Intarsia Made Easy

I admit it: intarsia makes me nervous. Ever since I started knitting, I’ve been intimidated by colorwork. I’ve learned to love stripes, and I adore variegated yarn in all its varieties. But certain kinds of colorwork continue to unnerve me. Intarsia remains one of them. Intarsia is a technique whereby you knit more than one color per row. You don’t break the yarn when you change color; you just drop one color and pick up another. For this reason, many expert knitters recommend using bobbins (when you have to change colors several times in one row) rather than full balls of yarn. This helps keep the yarn from getting hopelessly tangled. I have resolved that this will be the year I try intarsia. I don’t like being intimidated by a knitting technique, and so many intarsia patterns are so pretty! If you would like to join me in trying intarsia, I’ve lined up some great links to help you dive in.

An Intarsia Tutorial and Many Easy Patterns

First, a tutorial to intarsia. This is the most clearly written and illustrated guide I’ve ever seen, and it has really inspired me to try a project. Check out the Purl Bee’s Intarsia Tutorial. Once you’ve examined the tutorial, be sure to keep it by your side as you choose a project to try. Below I’ve listed some patterns (some are just charts, which you can use to create a simple square for an afghan or the beginning to a scarf) that use intarsia. I’ve grouped them by “For Beginners” and “Slightly More Challenging.”

For Beginners:

Diamonds Peace Symbol Teddy Bear Candy Cane Christmas Tree Cat Frog Color Block Pillow

Slightly More Challenging:

Four Color Intarsia Design Blue’s Clues Santa Easter Basket Butterfly Squirrel This year, let’s all resolve to stop shying away from intarsia and give it a whirl. We’ll have a great new world of knitting opened up to us when we do. We can all jump into intarsia together!