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flipoid 06-22-2010 05:31 PM

Converting "Strip" Pattern to Intarsia
I am knitting (only a few rows in) this blanket:

I am using Red Heart yarn in Aqua (border and solid color blocks), blue, and green (the striped blocked).

The pattern says to knit three strips: 2 starting with the striped blocks and 1 starting with the solid block.

Then sew the strips together, pick up stitches at each end for 7 garter rows for a border, then pick up stitches on the long sides for the borders.

I absolutely *HATE* seaming. Are these squares too big to knit using the intarsia method (of which I haven't done much, but I have done it) instead of in three separate strips? What I have in mind is knitting the 7 border rows in the garter stitch, then starting with the row of blocks that are solids on the outside with the one striped block in the middle (opposite of the sewing diagram, which has the outer striped blocks at the bottom instead).

Are these color sections too big to feasibly use the intarsia method? It's only 120 stitches across (each square is 40 stitches by 56 rows). If I understand instarsia right, all I'd have to do is twist the strands of yarn around each other every time I switched from a solid-color block to a striped block (or vice versa), so there wouldn't be any holes in the blanket?

Then, when I was finished with the main blanket, I'd just have to pick up stitches for the side borders.

I noticed that there was recently a knit along that talked about doing a seamless afghan--I think my pattern conversion would be similar?

Thanks for any guidance.

MerigoldinWA 06-22-2010 06:28 PM

I don't know why you couldn't do it that way. (Although it might be crazy; and be prepared for a lot of constant untangling of yarns. :lol: ) I did a little sample doing the stripes across in stranded knitting changing the color back and forth every two stitches, then changing to a third color. No problem. But to avoid the stranded look you might rather do it the other direction so that you were working the stripes, knitting two rows of each color(probably what you were thinking). You could carry the color not in use in the stripe up to where it is used next and it doesn't look too bad. (I tried this too) If I were you I'd try a sample of a tiny little blankie made with maybe 6 stitches for each block and see how the back looks and if it is satisfactory to you.

This is one pattern where it might actually be a lot easier to just do it like they say and seam it, but it is an intriguing idea and could be done if you really, really, HATE seaming bad enough. You could even put the side borders on with intarsia as well. Why not? Just two more balls. ;)

The blocks are not too big for intarsia. If you run out of yarn just start another skein just like in any knitting.

Now that I think of it a little more, it may not be as bad for tangling over the whole blanket as my little swatch was. You can do it!

flipoid 06-22-2010 09:01 PM

Thanks for your response, but it confused me a bit. :?? There isn't any stranding involved, I don't think. The striped part is 2 rows of one color, and two rows of a second color, not two colors used in the same row.

And thank you for the idea of doing the border up the sides! Since I'm starting with the solids on the outside, I won't have to have separate balls for the sides on the first section of blocks (the first 56 rows).

But I think it will be neat to try, because I do hate seaming that much (:-P) and I don't think it will get all that tangled because the sections are so big.

I also actually have a knitting bag that has the clear pockets with the grommets and there are 6 grommets. On the sections with the solid squares on the outside, I will only need 4 separate balls of yarn. Though on the sections with the stripes on the outside, I will need 7 separate balls of yarn (if I do the side border at the same time)!

Wish me luck! :mrgreen:

(Edit: After I do the 7 garter rows for the border, and the 7 + 40 stitches for the first solid block, what's the best way to add the blue ball of yarn for the first striped block? I don't want a gap in there when I'm adding the new strand of yarn for the first stitch of the striped block (it'll be the 48th stitch on the needle).)

MerigoldinWA 06-22-2010 10:58 PM

Sorry to have confused you about the stranded knitting. No, the pattern doesn't call for any because they do the stripes the other direction as rows, but when I just looked at the picture and thought about how to get that effect using intarsia, I saw it going the other direction. You could get it to work that way as well, but it would involved stranded knitting 2 stitches of each color across the striped section. Do you see what I mean now?

When you add a new color just start knitting with it leaving a nice tail. It will look like there is a gap, but you will be able to fix that with the tails when you work them in. Intarsia always has sloppy looking places, but they "heal".

Good luck!! (as requested) :)

flipoid 06-23-2010 08:50 AM

Thanks again for your help. No, the original pattern I was working with these same colors involved stranded knitting and I couldn't get it to work (the stitches didn't look right--it was the Lion Brand "Watercolor Blankie"). So I'm not going to create an excuse to use stranded knitting when the pattern doesn't call for it. :wink: But now I understand why you mentioned using stranded knitting with the two colors.

I cast on the border last night and have two rows of the first blocks section (solid, stripe, solid) done; so far it seems to be working out okay. I'm excited--no seaming, and no picking up stitches (not that I mind that--actually I think it's neat) to form the borders.

I will try to remember to post a picture here when I've finished it.

MerigoldinWA 06-23-2010 01:13 PM

I don't mind picking up stitches either, kind of fun, but picking up stitches would make a bit of a seam and doing the edge intarsia will make it more consistent with the rest of the blankie. I'm glad things are working for you! :thumbsup:

flipoid 08-07-2010 11:31 PM

It's Finished!
I finished the baby blanket, and I did it all in one piece! :)

Here are links to a couple of pictures:

Thank you for the advice and encouragement.

MerigoldinWA 08-08-2010 10:55 AM

Thanks for sharing the picture. Your blanket is beautiful. :heart: The color changes all look great. Recently someone else asked about doing a blanket that was to be made in blocks in intarsia. Do you mind if I save a picture of your blanket to show others when they ask about this? A picture of the back side would also be very interesting. I know what it looks like but some folks don't. Did you do the borders in intarsia where that was needed as well? Congratulations on the well executed work.

flipoid 08-08-2010 11:54 AM

No, I don't mind at all if you save a copy of the picture to show others. Keep in mind, though, that there was supposed to be one more section of blocks (a stripe/solid/stripe section), but I didn't do it because I didn't want the blanket to be that large.

I don't have the blanket any more (gave it to the recipient), but on the back, I just made sure I twisted the yarns as I went, so it actually looks pretty neat. From my research on intarsia it's the typical twisting you do so you don't get holes where the colors change.

Yes, I did the borders in intarsia--on the section that had the "stripe/solid/stripe" order of blocks, I was working with SEVEN balls of yarn--one on the first edge for the border, two for the first striped block, one for the solid block, two for the second striped block, and one for the last border edge.

One thing I'd do differently for the borders is that the bottom and top borders were 7 rows each, so for the side borders I did 7 stitches and placed a marker, which made the side borders just slightly wider than the bottom and top borders. When I do the blanket again (I will do it in "girl" colors next time) I will only do 5 stitches for each side border.

I will also try using a patterned (either self-striping or some other multi-color) yarn for the striped blocks, so I'm not dealing with so many balls of yarn. :)

flipoid 08-08-2010 11:59 AM

I will see if I can get the person who has the blanket to take a picture of the back side.

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