Monday, April 21, 2014

How I Manage Intarsia Tangles

Expanded from a picture originally posted to my Instagram page.

Someone asked me why I don't use bobbins in intarsia. I told them I would post a picture the next time I had a good example, which happened to be last night when I only had my phone with me. Please excuse the poor picture quality. 

I am working on a Christmas stocking for a client and, like most stocking patterns, there is some intarsia colorwork. Intarsia = Tangles, amirite? 
 
A lot of people successfully use bobbins for color work, but I never remember which way to turn my work to avoid bobbin snarls. I use butterflies instead. If you make yarn butterflies (wind several yards around 2 fingers, tightly wrap one end around the middle to hold the butterfly together) then you can easily pull out what you need. It looks like a rats nest, but everything still pulls free fairly easily. 

If you hit a massive snarl that can't be worked anymore, then you can easily detangle the mess by pulling the ends free one by one and rewind them back in to butterflies. This took me about 2 minutes to untangle, much faster than it would take me to untangle plastic bobbins.
 
Some people don't bother making butterflies. They work with short lengths of a yard or less and let the ends hang free.

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