For intarsia work, I generally try to gauge the length of the strand based on the section I'm knitting, anywhere from 3 feet for a small section up to 10 feet for a larger section.
Yes, I sometimes run out in a section, but more often have too much yarn than too little. You have to weave in ends, anyway, at the end of an intarsia project--why make yourself crazy with tangles and hangy things on the back of the work along the way?
"Trust the pattern!"
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.
Hop aboard while we follow the cloud-covered van of knitting harmony, man!! Woooo!! --Hedgehog
IngridKH on Ravelry