Classic Designs for the Modern Knitter

A tiny Intarsia tutorial

Knitters working on the Birdie Cardigan from Knitbot Yoked have noted that the strands between graphs are exceptionally long and tricky to maneuver.  If you've found this to be true, you may like to try knitting portions of the yoke using Intarsia vs. Fair Isle as the book instructs.

I have just knitted a swatch for my KAL sweater and used a mix of Fair Isle and Intarsia.  For the border charts I stranded my yarn across the back.  Once it was time to knit my chart, which is the fox chart from the back of Knitbot Yoked, I made several small balls of yarn.  There is a small ball of Barred for each fox, and a small ball of Ecru for the space in between and on either side of the fox charts.


When it's time to switch colors and knitting on the right side, I cross yarn a over yarn b.  I then pick up and begin knitting with yarn b.  I've thus twisted the two yarns together in a way that avoids a hole between colors.  It also allows the knitting to lie nice and flat after blocking.

When purling on the wrong side it's the same: I cross yarn a over yarn b, then pick up and begin purling with yarn b.  

With these particular charts there was some white peppered in the middle of each fox chart, versus a completely solid color block.  So I had to make some decisions on certain rows about which little ball of white to use, from either the left or the right.  While there is a bit of stranding going on within each fox, the difference you'll notice is in the spaces between the charts.  There are no contrast color strands crossing these areas, it's all white space.

 For knitters working  the birds and heart charts in the Birdie Cardigan which has long spans of white space between charts, you may find this method more suitable.  I strongly encourage you to swatch both in Fair Isle and Intarsia and see which method is more comfortable for you!  

Here is my swatch with stranding between foxes, knitted using Fair Isle.

Here is my swatch with stranding between foxes, knitted using Fair Isle.

Share your findings in the Knitbot Yoked KAL group, and do let me know if you have any questions or issues!

Hannah Fettig