Intarsia allows for separate areas of color within a knitted piece. Each color area has its own skein or bobbin of yarn allowing for long distances between color changes. Add lovely motifs to your knitting such as argyles, polka dots, pictures – the only limitation is your imagination! Watch this video to learn the basics of intarsia and bring your knitting to a whole new level.

42 thoughts on “Intarsia

  1. Sorry figured out the unwinding okay but have a new question which I hope isn’t as dumb as the first. I have 2 skeins of same colour (A) and one B. When I turn to do next row can I pick up the closer colour A so I don’t waste yarn and make sure I pick up the second one after B on same row. My apologies if this is as confusing to you as me.

  2. Thanks for knitting Building in Color with me! You will not want to count the rows as a measuring tool. Each design has a different row gauge and that would result in varying panel lengths. I just laid each panel on a flat surface and when it measured 36″ unstretched I stopped knitting. I achieved the exact length in the blocking process.

  3. I am just starting Building in Color and so far, so good, thanks to your videos and crystal clear written instructions. I saw your comment below re: measuring panels ‘casually’ then blocking to same length. Would working the panels to the same or close row counts work just as well?

  4. Thanks for knitting the Buckeye hat with me! If you have 106 stitches then you are good to go for the Adult size. Is that the problem or is it with the chart?

  5. Hi, today I started knitting your pattern Buckeye Hat. I am making the adult size. When I did row 1 of the Set Up section, the count at the end of the row was, for me, not the same as the pattern’s. I had 4 stitches left not 10. The stitch count of 106 was correct. Not sure why the difference.

  6. Can you knit intarsia in the “round”? Or can it only to be used in “flat knitting”? I’m knitting toy animals and want to avoid using the mattress stitch to sew up body, love, your videos. I constantly go to them as a “refresher”..thank you!!

  7. Thanks for knitting Building in Color with me! In the book there is a photo of the wrong side of the panel. Does yours look like mine? The biggest issue in Intarsia knitting is tension. All levels of knitters struggle with it. The best teacher is experience. I have found that tugging on the yarn to make the loose stitch smaller only serves to make the problem worse. Keep at it and you will see an improved tension with practice. Happy knitting!

  8. Your videos are great! I just started your Building in Color book and have a question about the first pattern. My first rows went great, but when I got to row 7, where the color B starts one place over to the right, instead of even with the previous blocks, the back side has an obvious yarn B sweep up over to the right. I understand this has to happen, but on the right side, my color A is larger and almost forms a circle where you can see color B’s two strands up in the top of it. Is this just a tension issue? If so, is color B too tight and color A too loose? Is there a secret to carrying the new color over a square or two on a new row? (I hope this makes sense!!)

  9. Knitting in the building in color book 1st rectangle with 3colors intarsia at the point to bind off. It says to bind off in color A. What do I do when I come o the next color do I tie a knot then bind’off or just bind of as normal and then cut off 2nd and 3 rd color yarn and weave it in. I’m afraid it will be loose and not be a tight stitch.

  10. You can knit each stitch in its established color as you bind off, remembering to interlock the yarns at the color changes. If the bind off edge will be hidden in a seam, you can also bid off in off in one color and weave in the extra yarns.

  11. Thanks for knitting with me! Just “casually” measure the strips lying flat and they can be blocked and pinned to precisely the same measurement.

  12. Hi,

    Your Intarsia video is so helpful to me but I’m wondering, can Intarsia be done with magic loop?

    Thank you,


  13. I have a really crazy question. I’m currently following your Knitting in Color book and am just starting strip 4. Directions are excellent and the project is so much fun! I’ve learned so much on the first 3 strips. I just can’t seem to measure the strips…. I know that sounds crazy but as they curl up I’m having difficulty keeping them straight to measure without stretching the strip. I’ve pinned them to a tablecloth on dining room table… Strip 3 seems to actually lay flatter than 1 or 2…. I thought about using it as the guide as I think more importantly than an exact numeric measurement it’s pretty imperative that the strips be the same length.. Any tips you can offer on measurement of the strips will be appreciated. I want to go on to strip 4 but I have one on needles and a piece of yarn holding stitches of another one… Only strip 3 is bound off….thanks in advance

  14. Thanks for knitting Building in Color with me! I’m delighted that you wanted to create another blanket while growing your skills. Yes, you need two skeins of A and one skein of B for the panel.

