Knitting – Intarsia Design

Hi there:) It’s a long weekend here in Ireland, and for once I don’t care that the weather is dull and dreary – I’ve spent it indoors, studying (or cramming to be more truthful!).   I have exams coming up and I cannot wait for them to be over, and for normal life to resume. Sorry if you come here for sewing – it will resume soon -I promise! Unfortunately, the only sewing I’ve done lately has been in my dreams.  There are a few knitting projects on the go – very slowly though – they were a way to unwind over the last few months.

I have a knit tee that I have wanted to copy with a while.(It’s the larger orange top below).  I made an attempt once before , but it derailed into a completely different top – (that would be the much smaller yellow top below!).   The yellow top is still being worn – sometimes knitted clothing magically grows along with the child wearing them!



I’m planning a second attempt, this time with better calculations and more suitable yarn!

Intarsia designing


These are some of the colours I’m going to use –



I’m going to do some type of intarsia design on the front (mixing in different coloured yarns). A quick guide to doing intarsia can be seen here – Intarsia instructions . If anyone has some links to modern/geometric intarsia patterns, please share – I haven’t been able to find any beyond some dodgy eighties styles!

I haven’t found any charts online that I like.  So in typical D.I.Y fashion… I’m attempting to make my own chart. First I knitted a sample swatch using some of my yarn – and counted my rows and stitches over 10cm.



I used my knitting gauge to choose the best size paper.  Ordinary graph paper isn’t suitable for making Intarsia charts, as knit stitches are short and wide instead of perfect squares. Knitters Graph paper can be downloaded for free here- Sweaterscapes Knitters Graph Paper . .

Intarsia design on Knitting graph paper

Intarsia design on Knitters graph paper

It’s a very rough draft – I want to knit a sample to see the actual scale, before I plan it properly.

Plotting an intarsia design

Adding more colours

I’ve cast on another swatch to try out the triangles and see if I like the size – hopefully when I get some time back, I’ll start to make some progress.

Ps – I’m not the only one working on an Intarsia design of my own – another example can be found here 🙂

7 thoughts on “Knitting – Intarsia Design

  1. Wow I love yours!! So kind of you to mention mine. I don’t think it’s going to be everything I dreamed of, but I’m so glad that I’m trying it. I think learning to design well is a long process. You’re going to laugh at me but I drew my own graph paper. I knew that there was knitting graphing grid paper available online as I searched for it a few years ago, but since I don’t have a printer at home… I’m a bit old school. But back to your design: I think it should be straightforward to get a good result with those diagonals. Can’t wait to see how it turns out, as I love the colours and overall feel. PS The yellow top is lovely, in spite of the size glitch. 🙂 Oh and good luck with your school exams.

    • It’s not easy making a finished object match the original vision is it? With almost everything I’ve made, as soon as I’m finished I realise what I could have done to make it better. I just never seem to have the patience to do it again…too many other things that I want to try out. I can understand you drawing your own graph – especially for a motif that doesn’t need too many squares. I’m looking forward to seeing the end result 🙂

  2. The orange and yellow sweaters are super Chris.
    I once knit a child’s jumper with a fair isle pattern and found it exciting as I was able to use cotton and bright colours rather than the usual muted greens and oranges beloved of the 1940s. I made the design up as I went along, so the idea of creating it on special graph paper is interesting and obviously allows any image at all. Amazing.

    • The orange was bought rtw, but I love the simple tee shape. The sleeves are knit on with the main pieces, similar to kimono style in sewing. I have done some fairisle and although slower than regular knitting -it is great to be able to make the colours suit your taste isn’t it? Although the paradox of choice means I’m having trouble deciding on a design to go ahead and knit.

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