This sweater is a challenge, both technically, and for the persistence it will take to finish it. It is, for now, my magnum opus. I am making progress, and I am figuring things out–I think.
There is puckering in the lower color section. That section uses a stranded background with intarsia color blocks. My challenge has been to figure out how to prevent the puckering as a color doubles back on itself. Typical intarsia has you wrapping the two adjacent colors as they head off in their separate directions, thus holding them in place. If the background color is stranded, that doesn’t work.
The lower arrow shows where the pucker happens, even when I keep the knitting loose. I decided to try wrapping the two yarns on the back side a stitch or two before I was to knit the secondary color, as if I was wrapping floats. The goal was to have the yarn always be coming from the right-hand side, eliminating the pucker. The upper arrow is where I tried that. The pucker there is from snugging the wrap too tight.
Now, I think most of these puckers will block out, and the area is close to the ribbing, so it will not be very noticeable. I have chosen to leave it be and move on.
I am continuing to wrap the yarns in the top, barely visible section, but I am keeping the wraps much looser. I think I am getting a nice flat surface. The next few inches of knitting will tell.