The second month’s instalment of A Year of Techniques focusses on the favourite skill of 1980s jumper fans: Intarsia. Bristol Ivy’s Brambling Shawl sets out to separate intarsia’s reputation away from images of a grinning Giles Brandreth in a striking and bold colourblock design.
Knit in five different shades of Fyberspate’s Cumulus yarn, the pattern uses a clever pairing of increases and decreases along the intersecting lines of colour to create very gentle curves of colour whilst only ever having to twist yarns together in vertical columns of colour.
Brambling is a fantastic example of a perfect pairing of yarn and pattern. Though the fluffy alpaca and silk yarn is occasionally difficult to work with, wanting to grab onto itself like a deranged lobster, the beautiful lightness and generous halo is both forgiving on the intarsia colour borders and minimises the impact of the raised decrease lines, allowing the colours to hug each other and the colours to remain in centre focus.
Three quarters of the way into this knit, the project feels as light as air and as each colour is broken off in turn it feels like a sprint finish is underway.