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Intarsia Knitting Patterns


Klara Nilsson | Updated on November 30, 2022

Intarsia is an advanced knitting technique used to add colorwork to knitting patterns.

Unlike other methods of multicolored knitting, intarsia does not involve ‘stranding’ yarn across the wrong side of the work. Instead, each color is worked in its own independent section, with unused yarn from the previous color left hanging on the row.

Intarsia knitting allows for multiple colors in every row, with only one active color on every stitch. This means you can knit colors to appear completely independently of each other, creating intricate patterns with abstract designs, symbols, and other colorful motifs.

Designing a knitted garment using intarsia can be more complicated than traditional knitting, which means finding stylish intarsia knitting patterns isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve done the work for you.

To help you add more color to your knitting, we’ve curated this list of 17 intarsia knitting patterns from contemporary and vintage knitwear designers. You’ll find a range of simple intarsia patterns for beginners, as well as more complex patterns for advanced or intermediate knitters.

All of the knitting patterns in this list use the intarsia technique to create a range of fashionable modern garments including knitted sweaters, cardigans, summer tops, and even balaclavas.

If you already know how to knit intarsia, then you’ll be able to get started straight away. If it’s your first time, then these patterns may take a little practice. They might be harder to construct than the patterns you’re used to, but they’ll be much more rewarding, too.

Tip: If you need any help or advice along the way, check out our advice on how to knit using intarsia later on in this article, or you can sign up to Domestika for free and take the Intarsia Knitwear Design course by Laura Dalgaard.

17 Intarsia Knitting Patterns (Sweaters, Cardigans, Tops, & More)

Intarsia knitting isn’t hard, but there are some basic rules you need to follow. These knitting patterns will teach you how to knit intarsia with step-by-step instructions, video tutorials, and more – and you’ll get a colorful piece of knitwear at the end.

You’ll find a list of intarsia knitting patterns in a range of difficulty levels, designs, and garment types, with lots of different colored yarns and multicolored patterns. You’ll also be able to choose from patterns that work intarsia both flat and in the round.

1. “In Your Face” Intarsia Sweater Knitting Pattern

In Your Face Intarsia Jumper Knitting Pattern
Price$10.37/£8.42
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Suggested YarnCrazy Sexy Wool – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s Website“In Your Face” Sweater – BrendaMadeThis on Etsy

This colorful turtleneck sweater features a boxy fit and a colorful mosaic design in the shape of a face. The pattern is constructed using 8 different colors of super chunky wool that are woven together using intarsia. It includes instructions for 6 different sizes ranging between 28 and 50 inches across the chest, and is designed for knitters at an intermediate skill level.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
US Size 19/15mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 200g = 80m (Super Chunky)
Yarn Quantity 8.5 Skeins

2. The “Checked Out” Sweater

Checked Out Intarsia Pattern
Price $10.00/£8.12
Techniques Required Intarsia
Double Knitting
Suggested Yarn Take Care Mohair – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s Website The “Checked Out” Sweater – MoutonKnit on Etsy

Constructed from the bottom up using intarsia, this cozy sweater features a cropped fit and a chic checked design. You can choose to knit it using two strands of worsted weight yarn at once, or a single strand of bulky yarn instead.

This pattern only uses 3 colors simultaneously, which makes it ideal for intermediate knitters or ambitious beginners looking to learn something new. For more patterns with a similar fit, check out our list of knitting patterns for cropped sweaters, too.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 8/5mm Circular Needles
US Size 10.5/6.5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 100m (Worsted)
Yarn Quantity 14-18 Skeins

3. Intarsia Balaclava Knitting Pattern

Intarsia Balaclava Knitting Pattern
Price$6.07/£4.93
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Garter Stitch
Rib Stitch
Suggested YarnPeer Gynt – Sandnes Garn
Designer’s WebsiteIntarsia Balaclava – PLYSH on Etsy

Perfect for using up your leftover yarn, this balaclava is knitted from the top down to create colorful geometrical shapes with intarsia. The sides of the balaclava are worked flat in garter stitch, while the ribbing around the face and at the bottom is knit using intarsia in the round.

The pattern includes video tutorials and instructions for 2 sizes and 5 color combinations. Just like the previous pattern, you can knit it using a single strand of DK yarn or several strands of fingering weight yarn held together.

