Thursday, June 26, 2014

Multiple Color Knitting

Intarsia.  I think that's what it's called. 

intarsia or tarsia  (ɪnˈtɑːsɪə)
1. a decorative or pictorial mosaic of inlaid wood or sometimes ivory of a style developed in the Italian Renaissance and used esp on wooden wall panels
2. the art or practice of making such mosaics
3. (in knitting) an individually worked motif
[C19: changed from Italian intarsio ]

This is from the website

Intarsia knitting is when you knit a 'motif' in one color on the background of another.  So you have to manipulate two (or more) strands of yarn, make sure you leave no holes, that nothing shows on the front that shouldn't... it can be simple or get complicated.

Mine is complicated, at least for my previous level of knitting.

Thus far this is probably the most complicated thing I've done... I had to make those thumbholes and work with four needles in a tiny spot to do it.

Oh and there was this hat... rounds of different colors.  But only one color at a time.

So now I'm attempting to knit a Christmas stocking for a co-worker's grandson.  The person who knit all the previous stockings was my co-worker's mom, and she has dementia and doesn't knit anymore.  I think I blogged before about the stockings she did for the others.  There were Santas and snowmen of various kinds, some in red and green and some in blue and white with red and green accents.

This is the pattern for the one I'm making.

Yes, it looks upside down, which confuses me sometimes.  But I'm knitting it from the top down.
So the white band at the top is where the name goes.  Then you start with three rows of blue background, and pick up some black for the top hat.  The next addition is red for the hat band.  Then more black for the hat brim, followed by white for the heads.
You knit front and back at the same time and fold in half.  After tearing out a few times I was SOOO tempted to just knit the front snowman half and make the back all blue!  But I am soldiering on...  here's my progress so far:

Yup, at the point of adding the top of the hat band.  It's slow going.  I now have seven 'bobbins' dragging along the back.  I discovered that it isn't wise to carry a color across more than about four stitches of another color.  The opportunity for snagging, tension issues and error is just too great.

Here's the back:

And with the bobbins:

I stopped at 10:00 p.m. to watch the news and because I rediscovered that it's very hard to knit at night on black and dark blue...  something I should have remembered because it's hard for me to sew at night on those colors too!


So what does it say on that bookmark?  "This is where I fell asleep"?  This is where I stopped and went to bed.

Six or seven inches done... only about 18 more to go!

Knit and sew on...