I'm pretty brave when it comes to trying new knitting techniques. I was not afraid of cables and v-necks when I started my vest although I'd never completed a good garment before. I was unaware that socks were for knitters with "intermediate" skills when I dove right in after my first month of knitting. So naturally, I decide to tackle intarsia - as a commission project! And it isn't a simple two or three color pattern with minimal color changes per row. Noooo....I'm doing a Christmas stocking with 6 colors and sometimes, I'd have 10 bobbins hanging from the thing! Ugh. I'm doing this for a lady who has one of these stockings for every member in the family. I'm knitting this one for their newest member! (born last month) She's paid people before, but it's been awhile since the last baby, so since she knew I knit, she asked if I'd make it for her. Sure, no problem! How hard can intarsia be? Here's a pic of one of the oldest ones. She let me have it to aid in interpreting the pattern (which is all hand written) and the chart (which is tiny - more on that later).
I've tweaked it a little. I did the band of white at the top straight across instead of stair stepped with the name knitted in instead of duplicate stitched. I also used 2x2 ribbing at the top instead of garter stitch. I'm not a fan of garter stitch edgings unless it's a dishcloth! Then, the blocks will be three different colors - purple, yellow, and green (she requested this). The thing is knit in a big rectangle with the toe at the end. Then, you cut out two sections of 16 temporary stitches to do the heel. Weird, but I think it would have made me insane to do this like a regular sock, what with those blocks right next to the heel.
Speaking of the blocks, I just now noticed that the sample stocking she gave me has the girl's initials in them instead of "A, B and C" like the pattern shows. I'm already into the "A" block so I've got to call tomorrow to see if I need to change it to William's initials. Ugh! At least it's only about 6 rows of knitting to frog. Not too bad, I guess. Here's a pic of my progress so far. Don't examine it too closely, or you will see that I really am a beginner with intarsia! I'm hoping blocking will cure the lumpy, uneven stitches. Doesn't blocking cure everything in knitting?
I'm knitting this using mostly Cascade 220. She had some black, yellow, and green wool leftover, so I'm using those too. They are a different mystery yarn and the black is definitely a shade bulkier than the Cascade, but it's not too bad. I'll write about the pattern and chart in a different post.