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WORKING SLIP-STITCH KNITTING

1 Cast on in the color that will be the working yarn for the first 2 rows. For the first row (a right-side row), knit the stitches, following the chart from left to right, in the working color, and slip the stitches in the second color purlwise, holding the working yarn at the back.

2 Working the same chart row on the wrong side, reading from left to right, purl all of the stitches in the working color, and slip the stitches in the second color purlwise, while holding the working yarn at the front.

Note: If you are working your slip-stitch pattern in garter stitch, knit the stitches in the working color for step 2.

Avoiding the Pucker in Slip-Stitch Knitting

Some slip-stitch color patterns call for slipping more than 3 stitches consecutively, which can result in a tight and puckered fabric. If your chart indicates slipping 5 or more stitches in a row, then you'll have to catch the working yarn in the middle of the span of slipped stitches to prevent this tightness. To do this, you bring the working yarn to the front on the knit side, and to the back on the purl side, and then slip the next stitch in the group. The drawback to this technique is that you get a little nub of the working color in the middle of your slipped section.

Intarsia Knitting

Intarsia, or bobbin, knitting is another form of color knitting. Unlike Fair Isle—where colors are worked and carried across rows in a repetitive pattern—with intarsia you can scatter isolated blocks of color over your knitting, or put one large motif on a background of another color. You knit each motif using a separate ball or bobbin of yarn. When changing colors, you twist yarns together on the wrong side to avoid leaving holes on the right side.

1 On the right side, knit to the place where the intarsia motif is to begin, drop the main color yarn, and get ready to knit with the contrast color yarn.

Note: You might want to tie the new yarn to the old yarn before knitting the first stitch of the new color. This helps to maintain even tension. You can untie it and secure the loose end later. Just be sure to leave at least a 6-inch tail on the new yarn.

2 Knit the number of stitches in the contrast color as indicated by your pattern.

3 Drop the contrast color and begin knitting from a new bobbin of your main color. Work to the end of the right-side row.

4 On the wrong side, purl using the main color until you reach the point where the color change should occur.

5 Drop the main color, twist the yarns together by bringing the contrast color up from underneath the main color, and purl as many stitches in the contrast color as the pattern requires.

6 Drop the contrast color, twist the yarns together by picking up the main color from underneath the contrast color, and purl the next stitch. Continue as the pattern directs.

Easy Three- (or More) Color Intarsia

Unlike the intarsia sample here, many intarsia motifs are made up of more than one color. Managing three or more colors with bobbin knitting can be messy and rather unpleasant. If your motif has more than one color, but the second or third color appears as only a few stitches here and there, then you can cheat and work that part of the motif as a duplicate stitch (see p. 204). The resulting color work will be neater, particularly if you are new to intarsia.

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