Braving the Bobbins

I am just about old enough *cough* to remember the cheerful, bright intarsia sweaters of the 1980s and because there’s nothing new in fashion, the shops have been full of them again last winter and again this year. Intarsia has been my nemesis for a long time. I learnt stranded knitting really quickly, but intarsia has always felt fiddly and awkward. However, I really want to get this colourwork monkey off my back (which has nothing to do with not knitting but surfing Ravelry for patterns over the past few days, honest! ;-) ).

So here are a few possibilites:


Fat Kitty by Justine Turner


Brendan by Catherine Shields


Snuffle Sweater by Lorna Miser


Sirdar 2399 by Sirdar Spinning Ltd.


First Mate by Kate Bellando

This one reminds me of an Elsa Schiaparelli sweater. :-)

And while I was looking through Ravelry for patterns, Rose spotted and requested this one:


Sirdar 4087 by Sirdar Spinning Ltd.

which a) would never fit under a coat and b) is seriously going to freak you out if you suddenly catch sight of your reflection and see a big grinning bear peering over your shoulder. But it’s very cute. :-)

On the other end of the scale, there are gorgeously intricate sweaters by Kim Hargreaves and of course Kaffe Fassett, but I’m not going to run before I can walk!

A while back, I mentioned that I had bought a copy of Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots:

to try to get me started on intarsia, as there is a LOT of colourwork in the book. And I do love the pirate sweater on the cover. (The dinosaur phase is currently morphing into pirates. We shall not say a word about the stress of knitting a ginat brontosaurus only for it to be rejected for parrots and eyepatches.) It uses only two colours, although I think I’d need to have two or three balls of each colour on some rows, which is the bit that puts me off! Another problem is that, like a lot of patterns in the book, it is knitted in Rowan Handknit Cotton which is a PITA to substitute as it has a tension of 20 stitches x 28 rows to 4 inches. I am going to experiment with some Stylecraft Special DK to see if knitting it at 5 spi makes too loose a fabric.

So either I will have an exciting WIP photo of a skull and crossbones, or I shall never mention this again. :-D

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Braving the Bobbins

  1. That sweater does look like Schiaparelli. Do NOT let Rose look at Ravelry any more! That sweater looks a nightmare. I have the opposite issue. I plunged into intarsia but stranded knitting gives me fits.

  2. I love the elephant sweater, so clever using the arm as a trunk! I too can remember the hideous picture knits of the ’80s!!! Believe it or not, a jumper with a picture knit on the front (a couple of fir trees and a castle if I remember correctly) was the first thing I ever knitted!!

  3. Hi Kate, I have linked to you from my blog, and copied you for the Sirdar cat pattern! Hope you don’t mind this?!
    Have you made a choice yet?

  4. I love the fat kitty jumper.. cute ^..^

  5. That bear sweater is hysterical!!!! Just so ugly, it’s cute….

    Love the pirate sweater….sorry about the giant dinosaur…