Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Our Lady of Intarsia

Dear Kay,
On the way to making my second square for the Afghanalong, I think I may have committed intarsia.
intarsiasquare.jpg
The whole thing started with the idea of orange and gray. I love orange with gray. I thought I’d cook up a quick square bordered in Jo Sharp DK Greggplant (OK I made that up; it’s gray/eggplant), filled with Rowan Kid Classic Juicy. A smooth/fuzzy texture combo. Of course, when I got started, I realized I was going to have to do the unthinkable and add a second ball of Greggplant in order to make the border go up both sides of the square.
Ah, whatever. About halfway through I thought, in my most Kaffeish moment to date, There’s too much Juicy here, so I added some Jo Sharp DK in Greeny Greggplant. Well, that meant not only the Greeny Greggplant but also a second ball of Juicy to make the Juicy fill out the left side of the background, and before you could say Pat Clack* I had five balls of yarn going on this one little square.
I’m exhausted. I need a mojito. But what a hoot to try something different. I have had a pathological fear of intarsia knitting, but now that I’m through this little experiment, I’ve got that evangelical fervor to convert everybody to the Church of Multicolor Knitting. Jump on in, y’all!
Love,
Ann
P.S. No discontinued Rowan Lightweight DK was harmed in the making of this square. You’ll be happy to know that every bit of this yarn is guaranteed 100% leftover from some other project.
P.S.S. The compulsive blocker in me must point out that I haven’t blocked this square, in case you were wondering. Which you weren’t.
*Pat Clack: Notoriously prolific Rowan knitter of elaborate intarsias. Has created the entire cast of Sesame Street in multicolor knitted sweater form. She knits intarsia the way I eat Girl Scout Thin Mints: fast and often.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. You’d never believe how much daydreaming I’m doing about these dang squares. I fall asleep at night plotting new patterns, and yes, some are even intarsia. You’ve got me so inspired now that I may a ctually knit one up!

  2. Pat is, I believe, also a veter of Kaffe Fasset knitting. She has actually knit the KF ‘Foolish Virgins’ sweater……

  3. Well done, Ann! I have to warn you though, intarsia is addictive. Before you know it your *more will be on the back burner while you struggle through the whole zoo of Sesame Street. Wouldn`t Clif just love a sweater with Big Yellow Bird…??

  4. Could we have mojitos at the sew bees?

  5. And what a gorgeous square it is too ! Perfectly executed intarsia.Clever knitter. :0)

  6. It’s very reassuring to see all these pictures of others’ squares. ‘Specially the ones that aren’t quite perfect, since I keep going through my little stack and wondering if any will be rejected on the basis of being not qui-i-ite 8″, or not exactly square … Swatching and blocking are not my favourite activities, but I’m persevering.
    Gotta say, though, I made a grey one when I read people’s comments about how nice grey could be, and that is one dull, ugly square despite the lovely moss stitch. Bleah.

  7. That March 1st deadline, that is postmarked by, yes? Two sick kids going on 8 days of house arrest kept me from escaping to the post office for five minutes of sanity (ironic, isn’t it). And why isn’t there a Mason Dixon Afghanalong Button? Someone in the Mason Dixon congregation must be able to come up with something swipable!

