Posted by: Steve | October 17, 2008

Intarsia, Kaffe Fassett Style

Foolish Virgins?  Or Foolish Me?

Fascinated by the intricate designs of Kaffe Fassett, inspired by the beautiful tapestries I’ve seen while traveling  France, ignited by a yarn shop with all the colors of the Rowan Scottish Tweed 4-ply yarn in stock, and empowered by Lucy Neatby’s latest DVD Intarsia Untangled 1, I began the winter project:  the Foolish Virgins Scarf as found in Kaffe Knits Again.

Yes, this is my first intarsia project.  But Lucy Neatby’s DVD gave me the confidence to dive in. 

So, for the moment, if one can set aside the tangle:

One can begin to see the rewards as the beauty emerges from the needles and the yarn!

This is the progress so far of about 2 weeks of work, an hour or two each day, a total of 45 rows!  However, it also includes preparation:

  • enlarging the pattern charts by copier
  • preparing yarn sample cards so I could…
  • locate a variety of colored pencils at an art store for…
  • coloring the charts (and excellent suggestion by Lucy)
  • test swatching to produce an “inches of yarn per stitch” number for calculating the length of yarn needed for a particular intarsia block (about 0.6″ for me for this yarn and US#3 needles)
  • labeling and bagging the 23 different color yarns to help mitigate the confusion
  • reviewing the Lucy Neatby intarsia DVD several times
  • and otherwise gaining my composure to jump in!

Oh, and I guess I didn’t mention an 11 row frog after a failed attempt to fix a missed color change!

Here’s another look to include the a prepared chart:

I had just completed the first chart here an was getting started on the second!


  • keeping yarns wrapped at color changes to prevent holes
  • weaving in ends as you go
  • tangles and yarn management:  bobbins are worse, butterflies better, short pieces of hanging yarn best
  • while I like the depth of color in the tweedy Rowan yarns, I don’t like the coarse texture – this scarf will have to be lined
  • fixing mistakes — it’s easier not to make them!
  • did I mention tangles?  I’m working with 30 seperate yarns across many of the rows!

More to come…

Good knit,



  1. WOW! That’s going to be a stunner! I havenot yet tackled intarsia but some day. 🙂

    I’m completely blown away by this scarf! Lovely job so far 😀

  2. Thanks!

    I’ll have to dig up a photo of the finished scarf somewhere…

  3. great project! i love intarsia, never a dull moment, which makes up for the excessive housekeeping demands of it all.

  4. such a beauty…reminds me of my earliest needlework…on the flip side….I wish we had a group here to knit with…would love to try something so exquisite

    Thank you for sharing, Judy

    • Thank you Judy for your kind words! I’m currently looking for ideas for another intarsia project, but am disappointed to learn Rowan has discontinued the Scottish Tweed 4-Ply yarn. I really love the muted and rich colors of this yarn, and have not yet found a suitable replacement.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Steve, for Scottish Tweed 4-ly contact: ( He owns a store in Katy, Texas that house the largest supply of discontinued Rowan yarns. He sent me all 23 colors I needed for Kasse Fassett’s Foolish Virgins scarf just last week. Customer service is fantastic. Tell him Christine sent you.

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