World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Intarsia (knitting)

Article Id: WHEBN0001952417
Reproduction Date:

Title: Intarsia (knitting)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Entrelac, Knitting, Variegated yarn, Eyelash yarn, Fully fashioned knitting
Collection: Knitting Ornaments
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Intarsia (knitting)

An argyle sock, knit using intarsia
The inside of the same argyle sock, showing the lack of carried strands, and the twist at each change of colour
Intarsia is a knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. As with the woodworking technique of the same name, fields of different colours and materials appear to be inlaid in one another, but are in fact all separate pieces, fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Unlike other multicolour techniques (including Fair Isle, slip-stitch colour, and double knitting), there is only one "active" colour on any given stitch, and yarn is not carried across the back of the work; when a colour changes on a given row, the old yarn is left hanging. This means that any intarsia piece is topologically several disjoint columns of colour; a simple blue circle on a white background involves one column of blue and two of white—one for the left and one for the right. Intarsia is most often worked flat, rather than in the round. However, it is possible to knit intarsia in circular knitting using particular techniques.

Common examples of intarsia include sweaters with large, solid-colour features like fruits, flowers, or geometric shapes. Argyle socks and sweaters are normally done in intarsia, although the thin diagonal lines are often overlaid in a later step, using Swiss darning or sometimes just a simple backstitch.

Contents

  • Technique 1
  • Knitting intarsia in the round 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Technique

Intarsia bobbins
Knitting in intarsia theoretically requires no additional skills beyond being generally comfortable with the basic knit and purl stitches. Materials required include multiple colours of yarn, standard needles, and bobbins. Bobbins serve to contain the inactive yarn and help keep it from getting tangled. Unlike the narrow, wooden ones used to make bobbin lace, modern intarsia bobbins resemble translucent plastic yo-yos that can snap tight to prevent the yarn from unwinding.

After winding a few yards of each colour onto its own bobbin (and possibly several bobbins' worth of some colours), the knitter simply begins knitting their pattern. When they arrive at a point where the colour changes, the knitter brings the new colour up underneath the old one (to prevent holes) and starts knitting with it. If flat knitting, at the end of the row, the piece is turned round just as with regular knitting, and the knitter returns the way they came.

The simplest intarsia pattern is for straight vertical stripes. After the first row, the pattern is continued by always working each stitch in the same colour as the previous row, changing colours at exactly the same point in each row. To make more elaborate patterns, one can let this colour boundary drift from row to row, changing colours a few stitches earlier or later each time.

Intarsia patterns are almost always given as charts (which, because of the mechanics of knitting, are read beginning at the lower right and continuing upward). The charts generally look like highly pixellated cartoon drawings, in this sense resembling dot-matrix computer graphics or needlepoint patterns (though usually without the colour nuance of the latter).

Knitting intarsia in the round

There are several techniques to execute intarsia when circular knitting. Executing intarsia "in-the-round" eliminates the need for seams and, in one case, turning the piece and working from the wrong side. Priscilla Gibson-Roberts discusses four techniques for knitting intarsia in the round in her book, Ethnic Socks & Stockings.

References

External links

  • http://explaiknit.typepad.com/let_me_explaiknit/2006/08/rock_around_the.html Site detailing methods of intarsia in the round.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.