If this pattern is a bit too colorful, you can also take a look at our full collection of knitted balaclava patterns for more options.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size N/A – See Pattern
Yarn Weight 50g = 91m
Yarn Quantity 60m (Color A)
42m (Color B)
70m (Color C)
47m (Color D)
47m (Color E)

4. The “Romvi” Sweater

Romvi Sweater
Price$7.79/£6.33
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Double Knitting
Suggested YarnAlice – Permin
Kidsilk Lace – Hedgehog Fibers
Arwetta – Filcolana
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Romvi” Sweater – Laura Dalgaard Knit

We’ve been waiting to feature this incredible intarsia sweater pattern by Laura Dalgaard for some time. Also available as a vest, it uses two pairs of circular needles and two types of yarn to create a striking, colorful sweater with a loose fit and a modern design.

The sweater is worked from the bottom up, with instructions for 6 sizes between 58cm and 61cm long.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10.5/7mm Circular Needles
US Size 13/9mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 150m (Yarn A)
50g = 420m (Yarn B)
50g = 210m (Yarn C)
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern

5. “Moonsun” Summer Top

Moonsun Intarsia Summer Top
Price$6.50/£5.28
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Suggested YarnComfy – KnitPicks
Designer’s Website“Moonsun” Summer Top – UmaKnitsShop on Etsy

The “Moonsun” crop top is a quick, beginner-friendly knitting pattern that makes for an easy introduction to intarsia knitting. It’s constructed using four colors of worsted weight yarn and simple techniques to create a basic knitted tank top with a colorful landscape motif on the front and back.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size N/A – See Pattern
Yarn Weight 50g = 100m (Worsted)
Yarn Quantity 50-150g of each color

6. The “Unity” Sweater

Unity Sweater
Price$0.00 (Free)
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Flat Knitting
Suggested YarnHerriot – Juniper Moon Farm
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Unity” Sweater – MMMaking

This free intarsia knitting pattern will teach you how to create a basic sweater with a drop shoulder fit. The body is knitted flat from the bottom up using straight needles, while the sleeves are knitted separately.

Designed to support the Black Lives Matter movement, this pattern features a unity symbol on the front and back. It also includes a color palette and intarsia charts that you can adjust to knit the sweater in whichever colors you’d like.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 4/3.5mm Circular Needles
US Size 6/4mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 100m
Yarn Quantity 5-7 Skeins (Color A)
1 Skein (Color B)
1 Skein (Color C)

7. “Berkeley” Chunky Sweater

Berkeley Chunky Intarsia Sweater Knitting Pattern
Price$6.58/£5.35
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
1×1 rib
k2tog
ssk1
Suggested YarnCrazy Sexy Wool – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s Website“Berkeley” Sweater – ShopVickyKnits on Etsy

If you’re a beginner knitter looking to take a step up, this chunky intarsia sweater pattern might be for you. It’s worked up in four different panels and then seamed together, with photos and video tutorials included to help you along the way.

You’ll need up to 9 balls of super chunky yarn in 3 different colors, 12mm needles, and some familiarity with basic techniques including k2tog, ribbing, ssk1, and of course intarsia.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 200g = 80m (Super Chunky)
Yarn Quantity 6-9 Balls

8. The “Valley” Intarsia Cardigan

The Valley Intarsia Cardigan
Price$7.79/£6.33
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Suggested YarnBig Fuzz – Pickles
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Valley” Cardigan – Laura Dalgaard Knit

This knitting pattern from Laura Dalgaard will teach you how to make a delicate intarsia cardigan with an abstract landscape motif. It requires two pairs of circular needles and 450g of yarn in 9 different colors. As always, you’ll need to ensure you meet the designer’s specified knitting gauge for the final cardigan to fit properly.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
US Size 10.5/7mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 100m
Yarn Quantity 50g of each color

9. The “Squiggly Vest”

Squiggly Intarsia Vest Pattern
Price$9.93/£8.07
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s Website“Squiggly Vest” – LunaWearPatterns on Etsy

The “Squiggly Vest” pattern is about as colorful as it gets. Designed with a sleeveless fit and v-shaped neckline, it uses intarsia to create thick, colored knitted columns in a wavy design. Suitable for beginners, you’ll need some DK weight yarn in 2 colors, a pair of 3.5mm circular needles, and the ability to follow basic intarsia knitting charts.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 4/3.5mm Circular Needles
US Size 6/4mm Circular or Straight Needles
Yarn Weight DK Weight
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern

10. “The Space Face” Vest

The Space Face Intarsia Pattern
Price$8.00/£6.50
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Flat Knitting
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s Website“The Space Face” – Andrea Arts

Another modern vest pattern, this design features an asymmetrical face that is knitted using the intarsia technique. The vest is constructed with a cropped, boxy fit that you can wear by itself or as a stylish piece of layering in the colder seasons.

