The Pluie Cardigan: Intarsia in the Rain

The Pluie Cardigan by Alex Capshaw-Taylor, from the Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Knits

There are a lot of sweaters that caught my eye in the Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Knits, but the Pluie Cardigan (pluie is French for "rain") was the one that stuck with me.

It's so cute! I love the umbrella design; maybe it's because I lived in Seattle for twenty years and I had an umbrella with me almost all the time, plus one stashed in the car for emergencies.

Anyway, Alex Capshaw-Taylor's Pluie Cardigan is worked in intarsia. I know—an entire sweater worked in intarsia! Seems daunting, but I've got a couple of tips for you to make intarsia knitting easier. Here's Eunny Jang, co-host of Knitting Daily TV and editor of Interweave Knits, to show you a couple of easy ways to manage your yarn while knitting.

I love Eunny's tip about using loose, yard-long lengths of yarn and just pulling them out of the "yarn mass" every now and again. I used this technique when I knit an R2D2 hat for my nephew and it was easy to manage the yarns without much tangling. The Pluie is a larger project, obviously, so I think the bobbin technique might be better and leave fewer ends to weave in.

The weaving-in of ends is one of the biggest complaints I hear about intarsia knitting. Yes, there will be ends to weave in. Just put on your big-girl panties and deal with it, okay? The finished Pluie Cardigan is so worth it!

A closeup of the reverse side of the Pluie. Look at all of those beautifully worked intarsia umbrellas!     

I popped over to designer Alex Capshaw-Taylor's blog, Knitting on Top of the World, and here's what she has to say about this cardigan: "Pluie was inspired by a rainy weekend day—umbrellas to will the rain away and a cardigan to stay warm and cozy while curled up with a book. I got the idea of doing an all-over motif from Victoria Beckham's spring 2012 cat dress. I'm thrilled with the result. Not for the faint of heart, this intarsia cardigan is great for knitters looking for a challenge."

The challenge of this project is just working the intarsia, and many think it's more of a hassle than a challenge. However, I think it's fun, and it's wonderful to watch the design emerge as you go. Like stranded knitting, I get the just-one-more-row syndrome because I want to see what comes next!

This is the perfect sweater pattern to work on this fall and winter. You'll have it done in time for spring showers!

Like me, you'll find a pattern that sticks with you in every issue of Interweave Knits. Subscribe now so you don't miss anything!


P.S. Do you have any tips for intarsia knitting? Share them with us in the comments!

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