Would you love to knit a beautiful entrelac project like this?
After completing 20 entrelacs I consider myself quite experienced. Many knitters have told me they would love to try it, but thinks it’s too difficult. It’s not! Really. Here are some tips to make your first entrelac a success.
I always use the same pattern, if I want a bigger or smaller entrelac I change the number of stitches I cast on. My go-to pattern is The Basic Entrelac Scarf by Lisa Shroyer. Find it on Ravelry here. You’ll notice the shawl pictured above is featured on this pattern page.
The stitches are cast on in groups of 8, sometimes I’ve cast on as few as 16. The usual number is 24. Right now I’m working on a huge custom wrap for which I cast on 48 stitches. This project is is using 6 balls of Noro Nadeshiko, which is discontinued.
Start with 16 or 24 stitches on your first project.
Just follow the pattern, it’s very clear and well written. If you have any trouble understanding it, here is a tutorial on YouTube.
I recommend using bulky yarn for your first entrelac. You’ll see quick progress and the heavy yarn will make your stitches easy to see if you need to tink (unknit) something. It also makes it much easier to see what you’re doing when you pick up stitches to create the new blocks.
To get an entrelac with solidly colored blocks you’ll need a yarn with a long color change. My favorites include a lot of Noro yarns. I’ve used Kochoran, Nideshiko and Transitions. These are all discontinued. Many Noro yarns would work.
Once you get comfortable with picking up stitches (or if you have some experience with this) try a worsted weight yarn.
If you like striped blocks like this, try a hand dyed or commercial yarn with a short color repeat.
Neutrals can be beautiful too!
When completing a row, spread out the project and make sure the edges are even. It’s easy to forget or add an extra a side triangle and once you continue there is no way to correct without ripping back to that point. Best to examine each row and avoid any anguish when you discover something awry rows later.
I like to use circular needles, it keeps the edges from slipping off best, but I use circulars for everything.
Picking up stitches intimidates a lot of knitters. I was nervous about it in the beginning. The important thing to remember – it’s easy to rip them out and begin again. Entrelac is the perfect way to get really good at picking up stitches, both knitwise and purlwise. You will be an expert after your first project and never hesitate again.
If you aren’t sure exactly how to pick up and knit, check out this YouTube video on picking up knitwise. This is focused on socks, but the principle is the same, and the stitches are very visible in this video.
Picking up purlwise is shown in this short video. This is going to feel very awkward at first! Keep at it and it will become easy. Remember, practice is the way to learn anything.
The little holes at some intersections of blocks are normal. Using a slightly fuzzy yarn will help hide them. This is a perfect excuse to use a yarn with a bit of angora, again Noro is a great choice for this.
View your first entrelac as practice. Focus on learning the skills you may not be comfortable with when you begin. Don’t worry about the result. The wonderful thing about knitting is that it’s easy to tear it all out and begin again. Entrelac’s block by block construction makes it especially easy to tear out a block and correct something you don’t like.
See all my entrelac projects (and everything else I’ve knit) on my Ravelry project page. Friend me!
Good luck with your first entrelac project. I’d love to see what you create.