Simply Knitting - - Ask The Experts -


Q What does it mean when a pat­tern says to ‘make bob­bins’ for in­tar­sia knit­ting? How do I ac­tu­ally do that?

Maria Wil­son, via email

Bob­bins are small balls of yarn pulled from the main ball that con­tain enough yarn to work each block of colour in an in­tar­sia pat­tern. Ide­ally, you want the per­fect amount: not too short or you’ll need to tie more in when it runs out, and not so much that you have lots of yarn left over that might go to waste. You can make an es­ti­mate about how much yarn you’ll need by mea­sur­ing the width of your stitch in cm, mul­ti­ply­ing this by the num­ber of stitches in a cer­tain block, and that num­ber by three (as stitches take about three times their width in lengths of yarn). Wrap the yarn around a bobbin and tie it so it doesn’t un­ravel. You can buy wooden and plas­tic bob­bins or make your own with sturdy card. Al­ter­na­tively, fol­low the steps be­low to wind the yarn into but­ter­flies. To pre­vent tan­gling, un­ravel small amounts of yarn at a time to knit the stitches in a row, then rewind it close to your work at the end of the row.

The dog on this jumper from is­sue 88 of Sim­ply Knit­ting is knit­ted in in­tar­sia

3 Pull the yarn from the cen­tre of the bobbin (not the knot­ted end) a lit­tle at a time and keep it as close to the work as pos­si­ble to avoid tan­gling.

2 Re­move yarn from fin­gers and cut the yarn. Wind yarn end around the cen­tre of the fig­ure of eight and se­cure tightly with a knot.

1 Wrap yarn around two fin­gers in the form of a fig­ure of eight.

Projects which use the in­tar­sia method look like this from be­hind

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