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View Full Version : Intarsia Is Harder Than It Looks


Knitting_Guy
12-31-2007, 11:34 AM
I'm working on my first Intsarsia project, a hat knit flat. It's a lot more complicated than it looks.

All of those crazy bobbins love to tangle together and just crossing the yarns at each color change is an exercise in patience to untangle them.

I'm doing this because I wanted to learn to work with more than one color, as well as to learn to seam as I have never knit anything that needed seaming.

I have to admit that I am not really liking the way it's looking, but I'm plugging away at it anyway as it's more of a learning exercise anyway. It's definitely not going to be my best work. :rofl:

I wonder if Fair Isle would be any easier?

Ingrid
12-31-2007, 11:48 AM
Do yourself a favor and take the yarn off the bobbins. It's much easier to pull strands up one at a time to untangle than to untwist the bobbins. You can't avoid twisting, since you have to twist the yarns, but this makes it easier.

Sometimes you can just hold the yarns and let the project spin to untangle, too.

FairIsle is probably less attention-sucking, and if done right there's no real twisting, but each creates such a different look.

Rhea
12-31-2007, 11:51 AM
I prefer Fair Isle for the way it looks, but I agree with Ingrid, it's easier off the bobbins.

WildMountainHoney
12-31-2007, 12:24 PM
Oh, I shouldn't have opened this - I'm really liking stranded knitting, think I can avoid intarsia forever? (answering myself - no, I'll want to try it eventually)

Good tip on the no bobbins, if (when) I ever try it, I'll just the yarn dangle free.

Knitting_Guy
12-31-2007, 12:32 PM
Hmmm, so winding it into center pull bobbins is a bad idea?

OK, I can see how pulling loose yarn would be easier.

The shapes I was trying to make still look like crap though. I have no idea what I did wrong but what were meant to be diamond shapes look more like blobs. :wall:

Spikey
12-31-2007, 12:36 PM
Braden is an advocate of Armenian Knitting. He can obviously explain it better than I, but basically my understanding is that you carry the colors along and trap the floats as you go. Uses more yarn, but eliminates the hanging pieces and all of the weaving in of ends. I just know those would drive me insane so I'm going to try this technique.

I've ordered the EZ/MS dvd A Knitting Glossary which teaches Armenian Knitting (among the other 129 techniques!). Can't wait to try it out.

knitpurlgurl
12-31-2007, 12:51 PM
Is Armenian knitting the same as color stranding?

knitrageous
12-31-2007, 12:57 PM
I always wondered about all those strings inside. I realize they are carried but it seems like in gloves your fingers would get stuck and even in a hat that you might get your fingers tangled up in the thereads and pull something that wasn't meant to be pulled. Maybe I'm just challenged when it comes to putting on outerware...

Spikey
12-31-2007, 01:02 PM
Is Armenian knitting the same as color stranding?
I'm not sure. We need Braden's help with this one, as he is the expert. That is unless, Meg Swansen is secretly lurking around here :teehee:

Ditto for the hanging threads...I can post an update once my dvd comes in a few days, but hopefully we'll have heard from Braden by then.

Jan in CA
12-31-2007, 01:34 PM
Is Armenian knitting the same as color stranding?

I think that's pretty much it.
http://knitsarina.blogspot.com/2007/10/armenian-knitting.html
http://www.knitpicks.com/Armenian%20Knitting_BD31040.html

WildMountainHoney
12-31-2007, 01:35 PM
Oh, I like the sound of Armenian knitting - I would imagine it's similar to stranding just with VERY long floats that you catch every so often.

Having made my first stranded stuff - if the floats are no longer than 4 stitches, they are typically also less than an inch long, at least in the hats and mittens I've done (with fingering and worsted weight yarns) and the floats aren't terribly loose (at least mine haven't been) so it's more like a 2nd layer to the item, rather than loose loops.

GinnyG
12-31-2007, 01:38 PM
May the FORCE be with you:notworthy:

DQ
12-31-2007, 02:50 PM
Have you tried any slip-stitch colour patterns before? I've done one - http://kodymayknits.blogspot.com/2006/10/greeky-hat.html - and loved it. I got Barbara G Walkers 'Mosaic knitting' for Christmas so I hope to be experimenting more soon :mrgreen:

Knitting_Guy
12-31-2007, 02:55 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I checked out the Armenian knitting technique and that looks a lot better and less fiddly to me. I've frogged the disaster I had going and cast on again, in the round this time, and have restarted with that technique.

