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Monday, May 31, 2010

The Knitting Fiend » Blog Archive » How To Twist Yarns When Changing Colors.

A friend found this link for me, solves my changing colors dilemma on the Alaska Jacket X's!!
Posted on 11.04.05 by lucia @ 4:19 pm
Having shown several intarsia sweaters from the 80’s I thought I’d better demonstrate how to work this technique, especially since the recent edition of Vogue Knitting shows a tasteful use of this technique.
Intarsia is a traditional knitting technique used knitting multi-color patterns with isolated blobs of color. Typical examples include the diamonds on Argyle sweaters, but this technique can be used create free form designs which look like pictures of some sort.
When knitting intarsia the sweater pattern will generally include a gridded chart to illustrate the picture. Each box on the grid will indicate a color to be worked. Because the grid looks like the picture, this part of the instructions is generally obvious; intermediate knitters often cast on and begin to knit.
Often, they discover the not-so-obvious part of intarsia.
How do you change colors without leaving holes? Checking the instructions, they will read something like “Be sure to twist yarns when changing colors”.
It’s actually very easy to do. Still, I think it helps to look at the front and back of a bit of intarsia before trying the technique. Examine the two pictures immediately below. Notice the blue and very light pink regions are side by side, but they two regions appear to be linked on the back side.

Obviously, you want the two side by side colors to be linked; this is the purpose of “twisting” the yarns.
Here’s how I twist the yarns:
When purling across the row, start with one color; here I began with the light pink yarn. Purl until you reach the point where you need to work with the other color (which in this case is blue.) Insert the tip of the right needle to purl. Drop the the pink yarn. The blue yarn will be dangling on the left. Pick it up, take it below the pink yarn and move it to the right. Now, raise the blue yarn, and wrap to purl. work the stitch.
In the photo, you can see the pink yarn labled “1″; I moved the blue yarn to the right, passing it behind pink, then raised and wrapped the blue yarn around the right needle tip. See the blue yarn slanting from the lower right to the upper left? When I raised and wrapped the blue yarn around the needle, it passed in front of the pink yarn. So, the blue yarn is wrapped or twisted around the pink yarn.
When I purl the next stitch this, I try to make sure I tighten the yarn so the interlinked region is nice ans snug, and the new blue stitch is the same size as the other stitches. I find if I’m not careful, the new stitches tend to be a bit loose, which is not what I want.
So, now, you give this a try. After you change colors, notice the two yarns twist around each other causing the regions to link together.
Now, work across the row.
When changing colors working a knit side facing row, you do pretty much the same thing; it’s just more difficult to photograph what’s happening.

I knit across with blue, when I reached the stitch that needed to be pink. I inserted my right needle tip as to knit and dropped the blue yarn. I picked it the dangling pink yarn up and moved it to the right passing between the blue yarn and the fabric on the needles. Then I raised the blue yarn, wrapped and knit the stitch.
Once you do this a two or three times, you’ll figure out you can just sort of toss the yarn to the left when you are dropping it, and grab the new yarn from “underneath”. The work will interlock automatically.
Of course, I know what you’re asking: “How can I tell if I do it right?” If the strands of yarn link together , you’re doing it right!

I am happy to announce I have ripped out the entire pattern rows, and am now back to the middle row of the NEW X's. The changing colors is not puckering as before. Pictures to follow, once I've got it done :D

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Sandra. Glad this is working for you. Knitsforpreemies