Flashback May 23, 2013 – Posted in: How to, Thursday This and That

To the 80’s.
The 80’s are Retro. Neon, drop-shoulders, dolman – they are all back. Today let’s talk about intarsia – which is apparently back also, though in a better, 2013 modernized way in form of this sweater. As always I have an ulterior motive, and yes, you guessed it, I am going to show you the necessary technique.
Intarsia is used to work motifs into your knitting – geometrical, animalistic or free form. I have knit quite a few sweaters that way, they were great to have as a teenager.

Flaggenpullover cropped

Full disclosure for the dear blog readers. The year is 1989 and these are my sister and I on a beach on Vancouver Island. I knit that Flag sweater using the intarsia technique.

What it basically entails is working with more than one color, though not at the same time. Hence it is really not difficult at all, one only has to know how to avoid pesky holes that can appear when one does not twist the yarn correctly. Ooops. Now I have revealed the whole ‘secret’ already, the only thing left is to show you how!


Contiguous knitting with intarsia technique.


Thanks to twisting your yarn – no holes!


Knit to join.


Twist your yarn around each other, always picking the ‘next’ color from underneath.


Knit to end of row. Turn.


Purl to join, twist by grabbing the yarn from underneath (here: grey under green) again.


Purl to end.


Whenever you have to switch color, do it that way – do not forget to twist or you’ll get holes. That’s it.

Depending on the pattern the join might not be straight as shown here,  if that is the case, knit the according number of stitches in the first color, then switch to the next, and do not forget to twist.

So far all intarsia I have been knitting was knitted flat because most of the patterns are written that way. However, there are patterns with intarsia knit in the round which involve a special technique. I haven’t tried it, but I do not think it is any more difficult than what I showed you – just in case you are interested.

Happy knitting, as ever!

– Mona