Knitting Knowledge: Intarsia

Anyone watching BBC Springwatch may have spotted Michaela Strachan’s fabulous intarsia jumper featuring badgers. I’m not sure if it is hand or machine knitted, but I think it’s a lovely, fun garment.

What is intarsia?

Intarsia is a technique used in knitting and woodwork. In knitting, it is a method for producing blocks of colour using multiple balls or lengths of yarn for each block.  It is different to the Fair Isle colour technique as no strands are carried at the back of the work. Another key difference is that when moving from one block of colour to another, the yarns are twisted (once) together, whereas with Fair Isle you do not twist the yarns.

Examples of Intarsia

Here are some examples of pieces I have knitted using intarsia. The first is a sample swatch which uses square and rectangular blocks of colour. The second is a sample swatch with a heart motif. The last image shows good old Super Ted! His motif on his chest and cape both used intarsia.

Have you used this method of knitting before? What do you think of this technique?

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