Finished – The Biggest Entrelac In The World

It’s done!  Celebrate with me!

The early days.

In the beginning
In the beginning

Here is a picture before completion.  You see why it may be the biggest entrelac piece in the world.

IMG_5753

This is Noro Nadeshiko yarn.

IMG_5871
Shown on a large couch before blocking.  It got bigger after blocking.
IMG_5880
Nadeshiko is fuzzy even before blocking!

Blocking changes the texture completely.

Everything flattens out in blocking.

I am taping a guest spot about entrelac today for a TV show about fiber arts. Stay tuned for more details on how to watch my episode.

My favorite pattern and all the specifics about this project are on my Ravelry page.

In the meantime, please cast on your own entrelac piece.  It’s very easy, just follow the pattern.

Comment to let me know how you like this shawl.

Advertisements

Your First Entrelac

Would you love to knit a beautiful entrelac project like this?

first entrelac
My first entrelac project, knit in Noro Kochoran.

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.

Pattern Choice

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.

IMG_5418
The Giant

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.

Yarn Selection

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.

entrelac_in_transitions_medium
Noro Transitions

Once you get comfortable with picking up stitches (or if you have some experience with this) try a worsted weight yarn.

taos entrelac
Crystal Palace Taos, worsted weight yarn

 

bright entrelac
Knit One, Crochet Too Paint Box, worsted

If you like striped blocks like this, try a hand dyed or commercial yarn with a short color repeat.

hand dyed yarn entrelac
Hand Dyed Yarn with short color repeats

Neutrals can be beautiful too!

entrelac latte ecoduo
Cascade Eco Duo (which is one of my very favorite yarns!)

Other Tips

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.

More Spectacular Stuff In The Shop

We’ve had another productive week of knitting and listing new items in the Etsy Shop.

Here’s the black and white entrelac.  I’m very happy with this – it’s unbelievably soft.  Entrelac looks really different knit in such a neutral colorway, doesn’t it? This is Eco Duo, 70% baby alpaca and 30% Merino wool.  I’m only sorry I didn’t buy a lot of other colorways!  Look for some mitts knit in this yarn to appear in the shop soon…

Black and White Entrelac

Cheryl finished a highly textured, super soft cowl in Twinkle wool.

Teal Twinkle Cowl

She also completed a soft, ruffled, feminine scarf in a silk/wool blend.  It’s perfect to wear indoors and out.

Wool and Silk Ruffled Scarf

I’ve been knitting fingerless mitts this week, watch for some to come next week.

I’d love to hear from readers what kind of things you’d like to see in the shop.  I’m especially interested in knowing what you’d like for spring and summer in hand knits, hand spun yarn or hand dyed colorways.  Please comment to let me know!

More January Eye Candy – For Knitters And Fashionistas

We released some more gorgeous hand knit accessories in the Etsy shop yesterday!

How about another entrelac in Noro Kochoran?  Love these colors!

Korchoran Entrelac

Another big scarf, this one is over 100″ long, knit in 100% Noro wool

Hitsuji Feather and Fan

And a lovely, fuzzy, pointy scarf in Kochoran.

Kochoran Wingspan

Another long straight scarf in Noro wool.  This is the same wool as above, this is “only” 84″ long, and doesn’t have any black.  Looks a bit different, right?

Shorter Hitsuji Feather and Fan

And, last but not least, a brillliantly colored cabled cowl.  This is knit in Noro Bonbori, a discontinued yarn.  We have just a few balls left.  When they are gone, I’ll be sad, this is a really fun yarn to knit, and the results really are spectacular.

Bonbori Cowl

Just noticed these are all Noro – I guess it’s just a Noro kind of day. Guess that means I should go knit some Noro!

After An Absence

Well, I took a break from blogging and paid more attention to family concerns, but I’m back now.  I’ve been knitting a bit compulsively (my shoulder is actually a bit achy), and there are a lot of new things in my Etsy shop.

