Thursday, 31 January 2013

Just a minute..... and some thoughts on intarsia

It's been very quiet around here recently.

I'm working on the garment commission, and am well into the colourwork now.  This is complex, and does not allow for distractions - reading whilst knitting, as usual? - not a chance.  Even conversation can become a bit disjointed, because I keep stopping and looking at the chart for just a minute.... and completely forget what we were talking about.  Somewhat anti-social, really.  But I'm enjoying the knitting.

Now, something that I have been meaning to mention.

Lots of people don't like knitting intarsia - indeed, think that they can't knit intarsia - because they are unhappy about how it looks when it comes off the needles.  Almost invariably, they set the work aside because they are so disappointed, and cannot bring themselves to take it any further.

There is, however, a secret  regarding intarsia.

It always looks messy, at first.

But then you neaten it up, adjusting the stitches if necessary with the tip of a needle, and darning in the ends on the back along the colour joins.  This makes all the difference, and it can be really quite surprising how much better the work looks afterwards.

So if you are in the I-don't-enjoy-intarsia camp - or even if you think you are in the I-can't-do-intarsia camp -perhaps consider giving it another try, and this time, sew in the ends.  You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.


Mairead said...

Blocking also helps immensely too!

Helen said...

Absolutely true, and I agree with Mairead about blocking too. I think a lot of knitters expect things to look perfect when they come off the needles when in fact that's usually just the beginning. It's the same with dressmaking, where a rag can be transformed by an iron and a damp cloth. But I'm sure your intarsia looks better than mine at every stage :)