From Knitting Daily, here is a great article on intarsia and color in your knitting (which, admittedly, I’m too chicken to try)!
We hear intarsia and we think color knitting. But intarsia is also an ancient technique of inlaying pictorial mosaics into wood—a technique that was highly developed during the Italian Renaissance. We take our term intarsia from the Latin interserere, to insert or to place in between, and whether you’re woodworking or knitting, that’s what intarsia is: inserting. It helps me to understand the tricks of intarsia knitting more easily when I think of ancient woodworkers creating individual pieces of wood and laying them into a grounding piece to create a design. Intarsia knitting employs a similar technique by knitting the color motifs individually, so carrying the yarn isn’t necessary.
That’s appealing to me because sometimes I’m still traumatized by the memory of those wretched tight bunches of color the first time I tried stranded colorwork in the intricate design of a sweater I knit years ago. The motif was a chain of little birds, but mine looked as if they’d been strangled rather than flying effortlessly through the sky of my sweater.