One of my latest things is this gorgeous shawl, knit in Noro Silver Thaw.  This colorway makes me think of the northern lights.  It’s an aran weight yarn and I really like the way the lacy bits came out.  It’s warm and soft, and it wouldn’t break my heart to keep it!

Silver Thaw Northern Lights shawl

We’ve also added some pretty mitts.  Here’s a pair (for petite hands) in wine and green (Noro yarn again).

wine and green noro mitts

Then there’s a pair in purple and orange (also in Noro and also for smaller hands).

orange and blue kochoran mitts 2

We’ve been knitting some entrelac.  A small pink, green, and gray one knit by Cheryl came out beautifully.  This is Noro Kochoran.

small kochoran entrelac

There’s also a larger one Cheryl knit from Noro Kochoran. Can you tell we really love Kochoran?

Large kochoran entrelac

There’s also the pointy shawlette/scarf I knit from Knitpicks Chroma.  Really happy with how it came out.  I did have some problems with the yarn.  The first ball was very short, I called Knitpicks and they very kindly sent me another ball.  They have excellent customer service!

Blue Lagoon Scarf/Shawlette

This is a large shawl knit in Noro Kureyon (hey, we aren’t partial – we love all Noro!)  Love these colors!

kureyon shawl

Cheryl wanted a break from Noro, so she knit this nubby dove gray cowl in Twinkle 100% virgin wool.

Twinkle Dove Gray Cowl

And then – back to Noro for this cowl in cool colors.

Noro Cool Cowl

My latest foster, the lovely and handsome Sheldon, was adopted recently through reTails.  Here’s a picture of him.  I miss him a lot.  He is cuddly and great with other cats, and he likes dogs – what’s not to like?  His adopters are very lucky!

Lovely Sheldon

We are taking a break from kitty fostering for a while.  My personal clowder of cats includes a couple of members who find all these “outsiders” coming and going a bit difficult to cope with!

Another Entrelac Scarf Finished

Cheryl has been a busy little bee lately.  Here’s her latest finished project, another large entrelac scarf.

It’s available in the Etsy shop here.  It would make a great gift for your favorite fashionista who loves color and texture.

This item is knit in Noro Kochoran, which is 50% Wool, 30% Angora, and 20% Silk.  This colorway is #59, which is purple, soft orange, green, brown and cream.  It’s very fuzzy and super soft to the touch (that’s the angora!).

Here’s a close up.

These are absolutely addictive to knit.  I think of them as potato chip projects, I can’t do just one.  Knitters, you have been warned!

Entrelac

I always thought entrelac would be a very difficult and advanced knitting technique.  Happy to know that I was completely wrong.  It’s actually quite easy, and a great way for me to practice something I really didn’t like – picking up stitches.  My pick up and knit/purl skills have quickly improved since beginning this project.

The pattern for this project is here and the yarn is Noro Kochoran, which is a bulky yarn.  It’s 50% wool, 30% angora, and 20% silk.  This scarf is very enjoyable to knit – simple pattern, easily understood (and almost memorized, but I do refer to pattern on one section), and the color changes make it easy to knit “one more row”.

The fat yarn makes this scarf very wide, more like a shawl or wrap than a scarf, it will be fabulous wrapped around my shoulders and held with my new sheep shawl pin (which looks super cute with any knitting).  The knitting peeks through the body of the sheep.  I’ve already received several positive comments from random citizens when I’ve worn it.

You can get one like it from the artist who makes these.  She has an Etsy shop, and also makes shawl pins shaped like kitties, doggies, mermaids, llamas, elephants, butterflies, cows, and sailboats.  I’ll bet she can do other shapes  too if you ask!  It was practically impossible to select just one, but I do love sheep, they are so calm and grounded.  Just seeing a picture of a sheep relaxes me!

I am conducting a poll about shawl pins and would love to know your answer.

I love this project so much I may keep it for myself or give to a family member.  I want to make more of these, maybe in thinner yarns, so watch for future posts on entrelac!