Fair Isle vs. Intarsia
Looking to learn about Fair Isle or Intarsia? Fair Isle is the use of two colors at a given time to create patterns in your knitted garment and you can strand, twist or pick up the loop. Intarsia is more freeform and can use many colors to create patterns in your knitting. The “Intarsia Method” is transferrable to Fair Isle knitting to create a nice transition from color A to B. The difference here is with Intarsia you may be working from bobbins, butterflies or balls of yarn (which can get a little messy), but still gives you the freedom to create tapestries of color in your knitting.
You will hear me say “using the Intarsia method” and this simply means that I am going to ask you to wrap yarns in such a way to bring the colors together but a way that also allows you to carry the color across without leaving gaps. Color work can be very heavy and we aren’t always blessed with the ability to hide the strands. The Intarsia method allows you to neaten up. Another term for this is “catching your floats” to keep things tidy. When you catch your floats, your carried yarn will be caught by your working yarn, behind the stitches without showing on the front. You can catch your float every other stitch or every 4th or 5th stitch.
Sources: Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman