Intarsia tutorial

Intarsia is a knitting technique that involves knitting with blocks of colour. It is usually done flat rather than knitting in the round and can use many different colours or as little as two. For an example of intarsia knitting see Hey Rudi on ravelry.

So lets get started, for this tutorial we are going to be using just two different colours and this is the chart we’ll be working from:

The background pale yellow squares will be the MC (main colour) and the blue squares will be the CC (contrast colour). Each square represent one stitch, this pattern is worked in stockinette stitch so on the right side each stitch will be knit and on the wrong side each stitch will be purled.

Before starting to knit we need to work out how many different ‘sections’ of each colour there are. In the lower section of the pattern you can see there are two sections of MC and one section of CC.

and in the upper section of the pattern there are three sections of MC and to sections of CC.

Once you’ve worked out how many sections of each colour are there are you will need to make separate balls of that colour for each section; so for this pattern you’ll need 3 MC balls and 2 CC balls.

Lets get started… looking again at the chart you will work the first two rows in MC, on row 3 you will knit the first 4 stitches in MC and then join CC and work 12 stitches in CC, then finally join a second ball of MC for the final 4 stitches.

When changing colour it is important that you twist the yarn to eliminate any holes:

On a right side row (shown above) bring the new colour yarn tail under the current yarn tail and around before working the stitch, once you’ve worked a couple of stitches in the new colour give the previous colour yarn tail a little tug to stop the gap widening.

On the wrong side keeping both yarns at the front of your work again bring the new colour tail under the current tail and around before working the stitch and make sure the stitches on either side of colour change are not too loose.

The wrong side of your knitting should have neatly twisted colour joins:

If you prefer you can use small bobbins like these to keep you yarns separate and neat, these are especially useful if you are working with a large number of colours or colour sections.