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Topic: my intarsia is pulling!! help!  (Read 254 times)
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Shortstuff411
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Joined: 20-Feb-2006

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« on: June 13, 2006 03:30:27 PM »

Ok, I've started a big, secret, not to be revealed on here until finished project!!

It's my second time at doing intarsia, and the first go was bad enough, and it was only a simple star on the back of a cardie, in one contrasting colour.

This project has 6 colours, and its all 'a single stitch of one, a couple of another' so I'm going mad, loads of loose ends- which I started to sew in, which I'm now told I shouldn't until I've finished (but I was getting loose stitches, it was messing up my tension etc) Also as I've sewn the ends in, my knitting is now puckered and pulling. HELP!!!  Undecided Which way do I sew in, vertical, or horizontal, I've been told both by different people.  Huh

This could be fab, but it's going to end up looking poo if I don't get any better! I haven't even got to the most complicated bit yet, either.  Roll Eyes
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kiwimum
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006 04:55:22 PM »

If you are only doing one or two stitches then changing colour it sounds more like fairisle to me.  In fairisle you dont keep cutting the thread & restarting, you carry the threads with you across the back of the work as you go.  You need to catch the threads you are not using  on  a particular stitch by bringing the thread you are using around behind them as you make the stitch, so they are held against the back of your work.  You need to catch the threads about every three or four stitches so that the loose threads at the back are not too long.  This makes your work neater, and helps with the tension.

If I were using 6 colours I would alternate which colour I caught, by catching a couple of different ones each stitch or second stitch.  That way you dont get all 5 spare ones caught in the loop of one stitch and it makes the finished work look more even. ( reduces that puckering effect)

With fairisle you do have to be very careful not to pull the carried threads too tight.  They should be loose enough so that when you stretch your work slightly they are not pulling it tight.  It is very easy too have your threads too tight & lose the stretchability of  your work.  Remember loose is  better than tight!

Carrying the spare threads with you as you work  also cuts down greatly on the number of ends to sew in later.  It is best not to sew in your ends till you have finished.  If your first stitch in a particular colour is a little loose, just gently pull it by the loose tail till it is about right.  The second stitch should be fine.  You can adjust the tension of those slightly loose first stitches when you are sewing the  loose tails in later.  Just be sure to leave enough length in the tail of the first stitch so that you can sew it in easily later, and it doesnt come undone as you are working.

When sewing the ends in the same rule applies dont pull the threads too tight leave a little slack so the stretch isnt lost.
Usually I sew in horizontally, but if I have a lot of threads I may sew some in on an upward  or downward slope, just to ensure that the work is not too bulky at the back in one place spread the sewn in threads around.

Carrying 6 threads across your work isnt easy they do tend to wrap around each other & tangle, so you need to stop every few rows & separate them out again.  It makes the knitting go more smoothly if you do. 

Here are some sites that might help:

http://www.bellaknits.com/index_files/colorwork.htm

http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/advanced_techniques/
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