Thursday 16 December 2021

Book review: Intarsia by Sian Brown

I've got a book review for you today.

Do you fancy having a go at intarsia, but aren’t sure where to start? Intarsia by Sian Brown is here to give you all the help you need.

Who is Sian Brown?

Sian Brown is a knitwear designer who has worked for magazines, yarn companies and publishers.


What’s included in the book?

The four chapters cover:

1. The basics of intarsia.

2. Twenty charted motifs.

3. Five projects.

4. How to create your own intarsia designs.

The book covers everything you need to know about intarsia: the first chapter includes all the basics, but also dives deep into when to combine intarsia with stranded colourwork, how to add extra details with embroidery and beads, as well as tips on making your intarsia look its best by using various finishing techniques.

The motifs chapter contains twenty charts, starting with simple one-colour motifs, moving on to more detailed designs that require multiple colour changes. Sian has also included suggestions on what you could use the motifs for, and adds little details to a lot of the designs, such as using beads to add sprinkles to an ice cream cone. There’s a section at the end of the chapter with guidance on how to resize motifs, how to decide where to place motifs on knitwear, and how to work mirror images of the motifs. All the charts are clear and easy to read.

What to know what charts are included? Here you go: simple fish, striped ice lolly, detailed leaf, yellow duck, nautical anchor, simple flower, festive snowman, sailboat, beaded cupcake, striped beach hut, swiss-darned sheet, grey elephant, quilt star, swallow, happy robot, speckled toadstool, robin, tumbling bocks, wise owl, and open flower.

Chapter three gives instructions for five projects you can make with your newly acquired intarsia skills: a cot blanket, pair of fingerless gloves, a wrap, a child’s jumper and an adult’s cardigan. The patterns are complete, and include excellent schematics and making-up instructions.

The final chapter tells you where to start if you want to design your own motifs: from where to find inspiration and how to create your own charts, to how to place motifs. This chapter is full of little extra bits of information, such as how to choose the right yarn for the job. One thing I feel is missing from this chapter is knitters’ chart paper, as while it is noted that knitted stitches are not square, all that charts are drawn on regular chart paper.

Should I buy this book?

This book is a great beginners guide to intarsia, but also includes lots of extras that make it good for intarsia knitters of all skill levels. With clear photos and charts throughout, this book is easy to work from, and its compact size (17.5 x 24 cm) means it’ll fit easily in your knitting bag. Definitely one to pick up if you fancy having a go at intarsia in 2022.


Intarsia by Sian Brown is available now.**


Intarsia by Sian Brown is published by The Crowood Press, 2021.

Book supplied by the publisher for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

**As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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