Holding it together

I've embarked upon a fascinating and difficult project, perhaps a little out of my league. But how else do we learn?

I've done intarsia before, but this is my first real attempt at Fair Isle. When I knit the bear paws, I did it too tightly had had to go back, snip and tie every single thread to make the fabric stretch enough. It's going to be lined, so that's okay. I probably should have used steeks, but I didn't know how to do that until a few days ago; I will with the sleeves, which I'm about to begin.

The next difficulty comes in with the boats, which were done in Fair Isle (the little cabins were intarsia). But the blue yarn is different stuff than the rest of it, softer and single-ply, whereas all the other yarn in this project is the stunningly difficult-to-find Medeone from Laines du Nord, which is 6-ply I think. The Medeone has a nice catch to it, but the blue yarn is a bit slick, so the boats are not staying in the fabric. There's a horizontal gap between each color change, especially in the yellow sail diagonal; you can see a few enlarged stitches on the left-hand sail. The black mast side was easy; on the back, both the yellow and blue yarns were wrapped under the black, which is just a straight vertical line of intarsia.

Will that gap go away when the sweater is stretched and worn, assuming I got the tension right? Might it right itself in the wash? Is there a fiddly thing I can do to fix it?

I was thinking I might need to go in on the back side and tie a thread around both the blue and the Medeone at each join, which would fix the tension issue but it would be very fiddly indeed. Is there a simpler way?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

chipsir's picture

It is your first project of this sort so don't be too over critical, you could possible try easying each stitch to tighten up the joining stitches but don't do anything to drastic until you have washed and blocked it. Good blocking can cover a multitude of sins! Like I said don't sweat it, just be proud of your attempt at something new. We will discuss it over a cold beer on Los Muertos Beach, see you next week!!!

Thomasknits's picture

Awesome. I have yet to do intarsia, though I love fair isle and double knitting. Maybe sometime soon I'll pick up an intarsia project just for practice with it.
P.S. I love the blue hair and piercings.


teejtc's picture

Although I'm not nearly the expert that most of the people around here are, I'd bet that everything will even out a bit when you get it wet. Natural fibers tend to loosen up a bit.

Looks great!

Grace and Peace,

albert's picture

Some people use one of those hooked dental tools that you can get at any pharmacy for tightening individual stitches, though I have not tried this.