So far I'm liking it a lot better and really like the way you strand in the floats every few stitches to reduce all those loose strings on the inside.

We'll see how it goes.

Spikey
12-31-2007, 03:20 PM
Wow! You are a quick study. How did you learn the technique? I couldn't find any instructions on line and am (impatiently) waiting for my dvd.
Hope it continues to work well for you. Happy New Year!

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
12-31-2007, 03:23 PM
here's what i do when working with multiple colors:

i wind what i'll need into balls (theportion that requires the most yarn i work straight from the skein). Then i go and use those smaller laundry baskets (or plastic bins from the dollar store, just something to prevent my ball from rolling across the floor and enticing the cats to play) and keep them separate that way. if i need to shuffle the bins around, it's easy enough to do.

Knitting_Guy
12-31-2007, 03:53 PM
Wow! You are a quick study. How did you learn the technique? I couldn't find any instructions on line and am (impatiently) waiting for my dvd.
Hope it continues to work well for you. Happy New Year!

I couldn't find any online instructions either. I IM'ed a very experienced knitter I know and she explained it to me. For the most part it seems reasonably simple. You carry both colors at all times, and simply use a wrap technique to hide the currently unused color behind the active stitch.

Slip your needle through the stitch to knit, wrap the unused color clockwise, wrap the working color the normal way, then take the unused color back counterclockwise and then work the stitch normally. I tried it as she explained it and have done several rounds now, and the unused color is hidden but still carried along without loose strings in the back.

I did misunderstand one point, she said to do this for every stitch to totally eliminate all of those string in back instead of every few stitches as I mistakenly said earlier.

hainangel2000
12-31-2007, 05:09 PM
I have done both and sometimes I like bobbins and other times I like the other way. My problem with pulling the yarn is, if the skein happens to have a knot boy its a huge pain. Other then that :yay: I am proud of you for learning this kind of knitting. Its so rewarding when you see it finished but you learn to prepare yourself for work and know what your getting into before you attempts it again! Its not a kind of knit you just jump on when someone who has never knitted wants a pair of socks or sweater ;) However it sure makes some beautiful projects and it also gives you a challenge and with knitting I love a good challenge! :thumbsup:

Keep up the good work! Mary:knitting:

Plantgoddess+
12-31-2007, 06:26 PM
Thanks Mason for the explanation. I have done Fair Isle and really enjoyed it and it looks like Armenian will be a lot of fun if labor intensive.

Knitting_Guy
12-31-2007, 08:05 PM
Thanks Mason for the explanation. I have done Fair Isle and really enjoyed it and it looks like Armenian will be a lot of fun if labor intensive.

You're welcome, but I musta missed something somewhere :rofl: The wrapping for the unsused color doesn't seem to be working like I thought and now I'm just doing regular stranded knitting.

Guess it's time to order a book.

WildMountainHoney
12-31-2007, 09:47 PM
FWIW, I use the method described here (http://sockpr0n.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-weave-in-ends-while-knitting.html) to weave in ends while knitting, AND to catch the floats, works for both.

Mariblue
12-31-2007, 10:34 PM
There's a short video which talks about the two handed fair isle technique (http://www.philosopherswool.com/Pages/Streamingvideo.htm), and she is trapping the strands along the back of the work so there are no floats. It's worth taking a look at.
I've been experimenting with intarsia and color work too, it's a lot of fun, but certainly requires much more concentration! I am having much better luck keeping my stitches even and consistent with the help of this video though.
Oh, and the video only works with internet explorer. At least, I can't get it to work with Firefox.

Knitting_Guy
01-01-2008, 01:04 AM
There's a short video which talks about the two handed fair isle technique (http://www.philosopherswool.com/Pages/Streamingvideo.htm), and she is trapping the strands along the back of the work so there are no floats. It's worth taking a look at.
I've been experimenting with intarsia and color work too, it's a lot of fun, but certainly requires much more concentration! I am having much better luck keeping my stitches even and consistent with the help of this video though.
Oh, and the video only works with internet explorer. At least, I can't get it to work with Firefox.


Thanks, that's great. It plays for me in Firefox, but I use Linux with the Mplayer plugin which might make a big difference.

