Looking like braided strips of knitting, the entrelac technique works small sections of knitting over 10 stitches at a time. With basic knitting skills (including the ability to increase and decrease) you can make some really spectacular fabrics. Because of the amount of turning involved while working over so few stitches at a time, this technique is a prime candidate for knitting backwards to save tangles and turning! Here are the steps to creating neat-looking entrelac patterns.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Yarn (2 or 3 colors, but similar weights)
- Knitting needles
- Crochet hook (optional)
Cast on two stitches and, beginning with the wrong side, complete three rows of stockinette stitch.
Continue in stockinette, increasing one stitch (using a make one increase) from the bar between the next to last and last stitches of each knit row until you have 10 stitches on the needle. Do not turn.
Cast on an additional two stitches and repeat through Step 2 for as many beginning triangles as you need for the bottom of your fabric.
How to Make Beginning Triangles
Purl the last two stitches of the final triangle, then turn.
Knit one, make one, knit one and turn.
Purl across the wrong side, purling together the last of the new stitches with the next open stitch from the triangle on the needle, connecting them further with each purl row.
Increase each right-side row until there are 10 stitches on the needle, purling across the back to finish the triangle. You should have 10 stitches across the top of the new triangle and all of the open stitches from the other triangle absorbed.
How to Make Left-Edge Triangles
Pick up 10 stitches along the next finished edge.
Work in stockinette for one row and then 9 of the 10 active stitches for this square on the next row.
Combine the last stitch of the active square with the next open stitch from the previous section. When approaching from a purl side, you'll purl the two stitches together. On a knit row you'll slip the tenth stitch, knit the stitch from the previous triangle or square, and then pass the slipped stitch over.
Continue in stockinette stitch until all of the open stitches from the previous triangle or square are complete, then repeat to the end of the row.
How to Make Squares
Pick up 10 stitches along the last square or triangle's edge, turn and knit these stitches.
Purl until the last two stitches, purl two together.
Continue until you have one stitch remaining.
How to Make Right-Edge Triangles
Pick up 10 stitches, as you would for a square, and knit or purl back up to the beginning of the row (11 stiches).
Working from right to left, p2tog at the end of each wrong-side row and slip-knit-pass to decrease one stitch at the end of each right-side row, absorbing the next open stitch in the process. For left-to-right triangles, purl together the first two and last two stitches of each wrong-side row.
Purl together the last two triangle stitches, place that stitch back on the right needle and purl it together with the last stitch from the previous row.
How to Do Finishing Triangles
Tips and warnings
- When working a square or triangle on a row from the right to the left, you'll have one active stitch from the previous square plus the 10 stitches you pick up. When you get to those last two stitches, purl them together so you end up with 10 stitches total again.
- To turn a corner from the left, begin a left-side triangle and increase to six stitches. From there you will purl together the first two and last two stitches until you are down to a single stitch.
- If you have trouble picking up stitches with your knitting needles, try a crochet hook instead.