Over the years I have made a couple of attempts to give entrelac a shot and each time not long after I try I realize that I’m not that knitter and now is not the time. There are two things that are necessary in the technique that are some of my least favorite things in knitting. The first one being having to turn your work… a lot. You are knitting little blocks within a row and you have to turn after knitting each row of that mini block. The second is picking up stitches along the length of the previous block below. It may be the lazy knitter in me but I like to go into a thoughtless process with knitting.
I actually like the look of entrelac, especially with hand spun yarn. It has a very woven or cable quality even though the technique is far from it. Also I had been seeing a few lovely entrelac sweaters on Instagram. I wanted to give it another try and thought maybe this would be the year.
I decided to use Grey Gardens on Knitty.com as my guild. My first sample was miserable (I did not bother taking a photo). But a couple rows in I realized my mistakes, sort of and wanted to try again. The photo above is my second sample. I used some ancient Noro Kureyon and Malabrigo scraps. Half way through this sample I remembered that a while ago I had taught myself to knit backwards to avoid having to turn my work, especially when working a small amount of stitches. Boy, did my enjoyment level go up. While I do not mind purling, knitting backwards is so much more enjoyable for me. As for picking up stitches, the pattern I was learning from has you slip stitches on the edges that you would pick up from later. This also has made life easier learning entrelac. In the past I was either learning from a pattern that did not suggest it or I not following directions at the time. Either way I discovered solutions to make the learning process more enjoyable.
Feeling a bit more confident I grabbed some hand spun single that I had spun last year and smaller needles and tried again. This was my progress as of this post. I think I finally got it. I love how the pattern breaks up the colors in blocks. I’m going to continue this sample until I have a good length for a headband. Next is to learn entrelac in the round which seems a bit trickier but I think I’ll get it and maybe get the confidence to make a sweater.
I made a shop update this weekend and added hand dyed yarns for the first time. The four skeins I have up for sale are a blend of super wash BFL/nylon high twist. I discovered this base a few years ago after I started dying my own yarns. I am so hard on my socks and was looking for a strong but soft yarn. Many of my hand knit socks are made from this base and over the years they have held up like champs. I love this yarn. It also dyes up beautifully. The yarns from this particular batch are one of a kinds. No formulas were recorded for these so even if I decide to revisit these color ways they won’t be the same. I’m really happy with this batch and I hope you like them as well. Hopefully this will be the first of many fiber related updates to the shop.