Also called picture knitting, Intarsia is a technique used to create areas of color in your knitting. It’s a wonderful method to use when you want to incorporate a variety of designs, shapes and color to your project.

It creates a lightweight fabric because unlike other forms of color work such as, stranded color work, mosaic knitting or Fair Isle, the knitted fabric is created using only one strand of yarn. With this technique, there’s no need to carry your color yarns. You simply use a separate ball or yarn bobbin for each block of color.

Best Yarns for Intarsia

Knitting in untreated wool is best for intarsia. Yarns such as super wash, cotton, silk or synthetics can be too slippery and can create tension problems. Untreated wool is much more forgiving.

Charts and Graphs

This technique is usually produced by following a chart row by row. Remember that the grids on knitting charts aren’t squared blocks. They’re more rectangle. Using the correct graph paper virtually insures that your design will be knit in proper proportion. 

You can find FREE knitting graph paper HERE


  • Limitless design possibilities 
  • You don’t have to carry your yarns
  • Creates a single thickness fabric


  •  Lots and lots of weaving in ends. LOTS 
  • Tangled yarn and bobbins
  • Must constantly be aware of tension to avoid gaps and pulling


You can achieve the same effect with duplicate stitch, but be aware of the pulling and sagging caused by the double thickness.


For more information abd study, I recommend these two resources:

  1. Introduction to Intarsia by Sandi Rosner at Twist Collective 
  2. Intarsia Basics and Beyond by Sally Melville at Craftsy 

Sticks & String,