Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Clearly the editors at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online are not knitters. Check out their pronunciation of "intarsia." You can click on the little speaker symbol to hear it. Weird, huh? Or is this the way it should be pronounced? I've never heard it like that.

I had my partner the speech professor correct it to the way I pronounce it. Now that I can say it, let's hope that I can do it. Because I've launched into the argyle socks that I've been planning.

The electric blue is out altogether after consulting with some fellow knitters. I was convinced that yellow was the way to go. And despite my aversion to wearing the brightest of bright colors, my fellow knitters were right. This was definitely the color to use. It really pops, but not in an obnoxious way. The yellow is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Sunflower, which is noticeably thicker than the Lang Jawoll Superwash that I'm using for the other colors. I think the cross-hatching lines would be neater and tidier if they were of a similar size, but it's not too bad.

I've done only one other intarsia project in my relatively short knitterly life, and that was with thicker yarn -- and many, many fewer color blocks. I wasn't really planning on using bobbins -- I thought that I could get by with just making some little butterflies at the back. But now that I have the bobbins, I'm very grateful for them.

And this is how this particular sausage is made. Terrifying, no? Because there are parts of five solid diamonds being worked at any time, and there are four yellow one-stitch-wide lines traveling across the fabric, this piece requires 9 bobbins across only 70 stitches. It's a lot to keep up with. I'm really only using 7 bobbins, though. Since the gray yarn doesn't have to be broken, I'm trying to just knit those two sections off the ball of yarn. Believe me, there will be plenty of ends to weave in without them.

I know this looks scary, but it's actually kind of fun. The most difficult thing about the process is remembering to twist the yarn when switching colors. It doesn't help that twisting looks different on the two edges of a color block. But it's really not all that complicated. You only ever have one strand in your hand at a time, and you don't have to be nearly as conscious of tension issues (not to mention carrying floats) as is required in stranded knitting.

So far, so good. Spring break is coming up, so I hope to have some time to devote to this.


  1. in TAR see ya? I've never heard it said that way. And I"ve only done a couple of little projects with intarsia, and found it daunting. And argyle is particularly scary, so I can't wait to see yours!

  2. What I love is how you cv\an take blue, red, and yellow, and still end up with something that seems muted and manly...

  3. oops, "can", not "cv\an"! In my defense, the \ is right below the backspace key, and I type about as well as a four year old with ADD.

  4. That looks amazing - I think the yellow was such a good choice! I have never done instarsia, but you are making it seem a little less scary...hmmm...

  5. Wow. You're a brave knitter. It looks about as complex as lace-making.

  6. LL Shepherd Sock in Sunflower? I have 2 pairs of shooting stockings (for "gentleman" and "preschooler") in that exact yarn! Nice choice.