Friday, July 4, 2014

Intarsia Part 2

This entry will be brief.  I didn't look at the calendar when I promised finish up the intarsia tip this week, not that I have any big plans other than cooking and knitting.

Just when I thought I was finished winding balls of yarn....I realized I hadn't thought about table decorations so I got some yarn in the colors of the conference literature and here we go again.

I looked at the calendar and realized that the conference is coming up soon and I haven't put my handouts together for the two classes I am teaching.  One of my students has taken me up on my offer to do the homework (for a fee) so I have that to do as well.  I know what I will be doing next week.  One of my classes is sold out which is nice.  I am teaching the two day finishing course.  I am always surprised that students don't sign up for both days.  Day 1 is sold out but there are a few spots left in Day 2.  I will do some homework in case there are last minute sign ups.

The number of students that sent in lessons and signed up for the courses have really dropped off this month. It is officially summer vacation time.  

Last week's tip was the introduction to intarsia.  The technique itself isn't difficult.  What makes intarsia a challenge is yarn management and tension issues.  As I said last week, I've always found diagonal designs in intarsia the most satisfying.  The tension seems easier to control.  Where I've had difficulty is on vertical columns.  Tension at the color joins can be difficult.  When you begin and end rows, tension can be an issue.  Changing colors in a vertical line is a lot like beginning and ending rows.  The key thing is to avoid pulling the yarn tightly when changing colors.  When you do this, you pull yarn from several of the stitches just knit, not just the last one.  Using just your needle tips helps as well.  Another thing you can try is to wrap the yarn the opposite way for the new stitch which means you have to work it through the back on the next row.  I've tried all of these and have found them somewhat helpful but the best way to fix the tension is to look at the work when you are done BEFORE you have woven in the yarn tails and to use a tapestry needle to manipulate the stitches.  For that reason, I don't weave in my yarn tails until the piece is done.  Yes, this is a gigantic pain as it would be much more pleasant to do it as you go along but you have more control over the piece if you do it this way.  The videos shows the techniques I tried.  Vertical Intarsia

This photograph show the RS of the intarsia design.  Notice that the tension on the right side is slightly better than the left side.  I haven't fixed the left side yet.  Next week I will do a video on clean up and weaving in the yarn tails.

Here is a photograph of the WS.  Notice how the colors are interlocked at the join.  If you don't follow the rule of picking up the new color under and to the right, you will get holes.

Salon will be on Saturday from 1:30 to 3:30.  I have to drive to the airport late in the afternoon.  

I finished one sock.  I've changed the name to thigh highs.  They are longer than over the knee.  I haven't blocked the first one yet.  I'm hoping to finish the second on early this week.  

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