To knit this vest, you’ll knit the front and back panels flat and then seam them together at the end. You’ll need 5mm needles and up to 460m of worsted weight yarn.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 8/5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight Worsted Weight
Yarn Quantity 365m-457m (400-500 yards)

11. “Catching Waves” Sweater

Catching Waves Sweater Knitting Pattern
Price$8.00/£6.50
Techniques Requiredssk
k2tog
Intarsia
2×2 rib
Stockinette Stitch
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s Website“Catching Waves” Sweater – RestlessStitches on Etsy

You’ll be able to knit the “Catching Waves” sweater pattern whether you have experience with intarsia or not. It uses worsted weight yarn and 8mm needles to create a breathable, lightweight fabric with a simple two-color design.

Similar to other patterns in this list, the front and back of the sweater are constructed in separate panels and then seamed together. You’ll then pick up your stitches from these panels to finish the sleeves and collar.

This creates a cropped, slightly oversized sweater with balloon sleeves and some mild shaping around the waist. It’ll look great with high-waisted pants, or even layered over a light spring dress.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
US Size 11/8mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight Worsted Weight
Yarn Quantity 433-966m (Color A)
144-322m (Color B)

12. “Head in the Clouds” Sweater

Head in the Clouds Intarsia Knitting Pattern
Price$10.00/£8.12
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Stockinette Stitch
Suggested YarnCrazy Sexy Wool – Wool and the Gang
Designer’s Website“Head in the Clouds” Sweater – KarasKnitEng on Etsy

A crowd favorite on Instagram, the “Head in the Clouds” sweater is the ideal intarsia knitting pattern for beginners. It’s constructed using simple flat knitting techniques and seaming, while the clouds are woven in using intarsia.

It’s styled with gently tapered sleeves, a crew neck, and a cropped silhouette for that classic chunky sweater look. This might not be suitable for your first knitting project, but it’s a great choice for your first project that uses intarsia.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 17/12mm Circular Needles
US Size 17/12mm Double Pointed Needles (optional)
Yarn Weight 200g = 80m (Super Chunky)
Yarn Quantity 5-7 Skeins (Color A)
1 Skein (Color B)
1 Skein (Color C)

13. The “Crazy Bomber” Intarsia Cardigan

Crazy Bomber Intarsia Cardigan Pattern
Price$8.40/£6.82
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Rib Stitch
Stockinette Stitch
Suggested YarnBig Fuzz – Pickles
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Crazy Bomber” Cardigan – Pickles.no

Created by the Norwegian knitting brand Pickles, this cardigan knitting pattern also works as a simple introduction to intarsia. It uses up to 450g of fuzzy yarn, two pairs of circular needles, and 3 different colors to create a fun, vintage-style cardigan with colorful intarsia squares.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 11/8mm Circular or Double Pointed Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 100m
Yarn Quantity 350g-450g

14. The “Camden” Cardigan

Camden Cardigan Pattern
Price$8.00/£6.50
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Increasing
Duplicate Stitch
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s WebsiteThe “Camden” Cardigan – MostlyYarnCreations on Etsy

This intarsia cardigan knitting pattern is slightly more complicated to construct, but the results are worth it. It includes step-by-step instructions and detailed intarsia charts that will teach you to knit this boxy, cropped cardigan with a modern geometric design.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 6/4mm Circular Needles
US Size 8/5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight Worsted Weight
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern

15. Intarsia Top Knitting Pattern

Intarsia Top Knitting Pattern
Price$8.28/£6.73
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Garter Stitch
Suggested YarnPuno – Pascuali
Designer’s WebsiteIntarsia Top – PLYSH on Etsy

If you want to knit something colorful and complex but not too heavy, this top might be the pattern for you. It’s knitted from the bottom up in garter stitch, using intarsia to create colorful abstract shapes reminiscent of a modernist painting. The front and back are constructed in exactly the same way, which means you can customize your pattern and decide which design you’d like to feature on the front and back.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size N/A – See Pattern
Yarn Weight 50g = 200m
Yarn Quantity 393m-885m (Color A)
70m-151m (Color B)
32m-60m (Color C)
22m-39m (Color D)
7m-12m (Color E)
47m-104m (Color F)

