Monday, 10 November 2014

Intarsia color change on vertical line or diagonal line for stocking stitch

A knitting style called "Intarsia color work" is very versatile and common. This is a style of knitting where you are making blocks of color and each block with their own ball or bobbin of yarn. To make this kind of work, basically we have to know how to cast on multiple colors of yarns, how to change colors on a vertical or diagonal line and how to join in a new color yarn.

Straight vertical stripes in multiple colors is the simplest Intarsia pattern. Before we start to make a vertical stripes for the knitting, we have to know how to cast on different colored yarns for each vertical stripe on the needle.

Today, I would like to show you the way I  do the above mentioned methods on stocking stitch (stockinette). There are some methods of doing Intarsia color work on garter stitch. I will try to post the methods later.


Casting on two colors

Here is a simple way on how to cast on two different colored yarns in order to create two straight vertical stripes in different color respectively.

  1. Cast on a few stitches with blue yarn by using the long tail cast-on method.
  2. Make a slip knot with white yarn and place it on the needle. Twist the white and blue yarns as shown in the photo.
  3. Now, pull the both ends of blue yarn backwards and start to cast on a few stitches with the white yarn.
  4. Done.



Changing colors in a vertical line

When changing colors in a vertical line, the both yarns must be twisted on every row so that they interlock without leaving a hole.
  1. At a vertical color change on the knit side, drop the old color and pick up the new color from under the old color. Now the two colors are twisted. Then knit the next stitches with the new color (or you might knit to the next color change according to how many color blocks you have).
  2.  At a vertical color change on the purl side, drop the old color and pick up the new color from under the old color. Then purl the next stitches with the new color (or you might purl to the next color change according to how many color blocks you have).
This is a sample piece of my vertical stripes knitting fabric. Stripes in stocking stitch make a clean line on the knit side and a broken line on the purl side.




Changing colors in a diagonal line

When changing colors in a diagonal line, the both yarns must only be twisted on every other row.

  1. When making a right diagonal on the knit side, insert the needle knitwise. Bring the old color over the new color, pick up the new color up from under the old color. This will twist the both new and old yarns as shown in the first photo. Then knit the next stitches or knit to the next color change with the new yarn.
  2. On the purl side,  insert the needle purlwise. Pick up the new color from under the old color and purl the next stitches or purl to the next color change with the new yarn. The both yarns shouldn't be twisted.



  1. When making a left diagonal on the purl side, insert the needle purlwise. Bring the old color over the new color, pick up the new color up from under the old color. This will twist the both new and old yarns as shown in the first photo. Then purl the next stitches or purl to the next color change with the new yarn.
  2. On the knit side,  insert the needle knitwise. Pick up the new color from under the old color and knit the next stitches or knit to the next color change with the new yarn. The both yarns shouldn't be twisted.



The first photo shown is a right diagonal line on the knit side; the second photo shown is the left diagonal line on the purl side; the third photo shown is a right diagonal line on the purl side and the last photo shown is a left diagonal line on the knit side.




Joining a new color 

I only use one method to join a new color for my Intarsia color work. It is easy, I use it to join a new color at the beginning or in the middle of a row.

First, insert the needle through the desired stitch on the left needle. Wrap the new yarn around the right needle and leaving a tail of yarn about 4 inches long. Normally, I will insert the needle through the stitch knitwise at the knit side and insert the needle through purlwise at the purl side. Then hold the both ends and pull the yarn out to create a stitch. Don't worry about the tail, just let it hanging there because you will finish off the tail by weaving it into the knitting piece after the piece is finished.

I use another method to join in a new color from the beginning when I make the horizontal stripes for other knitting patterns. Please click here  to visit the relavant post.





3 comments:

kushami said...

Thank you for taking the time to write and photograph this tutorial. It made intarsia easy for me!

Lisa Rowley said...

I am wondering if I can use the same technique as your first example, knitting up a vertical change of color, using a ribbed stitch instead of stockinette and still have a clean change in color? I would really appreciate any feedback or advice. Thank you.

Rainbow AY said...

You cannot use 100% the same technique as the first example to knitting up a vertical change of color for a ribbed stitch, the point you twist the two colors will be slightly different. For example, if your next stitch is knit stitch, and the previous stitch is a purl stitch, you should bring the two colors to the back of the needle and make a twist at the back and continue knitting. If your next stitch is purl stitch, bring the two colors to the front, twist and continue knitting. I never learn from other knitters about this method, I found it out myself. If you have found out other method to do so please tell me. Thank you.

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