In the list of words that strike fear into a good number of knitters, intarsia comes not too far after moths. Despite the dread, here we intrepid band of Boost Your Knitting adventurers go, headlong into knitting intarsia in the round [audible gasps ring out, a woman faints]. […]
The blocking thread has finally been pulled free of my Brambling Shawl, and the finished piece is ready for a photograph, even if I have to pull a few funny shapes so that I can stand back far enough from it to get the whole […]
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.
I have finished piecing together and adding the finishing touches to my latest FO, Kaffe Fassett’s Tumbling Blocks cushion. This is my first full scale intarsia project. Knitting the intarsia was not difficult at all, but it can test the patience. The key to success […]
I have finished the knitting section of my Tumbling Blocks cushion project and have diligently weaved in the 138 yarn ends. The cushion front has had a swim in a bath of Soak wool wash and is now blocking to a perfect 16×16″ square.
I am wet blocking the cushion front, rather than follow the pattern instruction to ‘Press carefully using a warm iron over a damp cloth’, because I am not domesticated enough to own an iron. I did own one once, but decided that it was never in use so threw it away. I know, I am a domestic goddess in every sense.
I am eagerly awaiting the cushion front being dry and so find myself checking it every half hour or so, even though it was still quite damp when I checked on it this morning. The blocking mats have done an entire tour of my room through the day as I move it from one warm and breezy spot to another as the sun makes it’s trip across the summer sky.
I just can’t wait for the next step in the making up process, where I get to sit down with my knitted cushion front, piece of co-ordinating fabric for the cushion back (a section of cloth included in the kit) and a zip I managed to lay my hands on.
I have a sewing machine (yes, that’s right. I have a sewing machine; in fact I have two sewing machines and yet no iron) but I think I am going to hand sew this project together. I have hand-sewn since I was about 6 years old. My Nan was a seamstress and taught me how to sew and embroider. Even she was amazed at the neatness and precision of my tiny stitches when I was younger, so it is something that I have always felt comfortable with and enjoyed. I find it relaxing and calming, and I think that will be the perfect way to finish this cushion which has been an exercise in patience.