I want to share a nifty trick with you. I’ve discovered how to replace a block of intarsia knitting without ripping everything out. After knitting most of the back of the Lucy design I decided I didn’t like my colour choices. I wanted to swap out the turquoise for a rich bright pink. Instead of ripping all the way back (the cast on edge also needed to be changed), I decided to try a little experiment and replace just the turquoise areas without ripping out any of the other knitting.
Quite some time back I read about Rick Mondragon‘s sliding loop technique as an alternative to working intarsia. I was sure the technique could also be used to replace an intarsia section of colour just like this. I was able to track down the article in Great Knits edited by Threads and the technique was more recently published in Knitter’s but I can’t find my issue.
Ripping out the offending turquoise really helped me see where to insert the needle when I try out the new technique. It will become clear a few steps from now and you may want to scroll back up to take a closer look at these photos (click to enlarge).
With all the turquoise gone, notice how the edge of the purple is just a simple stocking stitch edge – no special edge treatment like a slipped st or a garter st edging. This is key.
Step 1: Knit across the row towards the block of knitting to which you’ll be joining.
Step 2: Find the little twisted st on the edge that sort of looks like a little knot and slip the needle into it. This is where studying the path of the yarn when I frogged it earlier came in handy.
Step 3: Pull a loop of yarn through and enlarge it. This becomes the working yarn for the WS row and then the following RS row.
Step 4: Turn the work and start purling back using the big loop of yarn as your working yarn.
Step 5: Next row (knit row) is still worked with the big loop of yarn that was pulled through the purple edge.
Step 6: When you get to the end of the knit row, pull on the working yarn until the loop disappears. Start again at Step 2 pulling a new loop out of the next “knot” on the purple edge.
Et voila, the pink now replaces the turquoise. I’ll be using this trick again, I’m sure! Next time I’ll show you how to get rid of the bottom 6 rows and replace them with another colour.