Entrelac Part 1: What is Entrelac?

When Wink came up with the idea of an entrelac project for our "Unravel yarn" (if you don't know what I'm talking about, see this post) my immediate thought was that I didn't have a clue how to start knitting with this technique.  As Wink hadn't tried Entrelac crochet either, it seemed like the perfect excuse for us both to learn new skills. First I wanted to know exactly what it is... 
The most traditional modular knitting is Entrelac, which consists of rectangles laying at right angles to one another, creating a basketweave effect. The edges of the fabric are usually made up of triangles that nest into the top, bottom and sides, although these can be omitted to create an interesting serrated effect. The modules can be made in Stockinette, Garter Stitch or any other number of other stitch patterns, and /or in contrast colours.

So Entrelac (which literally means 'interlaced') is constructed in tiers rather than rows, and each tier slants in the opposite direction to the one below. This really interested me, and as there are lots of small rows within each tier, it's another great use for 'knitting backwards'. I decided the best thing to do to understand the technique would be to make a swatch, and I set about knitting this....

Entrelac swatch
Wishing to save the 'real' yarn for the project, I chose an inexpensive gradient (Drops sock yarn of some sort, I've lost the ball band so can't be more specific) so that it would be easier to see how the tiers are built up - I think you should be able to work it out from the picture from the changes as the colours blend from orange to black. The arrows in this version of the same photo should help to illustrate it further...
Direction of tiers in Entrelac knitting

Despite looking a little complicated, it turns out that it's pretty straightforward and after working on lots of other projects since starting this swatch, I'm now ready to get started with the "real" yarn. In the next post, I'll show you how to make the foundation triangles (illustrated in blue in the picture above) and tell you why I think knitting in the round is going to be quicker than knitting flat... which gives you a clue about my project! Hope to see you back here for that.

Don't forget to check out Wink's latest post on entrelac crochet, which can be found here.

Additional resources: (including some affiliate links)
If you can't wait to learn more about this technique, you may like:

3 comments

  1. Looking good! I like the gradual colour changes through the tiers, very subtle. Will be interested to see it with the 'real' yarn.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sarah! Thank you for your introduction to entrelac. I tried this technique last summer, but didn't love it. I really like the way your swatch has turned out, so I am going to give entrelac another try! You're often inspiring, thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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