Yeah, another knitting post, and so soon, too! Okay, so this is a post all about Intarsia-style colour knitting in the round, as the title might suggest. See, when I was working on my pacman cap, I had this problem: when you knit Intarsia-style, you basically have colour strands for each “section” of the piece. So, if you’re knitting flat and you’re making a black field with a big yellow section, you’d knit with black, switch to yellow, knit across, then switch to a new strand of black and knit to the end of the row. Going back, you’d do the same thing, and each time you change colours, you do a little yarn wrapping trick to make sure there’s no gaps. The result is, on the back, there is no black carried across the yellow section, which is very nice as it means you have to worry less about puckering and tension, etc.
Problem is, suppose you’re knitting in the round. So you knit in black, switch to yellow, knit across, switch back to black, knit around… and then you’re back to the yellow section. Problem: you now have two black strands, and the yellow is way over on the other side of the yellow section. What do you do? What do you do??
Well, in my pacman hat, I basically cheated. When I got to the section of colour, I switched from round knitting to back-and-forth, and when the coloured rows were done, I switched back to knitting in the round. Then, during the finishing stage, I just sewed up the little seam. Pretty simple, really, but it left a bulky little seam there, and a) I hate bulky little seams, and b) I just hate seams.
So, what’s the real answer? Well, I could explain it, but instead, why don’t I leave it to Sara to answer that question? In an explanation that’s much better than anything I could compose, she outlines three different methods for dealing with the issue, one involving carrying strands around the piece, one using gapless short rows, and a third, far more ingenious technique that I really must try some time…