Have you ever wished you could rip back just one section of an intarsia project? Well then, I have a nifty trick for you!
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. I replaced just the turquoise block of colour 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. The technique was also published in Knitter’s.
Unravel Unwanted Colour
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.
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.
Join new colour and knit across the row towards the block of knitting to which you’ll be joining.
With right side facing, 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.
Pull a loop of yarn through and enlarge it. This is the sliding loop and becomes the working yarn for the wrong side row and then the following right side row.
Turn the work and with wrong side facing, start purling back using the big loop of yarn as your working yarn.
The next row, a right side row is worked still using the big loop of yarn that was pulled through the purple edge.
When you get to the end of the right side row, pull on the working yarn until the loop disappears. Repeat from Step 2, pulling a new loop out of the next “knot” on the purple edge.
Et voila, the pink has replaced 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.