistknit's picture

I'm with grandcarraige- less than a yard I would let the yarn hang down. More than a yard I do butterflies. Bobbins take up to much time and I think the weight of the bobbin makes them swing around more and add to the tangled mess.

Tallguy's picture

This can be tricky to do. I would agree that for shorter lengths you can just let them hang and when they do get tangled, it is easy to pull them out (a la Kaffe). For larger sections, bobbins or butterflies are useful. However, you would need to guesstimate very accurately! I hate to waste any yarn at all.

I think I would prefer to lay out the balls of yarn very neatly in the order they are used. I would work in the same area all the time (I have no cats) and no one would disturb this order. I would turn the work clockwise to work the back, and turn it counter-clockwise to work the front. There are NO tangles! Should any occur, I would straighten it out immediately. That's just the way I am. This whole assembly might resemble someone on life-support lines, and in a way, it is. But where you have so many different yarns involved, you must be very organized and keep it all in order at all times so they don't get out of hand (as they are want to do)!