Intarsia in the round

I’m working toward a video showing how it’s done. I’ve got everything I need in place, I just need to get the filming and editing done.

Someone on Facebook requested instruction on intarsia in the round. After going to the work of writing out a description I thought I’d share it here. Intarsia in the round really isn’t knit in the round, it’s knit back and forth with one of the color changes acting as the direction change. It *looks* like it’s in the round but it’s really flat work that isn’t.

There is one rule for handling color changes for intarsia. The old yarn goes over the top of the new yarn. That’s the rule. The yarn you’ve been knitting with gets crossed over the top of the next yarn to be knit. That’s the rule and not following the rule gives a less than ideal result. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.

For intarsia “in the round” you have to change direction or cut your yarn every round. That’s a truly ugly idea so . . . here’s how to change directions and make it look like you didn’t. Once you’ve got it you’ll see it really very simple. All you have to do is reverse the direction of  the yarn is cross. The color beyond where you’re changing direction has to be crossed over the top of the yarn you will be using to knit back the other direction. Let me give you a picture to show you what I mean.

In the picture I’m working clockwise. I have crossed the navy yarn over the orange yarn which is the next color I will knit.

Look at the blue yarn at the bottom. If you look closely you can see the tail has been caught in the navy yarn. When I changed direction I took the yarn beyond my direction change (navy), drop it across my working yarn (blue) and trap it. Then I turned my work and again worked the blue yarn. This leaves a big loop of the yarn beyond the direction change that will get worked when I get back to that color going the opposite direction. It’s really that simple. Reverse the rule, cross the color beyond the change over the top of the color you’re working, reverse direction and knit on!

Look at where the orange and navy yarns have crossed on the work. See how they form two columns of color? That produces the best appearance inside and out. If you cross the yarn incorrectly you will get a horizontal bar of color instead of a vertical bar. It will also look less cohesive on the right side of the work. Always cross old yarn over new when not changing direction. Always cross working yarn under the tail of the yarn beyond the change when changing direction.

As I work clockwise I will come to the working end of the blue yarn. I will work it as usual pulling the yarn I need through the navy loop where it is caught. When all the blue stitches are worked I will cross the navy yarn tail OVER the blue (do not forget to do this or you will have a hole), creating a navy loop. Then I will turn my work and work back the opposite direction with the blue yarn.

Every direction change *must* have a yarn new yarn crossing to pair with the previous or you will have a hole.