Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Entrelac – a step-by-step guide

Entrelac is one of those intriguing techniques that leave you wondering how on earth it was knitted.  The method is actually quite straightforward because you are only knitting a little bit at a time, which is why it is sometimes called modular knitting. The word comes from the French entrelacer, which translates as interlaced which is exactly the effect that is created – a bit like a basket weave.
By trying out different types of yarn and different colours you can get a myriad of effects.  If you need inspiration you will find lots of wonderful patterns on Ravelry so do go and have a good browse.
We have created a simple step by step to get you started.
Our sample is knitted across 18 stitches or 3 groups of 6 stitches.
First cast on 18 stitches
To work the first base triangle purl 2 stitches, turn and knit 2 stitches, turn and purl 3 stitches, then turn and knit 3 stitches and turn, purl 4 turn, knit 4 turn and so on until you have worked all 6 stitches ending with the purl 6 row.

Do not turn.
Now on to the next triangle which you work in the same way as the first.
Continue until you have worked all 3 triangles.

Change colour.

Right side row
Now you are ready to work a right hand corner triangle.
Knit 2, turn, Purl 2, turn. Increase one stitch by knitting into the front and back (k1fb) of the first stitch then ssk (slip, slip, knit together) the last stitch in the second colour with the first stitch in the first colour, turn and purl 3 stitches.
K1fb, knit 1, ssk, turn and purl 4 stitches.
Continue increasing one stitch at the beginning and decreasing at the end of each purl row until you have used up all the stitches in the first base triangle on a right side row.  Do not turn.

You have completed your first corner triangle.

Now you are going to create a rectangle on the right side.
Pick up and knit 6 stitches down the side of the first base triangle. 

Turn and purl these 6 stitches, turn.
Knit to the last stitch in the second colour and ssk it with the first stitch of the next base triangle, turn.  Purl 6 stitches and turn.
Repeat until you have joined all the stitches to the base triangle.

Repeat  until you have created one more rectangles.

Now it’s time to create a left side triangle.
Pick up and knit 6 stitches down the left hand side of the final base triangle, turn.
*Purl 2 stitches together (p2tog) then purl the remainder of the stitches you just picked up, turn, knit the remaining stitches, turn*. Repeat  from * to * until you have just 2 stitches on the needle.

Change colour by purling the two stitches together with your third colour.

Wrong side row
Pick up 5 stitches down the left hand side of the left hand corner triangle, turn and knit 6 stitches.  

Turn and purl 5 stitches, p2tog (one stitch of current rectangle with one of rectangle from the row below. Repeat until you have used up the stitches from the rectangle below.

Pick up 6 stitches and repeat as above until you have created all 3 rectangles in the third ‘row’.

Change colour and repeat the right side row. Finish by changing colour.

Now we are going to finish off our sample by knitting the end triangles.
Pick up and purl 5 stitches down the left hand side of the corner triangle, turn, knit 6 stitches.

P2tog at the beginning of the next row and purl across the row to the last stitch which you p2tog with the first stitch of the rectangle from the row below, turn and knit. Repeat until you have just one stitch on the needle.
Pick up 5 stitches down the left hand side as before for the second and the third triangle.

We hope this little taste of entrelac has encouraged you to try some more of this lovely technique. If you want more information and some patterns using entrelac there is a fantastic book by Rosemary Drysdale calledEntrelac – The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting.

We’d love to see how you get on so do share your pictures with us here.