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Topic: intarsia bunching  (Read 3686 times)
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sukhers
« on: July 07, 2005 08:05:44 AM »

I am trying to knit a dishtowel using intarsia and a christmas tree pattern. For some reason when I am carrying the yarn in the back it is causing the picture (tree) to bunch up. I am leaving the yarn loose too. Does anyone have any suggestions or know why this is happening. I am new at this and learned of snb. Thanks!
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monstergirl
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2005 10:56:12 AM »

I've had the same problem, and for me, the answer is leave *way* too much of a float at the back (i.e., as I knit I think, "this can't possibly be right! that's too much extra yarn!")...I knit loose anyway, but with intarsia for some reason I pull it tighter than I should. At the end of a few rows, I'll pull my knitting sideways and everything works itself out.

If you're knitting in the round, you can knit it inside-out (i.e., purl every row, so the design shows up inside and the floats are on the outside) and this will loosen your gauge and prevent bunching. I did this for a pair of fair isle FuzzyFeet I made for my boy.

Good luck!
peace
monstergirl
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fiber_freak
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ruthee in Jacksonville -- Proud Knitting Bitch =)


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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2005 11:08:09 AM »


If you're knitting in the round, you can knit it inside-out (i.e., purl every row, so the design shows up inside and the floats are on the outside) and this will loosen your gauge and prevent bunching. I did this for a pair of fair isle FuzzyFeet I made for my boy.

Good luck!
peace
monstergirl

Holy meatwallet....what a great idea!  I want to do a skull scarf that is knit in the round as a tube and that kicks!

ruthee
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starlings
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2005 12:21:03 PM »

I think you are mixing up fair isle/stranded knitting and intarsia.

Intarsia doesn't use floats. It is a flat knitting technique used for creating areas of secondary colour surrounded by a main colour.  If your christmas tree is a single motif, or if there are more than one but they're separated by more than 5-7 stitches of the main colour, then intarsia is the technique for you. In intarsia, you knit with your main colour until you reach and area of contrasting colour. Then you attach the new colour, drop the main colour, work the contrasting stitches, then drop the contrasting colour and attach a new bobbin or ball of the main colour. Each "island" of colour - main or contrasting - is knitted with a separate bobbin of that colour.

Many people learning this technique find it difficult to understand why it is preferable NOT to carry the main colour of yarn across the back, even when you're just doing a couple of stitches in the contrasting colour. But it really does look WAY better done this way. If you remember to twist the two yarns together at each transition, you'll end up with a back that is presentable and a fabric that lies perfectly flat. Here are some great intarsia tips:

http://www.needlebeetle.com/free/handtips.htm

If your christmas tree pattern is small and repeats horizontally, then you can use the fair isle or stranded technique, but this is generally a circular method. This is the technique in which you carry the inactive yarn across the back of your work, but rarely for more than several stitches.

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rocketlettuce
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2005 12:30:57 PM »

thanks for that clarification, Starlings. I, too, have struggled w/ intarsia and had such poor results that i don't even want to do it now! maybe it's because i've floated the yarn across and either not wrapped the two colors enough or wrapped them too much.

so with this example, say you're doing many rows of green background, then start the red Xmas tree stump w/ red. you do five stitches of red w/ a red bobbin, then use a new green bobbin for the other side of the stump. when you turn and get back to the red, use that red bobbin. you use the red bobbin for the whole Xmas tree but you have two bobbins of green going. is that correct??

also when you attach the new color bobbin, do you just tie it on to the existing yarn w/ a square knot?

thanks in advance! i'd love to be able to do nice intarsia for my winter knitting projects!!
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sukhers
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2005 12:54:51 PM »

OK I am knitting a solid piece of red, and the center is a green christmas tree flat. So I think that means that I should do intarsia. So I should have two things of red, one on my right, green yarn  bobbin in the middle, and then another red on my left. I just change colors by picking up and wrapping the yarn around the new one. So when I get to the top of my tree and the rest is all red, would I just pretend like I was changing colors and start a new red yarn with the ball? I dont know if any of that makes sense, but I think that is what I should be doing? Is that right? Thank you so much guys. I am so eager to make all different things, but there is no one around me that knows how to knit, so I am forced to learn from the web and books. The thing that sucks is I learn so much better from watching someone do it.
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starlings
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2005 01:01:45 PM »

so with this example, say you're doing many rows of green background, then start the red Xmas tree stump w/ red. you do five stitches of red w/ a red bobbin, then use a new green bobbin for the other side of the stump. when you turn and get back to the red, use that red bobbin. you use the red bobbin for the whole Xmas tree but you have two bobbins of green going. is that correct??

Yes! And if you wanted to drive yourself crazy and work little areas of blue, yellow, etc for decorations on the tree, not only would you have a separate bobbin for each of those, but you'd have a red bobbin for the tree area on either side of each of them, like this:


ggggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggg
ggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggg
ggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyrrgggggggggggggg
gggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyrrggggggggggggg
ggggggggggrrrbbbrrrrrrrrrryyyrrrrgggggggggggg
gggggggggrrrbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggg
preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', 'ggggggggrrrrrrbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggg')
ggggggggggggggggrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggg
ggggggggggggggggrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggg

So to the right and left of the b and y areas you're using separate bobbins of r. Notice that you'd actually use 3 bobbins of r in one of the rows.

also when you attach the new color bobbin, do you just tie it on to the existing yarn w/ a square knot?

No. No knots! Knots bad! Weaving good! You can leave a nice generous tail (about 5-6 inches) to weave in later. If you're worried about it coming apart in the meantime, you can temporarily knot them together. When you're ready to weave the ends in, undo the knot and fiddle around with the two stitches at the transition point to make them look as nice as possible.

OK I am knitting a solid piece of red, and the center is a green christmas tree flat. So I think that means that I should do intarsia.
that's right.

So when I get to the top of my tree and the rest is all red, would I just pretend like I was changing colors and start a new red yarn with the ball? I dont know if any of that makes sense, but I think that is what I should be doing? Is that right? 

Yes. Start the row after the last intarsia row with yarn from the ball, unless you have enough left in the bobbin to complete the row all the way across.

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sukhers
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2005 01:08:57 PM »

oh I love it. I could see all my yarns getting tangled, but it sounds like it would look so much better, esp. in the back of my work. Thank you so much for your help. I am going to try it asap.
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rocketlettuce
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my mommy is craftier than yer mommy! rice pudding!


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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2005 02:46:50 PM »

yes, thank you so much, starlings, for the help!

one more question. when you twist the two strand of yarn do you do just red over green and then knit or do you do red over and under (or over and around) green and then knit?
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starlings
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2005 09:44:44 PM »

Rocketlettuce: Lay the old strand over the new one, then knit with the new strand. It should come from behind the old one, securing the transition point. That's the extent of the twisting - one little embrace will hold it all together. Do it that way consistently.

Sukhers: The best way to avoid tangling is by either leaving the yarn hanging, not wound into bobbins at all (best for small areas of colour), or by winding it into centre-pull "butterflies" on your fingers. Those plastic bobbin thingys they sell at yarn stores are dumb. You wind butterflies by winding the yarn into a mini-hank around your spread out index and middle fingers, then taking it off your fingers and wrapping the yarn around the middle of the hank (as if to make a waist). Then you secure the end of the yarn with a final backward loop around the waist of the butterfly.  Pull the inner end. It should come out nicely without undoing the butterfly. That will be your working end.
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