Jan in CA
01-01-2008, 03:10 AM
There's a short video which talks about the two handed fair isle technique (http://www.philosopherswool.com/Pages/Streamingvideo.htm), and she is trapping the strands along the back of the work so there are no floats.

That's how I learned both fair isle and trapping the longer floats. It only works in IE.

Braden
01-01-2008, 03:12 AM
Okay, the basic concept of Armenian Knitting is, that, you can actually do Intarsia in the round, but either way, you only carry 2 strands of yarn, and don't have the bobbins hanging.

You carry the yarn the same as you would in Sranded knitting, but you trap it every so often (for me, 5 stitches). So, if you had a pattern that said "knit 12 in blue, and 10 in white you would carry the blue yarn, knit 5 stitches, trap the white, knit 5 stitches, trap the white, knit 2 stitches, and continue, knitting 5 with the white, and trapping the blue.

It takes more yarn, but it makes it so much less frustrating. Do I need to elaborate?

Here's a site that has instructions for trapping yarn:

http://www.knitsimplemag.com/node/66 (scroll down)

redheadrachel
01-01-2008, 03:19 AM
Ah, that makes sense! I actually think I did that on my Lizard & Turtle Mittens, but sort of thought I invented it on my own. lol

WildMountainHoney
01-01-2008, 11:25 AM
Thanks, that's great. It plays for me in Firefox, but I use Linux with the Mplayer plugin which might make a big difference.
Oh, THANK YOU for telling us how you watch that! I've been wanting to see this vid for awhile, but I run Firefox on Linux. I usually use Kaffiene or Xine, but neither were playing this video. I think I have Mplayer, just gotta go find it. :happydance:

Knitting_Guy
01-01-2008, 12:33 PM
Oh, THANK YOU for telling us how you watch that! I've been wanting to see this vid for awhile, but I run Firefox on Linux. I usually use Kaffiene or Xine, but neither were playing this video. I think I have Mplayer, just gotta go find it. :happydance:

You'll want to make sure you have the mplayer browser plugin installed, and remove the xine plugin because it conflicts with the mplayer one. Also make sure you have all the needed codecs installed.

Cristy
01-01-2008, 01:18 PM
What a good, simple explanation! Thanks Braden and Thanks Mason for starting the thread! I haven't ventured into color work lately but have been thinking a lot about it. I live near Knitch (http://www.knitchknitting.com) and they offer private lessons--I was thinking of buying myself a private lesson for colorwork.

I can't wait to see how your project turns out Mason! :)

WildMountainHoney
01-01-2008, 01:37 PM
WOOHOO! I have watched the vid, I have practiced, I can now weave with working yarn in my left hand - hooray!! :muah: :muah:

knitncook
01-01-2008, 04:46 PM
I use easy bobs from elann.com I LOVE those bobbins. They still twist some, but they truly don't tangle as badly as the traditional H shaped bobbins. If you choose to stay with bobbins, consider the easy bobs. They are kind of donut shaped and self feed as you go. I didn't believe it when I first got them, but do now. So you can make the length of the bobbins fairly short so they don't get as tangled. Have fun and can't wait to see your FO!

Knitting_Guy
01-02-2008, 07:28 PM
I use easy bobs from elann.com I LOVE those bobbins. They still twist some, but they truly don't tangle as badly as the traditional H shaped bobbins. If you choose to stay with bobbins, consider the easy bobs. They are kind of donut shaped and self feed as you go. I didn't believe it when I first got them, but do now. So you can make the length of the bobbins fairly short so they don't get as tangled. Have fun and can't wait to see your FO!


Cool I didn't know they made such a thing. By 'bobbins' I just meant that I hand wound them in a figure 8 to make center pull bobbins out of them.

remclave
01-02-2008, 08:12 PM
I don't know about Armenian color work and I haven't done intarsia yet (I want to try it). But if you want to try Fair Isle, you can do beautiful work front and back :D.... look here (http://bp0.blogger.com/_6ZaU0LiLtyY/R3BWMcmB7aI/AAAAAAAAAHI/tL_NKlIaLpA/s1600-h/purse1.jpg) and here (http://bp0.blogger.com/_6ZaU0LiLtyY/R3BWMcmB7bI/AAAAAAAAAHQ/sxe2Q3pSDz8/s1600-h/purse2.jpg).