Bristol Ivy talks intarsia

We've been beavering away behind the scenes to get A Year of Techniques ready for the final copy editing and layout process, which is why it's been a bit quiet around here. In between all that I've been knitting like mad on my Brambling Shawl. I'm feeling a little bit sad that it's nearly done, as I've enjoyed it so much. But I'm also bursting with excitement to share May's pattern with you next week. It's a corker!

So how have you found intarsia? Was it as tricky as you thought? Or were you already a seasoned intarsia expert who had knitted a heap of picture sweaters in the 80s? I've been chatting to Bristol Ivy (the genius designer of Brambling) about her experience of intarsia, and I've pumped her for pattern inspiration for my next intarsia project. Here's what she had to say:

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Intarsia and the Brambling shawl

I can't believe the first month of A Year of Techniques has flown by so quickly! The enthusiasm and excitement that you've shared this month in the knitalong threads, on Instagram, by email and in blog posts has been humbling. Thank you all!

present to you the Brambling shawl! I had a total intarsia conversion last year when I knitted my Harewood Hap, so when we started to think about techniques and designers for A Year of Techniques, I knew that I wanted Bristol Ivy to be our "intarsia pusher"!

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What else can I make helical?

Does your knitting ever grip you to the point where you can't imagine that you'll ever want to work another technique? I still remember the fever of tubular cast ons that I went through after first discovering this beautiful way of starting a 1x1 or 2x2 rib. No other edgings were contemplated for quite a while. Eventually it fades, and something else will come along to inspire and excite me, but when I'm deep in the obsession, nothing can dissuade me. I seem to be in the middle phase of helical stripe fever. I've worked obsessively on the first few projects that use the basic technique, and now I want to apply it to every other project* in grabbing distance.

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Helical stripes beyond Hyacinthus

Three weeks onto A Year of Techniques and many, many Hyacinthus wrist warmers have been cast on. You will have seen a few examples in the yarn choice post from a couple of weeks ago and you can see the range of projects here.

Helical stripes aren't just for a single pattern though, so I've picked out a few from our KAL on Ravelry to highlight the range of applications.

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How to Care for your Handknits

Please don’t talk to me about the two months I spent knitting a pair of Glynis socks by Cookie A, only to felt them on the first wash: it’s still painful 7 years later! Having spent hours (sometimes even years!) knitting a beautiful design, it’s vital that the finished item is properly cared for. There’s little in knitting that is more distressing than ruining something that you’ve spent so long creating. Whether it’s spillage of bolognaise sauce down a child’s jumper, or the dreaded moths nibbling a hole in a treasured Fair Isle sweater, this article will help you to avoid some of these pitfalls.

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