Intarsia Knitting Technique
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Intarsia Knitting Technique

How to guide to use the Intarsia knitting technique.

A common practice when knitting a piece that combines colors is to carry the old yarn color over the new color. This can cause some problems on the finished piece. The overlaid yarn can get easily caught in jewelry or buttons and will snag the rest of the stitches. Another problem with the overlaid yarn is that it can be too tight, thus causing bumps on the otherwise smooth knitted surface.

 The Intarsia technique can help avoid these problems, giving a cleaner finished piece and saving on the total amount of yarn used. This technique can be applied on items with the argyle pattern, as well as with different geometric blocks of colors within the knitted piece.

 The following instructions will help illustrate this technique. The finished piece will be a square within a square. Please note that by using Intarsia, the knitted piece will not have holes between the different yarn colors.


  • Knitting Needles
  • Yarn Color A
  • Yarn Color B
  • Bobbin with Yarn Color A
  • Bobbin with Yarn Color B

(Different from thread bobbins since these can hold the yarn and help avoid the different colors become tangled)

Step One:

Knit 30 stitches with Yarn Color A. From rows 1 to 10 continue with the same pattern and color.

Step Two:

On row 11, knit 10 stitches with Yarn Color A. On stitch number 11, use the Yarn Color B already in its bobbin. Continue until stitch number 20.

Step Three:

On row 11, stitch number 21; change back to Yarn Color A. For this change use the yarn in the bobbin, do not use the yarn that was left back in stitch number 10.

Step Four:

On row 12, you will use the same colors in the same pattern. In order to prevent holes when the different colors change you need to place the old yarn color over the new one and continue knitting. This will make the stitches lock within each other. Continue with the same pattern until row 20.

Step Five:

On row 21, you will knit the complete row using Yarn Color A only, do not use the yarns on the bobbins. Continue until row 30.

Step Six:

Once you have finished with the piece, you will notice leftover strands from the bobbins and the shape might look a little loose. To fix this, gently pull the tail ends of the strands until the stitches are neat and flat. Then weave in the strands in order to lock them and use small knots if necessary.

The end result will be a quality knitted piece with blocks of color.

Additional resources:

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Comments (2)

Voted up. Very interesting

you explained it very well.