Intarsia Knitting Tips & Techniques

July 21, 2019 2 min read

Intarsia Knitting Tips & Techniques

Intarsia (also sometimes called picture knitting) is a technique used in one of our newest patterns from the Impressionist Collection: the Faded Flare Wrap by Heidi Gustad. This technique allows you to create areas of colour in any shape in your knitting.

Faded Flare Wrap by Heidi Gustad; Photo Credit: Gale ZuckerThe Faded Flare Wrap uses vivid, contrasting colours, intarsia, and fading between colours to paint a vivid picture with yarn. If you’ve never knit intarsia before, now is the time to start! Today, we’ll share some of our favourite tutorials and tips to help you successfully master this technique. 

Finished Intarsia Swatch

We recommend starting with a simple swatch like the one demonstrated here and in the designer’s tutorial video which you can watch below. This will help you practice the techniques needed to complete a bigger project such as the Faded Flare Wrap, plus you can also experiment with your preferred method for weaving in ends (more on that later).


As mentioned in the video above, you’ll need to make smaller balls of yarn to work the colour sections:

Smaller balls of yarn for Intarsia knitting

The key to successful Intarsia knitting is to interlock the strands with each other as you change colour to avoid gaps. Following the swatch chart found here on Heidi’s blog, we’ve knitted the first row of the Intarsia pattern:

Intarsia swatch in progress - yarns labeled

When changing colors, there is a three-step method for crossing the strands to reduce gaps; the key is to bring the colour you just finished working with to the left, then bring the new colour up from underneath. 

Intarsia knitting - how to twist yarns to avoid gaps

It’s really that simple! The only tricky part is managing all of those yarn tails, but the more you practice, the easier it gets (we promise!). Once your swatch is done, the wrong side of your swatch will look something like this:

Wrong side of Intarsia swatch with yarn ends

The important thing is to make sure that any gaps are closed up as you weave in your yarn tails, so pay special attention to those areas. You can refer to our tutorial on using duplicate stitch to weave in yarn ends, or check out this tutorial on the Hands Occupied blog

Wrong side of Intarsia swatch with yarn ends woven in

We can’t wait to see your finished Faded Flare Wraps and other Intarsia projects using our yarns! Please share them with us using the #ZenYarnGarden hashtag on Instagram, and follow @zenyarngarden to see more of our products and projects.

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Intarsia Knitting Tips & Tricks on the Zen Yarn Garden Blog


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