Garter Stitch Intarsia

The technique of intarsia is good for knitting blocks of colour and changing colour in mid row to knit pictures.  My Skull and Crossbones cushion cover uses intarsia, the pattern is free just click on the link to the right of this blog post.  Intarsia only works in stockinette stitch, because you need to carry the yarn along the same side of the work in every row. One side of intarsia work (the wrong side) will have all the messy yarn ends and the other side (the right side) will show the picture.

I’ve previously done some complicated and unsuccessful experiments with colour knitting in garter stitch . However,  last week I needed to make a simple intarsia colour change in garter stitch and this time I was much more pleased with the results.

The photo above is a close up of a parrot I knitted last week whilst working on the Big Crow pattern. As you can see, the yarn colour changes from orange to white in the middle of the row.  Here’s how I did it:

Join the new yarn colour by knotting it onto the existing yarn colour, as you normally would for intarsia knitting in stockinette stitch.

In a row with right side facing, knit to the colour change and bring the new yarn colour underneath the old yarn colour at the back of the work, this is also like intarsia knitting in stockinette stitch.

In a row with wrong side facing, knit to the colour change, bring the yarn you are knitting with forward between the needles, then take the yarn you are about to knit with back between the needles. Make sure the yarns link together, like this:

And that’s it!

Remember, this works well with blocks of colour in straight lines. Look at the parrot photo above and see that where the colour change happens it looks as though two stitches (one orange and one white) are trying to fit into the same space where only one stitch should be. It looks like this because the yarns are linked in the middle of the fabric. This uneven stitch pattern would unbalance the knitting if you tried to make the colour changes not in a straight line.

One comment

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I am working on a project and could not figure out why my intarsia didn’t look right. It looks good now. 🙂


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