16. “Moon Child” Sweater by Laura Dalgaard

Moon Child Sweater Knitting Pattern
Price$7.79/£6.33
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Suggested YarnN/A – See Pattern
Designer’s Website“Moon Child” Sweater – Laura Dalgaard Knit

The final pattern from Laura Dalgaard, this intarsia sweater is also available as a vest pattern. It features a fun, space-themed landscape in 6 different colors – perfect for using up any old yarn you have left over from previous projects. The pattern uses two sizes of circular needles and two different weights of yarn, and includes instructions for 5 different sizes.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 7/4.5mm Circular or Double Pointed Needles
US Size 10/6mm Circular or Double Pointed Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 150m (Yarn A)
25g = 210m (Yarn B)
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern

17. Vintage 1980s Intarsia Jumper Knitting Pattern

Vintage 1980s Intarsia Sweater Knitting Pattern
Price$5.80/£4.71
Techniques RequiredIntarsia
Suggested YarnKidsilk Mohair – Drops
Designer’s WebsiteVintage Intarsia Jumper – PastPatternLibrary on Etsy

Finally, this vintage intarsia knitting pattern from the 1980s is a blast from the past that could not be excluded. It contains instructions to knit a fuzzy mohair jumper with delicate flowers that are created using the intarsia technique. To complete this pattern, you’ll need 500g of mohair for the background color and 150g of yarn in the contrasting colors.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 7/4.5mm Circular Needles
US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight N/A – See Pattern
Yarn Quantity 500g (Yarn A)
100g (Yarn B)
50g (Yarn C)

What Is An Intarsia Knitting Pattern?

Put simply, an intarsia knitting pattern is a set of instructions you can follow to create a garment using the intarsia technique.

Unlike other techniques and types of knitting stitch, intarsia allows you to create multicolored knitting projects with lots of different colors in every row. More importantly, the colors can appear completely independently from each other.

This is achieved by keeping only one active color on every stitch, and working each color in its own independent section.

For this reason, intarsia knitting patterns often include abstract designs, symbols, logos, and motifs that you won’t find in other types of knitting.

What’s the Difference Between Intarsia and Stranded Knitting?

Unlike Fair Isle or ‘stranded’ knitting, intarsia doesn’t involve carrying leftover yarn behind the work. When a color changes, the new yarn is brought up underneath the old yarn, which is left hanging on the row and twisted into the work. This allows you to use as many colors in a row as you need, for as long as you need.

Is Intarsia Knitting Difficult?

Intarsia knitting isn’t always difficult, but it is technically more complicated than basic knitting techniques because you’ll have to work with several different yarns simultaneously. Generally speaking, its difficulty will depend on the type of garment you’re knitting, the colorwork design, and your skill level.

It’s not recommended for new knitters to dive straight into an intarsia knitting pattern. However, once you’ve mastered the basic rules, it shouldn’t take too long to feel comfortable with it.

How Do You Make Intarsia Knitting Patterns?

If you simply want to knit a garment using intarsia, you can follow a pre-existing knitting pattern or chart created by another designer. However, if you want to design your own intarsia pattern, you’ll need a basic pattern for the garment and a chart for the image you want to add to it.

Intarsia charts are visual representations of written knitting patterns. Each square on the chart is color coded and represents one stitch. To read an intarsia chart, start with a knit row in the bottom right corner and read the row from right to left. The next row up is a purl row, which you’ll then read from left to right.

Intarsia Chart
An example of an intarsia chart in knitting.

To create your own charts, you can also use a free intarsia knitting chart generator like Stitch Fiddle or Chart Minder. You then follow this chart step-by-step to reproduce your design in your knitted fabric.

How to Knit Using the Intarsia Technique

To knit intarsia, all you technically need to know is how to weave in your ends and knit the stockinette stitch. Intarsia is almost always worked flat, but it is technically possible to work it in the round, too.

To get started, work the first few stitches in your first color until a new color appears on your chart. When you need to change colors, pick up the second color from underneath the first color and twist them together to prevent any gaps in the work.

Knit the next few stitches with your new color, trapping the tail of the previous color on the other side and twisting it around the new yarn.

Once you’ve added a new color, you can continue following your chart until you need to join the next color using the same method.

It’s worth remembering that every time you change yarn colors, you will need to add a new ball of yarn to your work. The more colors you use, the more complicated the project will be to manage.

Here’s a video with more detailed instructions on how to knit intarsia:

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