  8. Amy,
    Remain. Calm. Do not get yourself in a lather running to the post office. The bad news is, we are following a ‘received by’ rule so that on the first of each month, people can find out who got the Ultra Fab Yarn that month (and also so I don’t have to wonder when to stop waiting for the USPS to deliver the mail it got on March 1, which in NYC can be a long, long time). But the good news is, there’s more Ultra Fab Yarn in them thar hills! On April 1 we will be drawing again, and on the first of the month thereafter until at least August 1. Equally ultra, equally fab, guaranteed.
    More good news: There IS going to be an Afghanalong button. The people have risen up and demanded a button. Our copine en France, la belle Marie qui tricote comme un ange, in other words, our pal Marie who knits like an angel, and is in fact an angel, is making us one. Stay tuned.
    Marnie: We are not going to comment on your comment that some squares are not quite perfect. In the lovin’ eyes of Ann and Kay, what is Not Quite Perfect is Perfectly OK. Sure–We appreciate the 8 inch squares that are both 8 inches and square, but we cherish those that are one or the other, or almost one or almost the other. We are going to fix up any lil’ discrepancies through clever sewing up, and we may even log-cabin borders onto the ones that are a bit petite. And those we can’t fix up, we will put all together into one blanket, think up some Kaffe-ish name like ‘Tumbling Afghan Trapezoids’, or a Gee’s Bend name like Lazy Gal My Way, and that blanket will probably be the best in show. And don’t worry about that ‘bleah’ gray square. We’ll put it next to an orange one and it will SING!
    Ann–way to intarsia. Way to reduce, re-use and recycle. It will be perfect for the Citrus & Cement blanket.
    It is fun, fun, fun to see the squares coming in. Really enjoying these end-of-the-month trips to the mailbox. Love, Kay

  9. Marnie, I have the same problem with my squares. Finally I gritted my teeth and boxed ‘em up — flaws and all. If I hadn’t, I’d have wound up with four blue squares at my house forever and never managed to participate in what looks like a very fun and enjoyable knitalong.
    Ann and Kay seem like nice people. I do not think they will shout the flaws in my squares to the heavens. I think they’ll be like “Hey, we’re doing a knitalong and people are actually participating. How cool is that?” Anyway, that’s what I think.
    Come on, send off some squares. You know you want to. :)

  10. Kay, I could pound my fists and run to fed ex, but I think I will block my squares, finish the log cabining I used to bring my square up to the 8×8 guideline and put them in the mail to you on Monday and be an early bird for April’s contest.

  11. When Rowenta the steamy finishes with these squares, they will all look divine. Of course, I look for Citrus and Cement, the next big Rowan colorway. ;)

  12. Ann: Ah, intarsia. Seductive little paint-by-numbers approach to knitting, isn’t it? Every time I do an intarsia sweater I am reminded that I do not really like “picture knitting,” that I am really happiest as a stockinette-aran-fair isle gal, and swear never to do it again, and then, within months, a new intarsia or Kaffe project creeps its way into my stash. I love your square. It’s very modern art.

  13. Thomas–For those who wonder what a sweater called “Foolish Virgins” might look like, here it is:
    http://www.velona.com/items/501/K50152.html
    It is one of the wickedest intarsia patterns anywhere. Pat is amazing.
    And Evelyn–I’m with you. Rhythm is what knitting is all about, and that’s why I wasn’t intrigued by intarsia which looks like nothing but fiddling. But on something as simple as a geometric pattern (and granted, my one dinky square is pretty geometric), the rhythm is easy enough to find. I think I’d get frustrated on a pattern that requires stitch-by-stitch color changes. It is paint-by-numbers, isn’t it?

  14. Evelyn and Ann–try the Tumbling Blocks pillow kit for The Best of Intarsia. It’s rhythmic and it’s fun to see the differences that result from changing which color is next to which. Of COURSE it’s also fiddly, but in a satisfying, I-know-what-comes-next way. I’ve decided, for now, that I don’t want to do any more stitch-by-stitch intarsia knitting. I spend far more time looking at the chart than knitting. And it’s worse than paint-by-numbers, because at least with that you don’t have to look at a chart to see where the paint GOES. Foolish Virgins–just mind boggling. Ditto for China Clouds. Every row is different. Think about that. Every row is different!!! [Staring into space, unable to comprehend the enormity of that statement.] xox Kay

  15. Nice intarsia Ann! Love all the squares you’re getting in….do you get as many chances to win equal to the number of squares you contribute?
    My squares are a’comin!
    BTW, Mojitos *are* knitting water here in Florida :)