Often we finish a crochet project and don’t get satisfied. We tend to add something to please our eyes. It happens with many. And such a problem has given birth to color knitting. Simply put, it is the technique to knit with multiple colors. Fair Isle and Intarsia are two of them. And when a beginner attempts to color knitting, they get confused. Perhaps you are one of them!
No worries, we have designed this post to help you differentiate end-to-end between both types. Both of them are advanced colorwork knitting and are famous for their tremendous dimensions.
Fair Isle vs Intarsia
Interestingly, Fair Isle and Intarsia have limitations and excellence in their respective areas. Do you know there are some designs that you can gain by Intarsia but can not even knit for a single row with Fair Isle?
Today, we have many more things to share with you. Want to grab them in detail? Then please go ahead!
Fair Isle is a style of knitting that originated in the Shetland Islands. This sort of knitting features multicolored geometric patterns.
Intarsia is a method of knitting where knitters use a different length or ball of yarn for each color area.
Age As a Style of Knitting
Intarsia is a comparatively new knitting technique, whereas Fair Isle is a technique that has a century-long tradition. However, it is not as complicated as Fair Isle as a colorwork.
You will find Intarsia hard to knit in the round. Knitters cannot but tolerate lots of ends to weave. Particularly, you will not find it good enough for small color blocks. However, this technique is indeed great for larger patchwork-like designs. Such a patchwork is given below!
On the contrary, the Fair Isle method is free from such an ending issue. Moreover, you will find it an apt solution for small color blocks. Have a look at the image below!
Usage of Color
Knitters use each yarn in different stitches throughout an entire row in Fair-Isle or Stranded knitting. Besides, they carry both yarns across the whole row. This technique leverages various color patterns to go all the way around. That’s why it has been popular for ”in-the-round projects” such as hats, mittens, sweaters, etc.
On the contrary, in Intarsia knitting, knitters use different pieces of yarn for knitting separate colored blocks regardless of any size. For instance, we would like to exemplify a blue baby sweater with a yellow duck on its front side. You don’t have to carry both colors around the whole sweater, okay!
That means unless you need color, you are free from its usage. Most of the time Intarsia crochet projects are knit flat i.e. back-and-forth.
On Design and Transformation
Intarsia is a brilliant means to transform pictures into knitting. Apart from the advantage of using larger color blocks or lots of colors, it is a great benefit of this technique.
On the contrary, Fair Isle is an ideal technique for intricate abstract designs. Generally, this type of design has small individual color blocks, including merely a couple of colors filling the whole fabric.
Mertis and Demerits
Now let’s see the differences from a different angle. In this section, we will separately showcase the pros and cons of Fair Isle and Intarsia.
Pros of Fair Isle
- Easy learning curve
- The danger of getting tangles
- Comfortable for multi-colored small patterns
- Excellent for abstract designs
- Efficient for traditional nordic motives
Cons of Fair Isle
- Only ideal for a round with wool because of the floats
- Per row limited to two or three colors
- Capable of thick fabric
- Not versatile in transforming pictures
- Quite the yarn eater
- Need heavy effort to combine with other knitting techniques
Pros of Intarsia
- Per row, more than three colors
- Acts like standard stockinette stitch due to drapey fabric
- Free to transform any sort of picture into knitting
- Can befriend almost any knitting stitch pattern such as cables, ribs, lace, etc
- Includes color block in any position in your fabric
Cons of Intarsia
- It’s challenging to knit in the round
- Leaves too many ends
- Tough to knit because of many bobbins
- Not ideal for intricate designs that have tiny blocks
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is intarsia style knitting?
Answer: It is a technique that knitters use to create designs with multiple colors.
Question: What is Stone Intarsia?
Answer: Stone Intarsia is a technique to cut and fit small pieces of stone together to create unique patterns basically in jewelry.
Question: How do you knit Fair Isle without puckering?
Answer: Well, for this, you need to align the stitches on the needle to ensure the apt width for the sake of a pattern’s looking, and you will skip any tightness or puckering.
Question: Is Fair Isle easy?
Answer: You merely need to be clear of the basic notion. Then there will be no complications.
Question: What is the difference between Jacquard and Intarsia?
Answer: Intarsia gets knitted, whereas Jacquard is woven.
To Wrap Up
Despite all these differences, no one can say that Fair Isle is better than Intarsia or vice versa. In fact, it depends on individual choice and needs. Nonetheless, this contrast strengthens our understanding.
And perhaps you are an enthusiast and looking to set up a knitting business. Congrats! You don’t need to worry after this post. Having such a crystal and clear contrast, you are all set to move ahead. However, mastering the skill and creating something extraordinary should be desirable before all. We wish you a stroke of good luck!