How to Do the Intarsia Technique for Crocheting

Written by susanne koenig
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How to Do the Intarsia Technique for Crocheting
Using intarsia in crochet will enable you to make multicoloured eye-catching objects. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Intarsia is a technique in both knitting and crochet that creates designs and patterns by alternating a background colour of yarn with different coloured strands. Creating intarsia crochet requires you to be able to read an intarsia chart, which is a simple graph of the pattern with different symbols that tell you when and where to change colours. Learning how to crochet intarsia is as simple as learning to switch out yarn whenever a new colour is called for. With a little guidance, you will be crocheting intarsia in no time.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pattern graph
  • Yarn (several colours)
  • Crochet hook
  • Intarsia bobbins
  • OR
  • Index cards
  • Clothes pin

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  1. 1

    Look at the graph that you will be working with. Study the legend and try to memorise the symbols for the colours. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to work off a graph when you already know the symbol for each colour of yarn.

  2. 2

    Cut of a length of yarn -- several yards -- and wrap it around your intarsia bobbins. If you do not have an intarsia bobbin, use part of an index card. Once you wrap the yarn around the index card, keep it from sliding off with a clothes pin.

  3. 3

    Chain stitch the specified number of stitches in your pattern. Begin to crochet in the colour indicated on the first row of the chart. For the main colour, you may choose not to work off a bobbin, instead picking the yarn up and dropping it as one long connected strand for the entirety of the work.

  4. 4

    Pick up the next colour of yarn when your pattern indicates a change. Take a bit of the yarn off the bobbin and wind it around the main colour yarn at least once. Start to crochet with this new colour, dropping the first yarn. With crochet, it is not necessary to worry about binding off the colour in a knot because the crochet will hold it in place without one.

  5. 5

    Switch colours of yarn as called for on the chart, cutting the strand as needed. Make sure all your loose strands of colour changes fall to the back of your work so they will not be visible. You can work these in later with your crochet hook so they will not be visible.

Tips and warnings

  • Be patient if your first pattern doesn't come out perfect. Mastering any new technique in knitting or crocheting will take time.

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