Interlaced – working Entrelac!

The back of an Entrelac Scarf using 4 colors

Continuing with our working with color series, we’re going to delve into the world of Entrelac knitting. Entrelac is a French word, translating to mean interlaced in English. It is a unique thing in knitting, as it is a texture and a technique at the same time. You can use it to make a wonderfully textured piece of fabric in a solid color, or use two or more colors and make a multi-colored AND textured piece of fabric. It is for this reason why we’re including it in the color discussion. When working entrelac, it is best to try and visualize the formation before you actually start knitting. Entrelac uses a series of triangles and rectangles to create a rectangular or square shaped piece of fabric. This is achieved by making a series of isosceles triangles in the foundation row, using right angled triangles for the edges, and rectangles for the main body of the fabric. The triangles in the foundation row can be made in two ways. You can cast on 2 stitches and work increases until you have your necessary number of stitches for your triangle, or cast on all the stitches used in your foundation row and work one triangle at a time using short rows. The latter method is a little easier to work and doesn’t require you breaking the yarn.

A vest done in Entrelac on a different angle

Once the foundation row is finished, you make one of the edge triangles and then go on to your rectangles. The finished look of entrelac is one of a woven piece of fabric and you can get some phenomenal effects by either using different colors or using a variegated yarn. A single color will still produce a beautiful piece of fabric. Once you have gotten the knack of entrelac, you can also change the angles of the work to produce a different effect like in the vest shown here. While the actual technique is not very difficult, you should be comfortable with picking up stitches before jumping into this. Here is a link to a page that has a sample of entrelac and excellent instructions (why re-invent the wheel?) that will give you some good practice with this technique. Entrelac Instruction. I recommend using some spare yarn for your first project until you are used to this technique. Once you are, try some of the free patterns in the links below.

Entrelac Scarf

Entrelac Afghan

Good luck!

Yarn over and out!