  15. Hello,

    I am beginning Building in Color (I finished my Building Blocks afghan and it turned out beautifully). So, on page 10, when we first start, it says to “work charted design in Color A (two separate skeins are required) and Color B…” Does that mean I need two skeins of Color A in addition to the Color B skein? Sorry, I hope what I am asking makes sense.

    Thank you,

  16. show how to intarsia knit in the round ie; for hats, sometimes my background yarn is too apparent and shows through -how do you fix this?
    thanks and love your expertise!

  17. Purl the first stitch in the new color. Drop the yarn to the front, pick up the old color from underneath and over the new color,and secure it with your left hand. Pick up the new color and purl it, you are now joined and interlocked. Happy knitting!

  18. watched your video on Intarsia – really helpful, as it has been a long time since I have knitted a project with multiple colors. How do you join a new color on the purl side of stockinette stitch to get the interlock?

  19. Yarn estimation is always a tricky part in Intarsia. A quick method is to count the number of stitches within the diamond area. Let’s just say that it has 100 stitches per diamond. Wrap your working yarn around your needle 100 times, unwrap and then measure the length of the yarn. I would add a bit extra but this should get you very close. Good luck!

  20. How would you estimate how much yarn to allow for each diamond in an argyle pattern for a vest? My pattern has 7 contrasting diamonds running across the front, so I assume I’ll need a ball for each diamond and one for each of the original color. I just don’t know if there’s a quick rule for how much yarn to estimate for each ball. This is my first time trying this, and I’m a relatively new knitter. I have found your site so helpful!

  21. I’m sorry that I don’t offer that service at this time. My new book features Intarsia and other color work techniques – it will be available in early 2014.

  22. Please try the Ridgely Part 1 video on your Kindle. It is updated to the latest Youtube codes and my website firm assured me that it would work with Kindles. I am working very diligently to accommodate all electronic devices. Keep me posted:)

  23. Hi Michelle!
    Me again! I just wanted you to know that I still cannot access your video lessons on my kindle fire. I know we’ve been going back and forth before about it, but I guess I’m going to be like a dog with a bone here! LOL! The MAIN purpose by me getting the kindle was for my knitting. Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Oh, I CAN STILL access the video lessons on my phone. It just seems kinda weird to me.

  24. I am an artist, I use knitting to keep my hands busy when I’m sitting in front of the TV with my husband. I’ve become addicted to socks, they are so portable and I usually do just a basic sock. For Christmas this year, I gave socks to all my close friends and family, I probably have enough sock yarn to keep me in socks for the rest of my life, lol. I found your website when I was struggling with following a pattern for short row heels, I think I ripped out the stitches 10 times, at least (I think some people just don’t have a knack for explaining how to do things), and finally got on-line to see if I could find something that explains it much better, thank God! I appreciate it. Now, I will finish this and on to the next, I’m also trying lace socks for the first time, I figured that out, I’m not sure why I was having so much trouble with this, except it’s so much easier to see someone else do it first, thanks.

  25. Thank you. I have a beautiful, teapot cozy, tea towels, hot plate that was given to me and I’ve been trying to do this. Your videos explanations, patience, detail to how to perform these stitches really help and provide a science behind performing the knitting pattern. Thank you from all my heart!!

    Happy Knitting to you!!!

  26. The videos are currently available on my website with internet access. I will have my tech team look into mobile possibilities. I appreciate your comment. Please let me know if you have any questions as you knit the Building Blocks.

  27. I love to use your website on my nook but your website isnt optimized for mobile knitters like me who take her knitting bag and nook full of patterns every where

    I just ordered Building Blocks from FiberWilde and site said your website would have helpful videos i am anxios and thankful for videos very clear teaching method

    Maybe soon could mobilize site?

  28. Thank you for making this so clear. I looked up lots of directions and pulled out lots of my knitting books, and was still confused. I think because I’m a combination knitter (I recently converted from English to continental and then modified that and I think I’m an Annie Modesitt-style combination knitter now) I was twisting the stitches when I added in a color. I think I’ve got the hang of it now, but it is so comforting and reassuring to know I have your video to fall back on if I start having trouble. Thank you, again.

  29. Every time I say to myself, “I wonder how to…” there you have video for it. You’re the best!

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