Thursday, May 30, 2013

Exploring Entrelac




For the five years that I have been knitting, I have viewed entrelac with a bit of fear—something about all those triangles and squares with stiches running along different sides.  But since summer break is here for me, and I now have some time to learn a new technique, I decided to face my trepidation, keeping in mind Julia Child’s words which apply just as well to knitting as they do to cooking:  “This is my invariable advice to people . . . learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
I purchased the book Entrelac  a few weeks ago, a nice hardcover volume with clear instructions and interesting patterns.  Sweet Shawlettes is a book I already had in my collection, which includes a pattern for an entrelac project entitled Harlequin Cape (a picture of this garment is shown on the book's cover).  Since I had two skeins of Noro Furisode yarn my sister-in-law had given me for a Christmas present last year and these were the proper weight for that project, yarn shopping wasn't even necessary.  (It’s wonderful having another knitter in the family.)   

 


 
 
Amazingly, entrelac wasn’t too difficult—although it did help that I had two books to guide me.  I didn’t even need to view instructional videos on Youtube.

At the Tuesday night knitting group at Cottage Yarn everyone oohed and ahhed over the project.  They were also enamored of the Sweet Shawlettes book.  It is a great little volume which came out in 2012.  All of the projects in it by designer Jean Moss use luscious Rowan yarn, and there is a variety of patterns for attractive capes, ponchos, cowls, etc.  contained between its covers. An asymmetrical tartan poncho using Rowan Lima yarn in the book is on my to-do list.  

Anyway, I enjoyed working the entrelac pattern, watching the various colored blocks and triangles emerge, and I knit up the project within a few days.  If I were more inspired and disciplined I’d include an entrelac tutorial here, but I’ve been teaching school all year, and would rather go sit and sip some iced tea and work on a few other projects rather than teach a lesson.
 

My wrap is a lot wider than the one in the book.  While the Noro yarn is wonderful, I think
it grew and grew and grew after I'd washed it, and it might not have been chunky enough for
 the project.    In future, I really should knit a swatch and block it before casting on. 

3 comments:

  1. Looks great! I still have to give it another go :) I tried one time when I first started knitting and it didn't go so well so did something else instead.. (I wasn't following a pattern and wanted to just make something up ;) ) I have seen enough tutorials now though I think I could do it if I can just find some time!

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  2. Your wrap is gorgeous! Love that big button to secure it! Noro yarn is always so beautiful too. Enjoy your iced tea! Still too chilly for anything like that here! E x

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  3. That's very impressive - I've never been brave enough to try entrelac - looks far to complicated - did you have to keep changing colours or did the Noro just work itself into different colour blocks? (By the way - still not happy that you're on holiday already - I'm going back tomorrow after one blissful week of half-term!)

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