Block by Block: Knitting Entrelac
Knitting entrelac will produce a fabric with a woven appearance—tiers of tilting blocks appear to run over and under each other. But the fabric is actually worked all in one piece as a series of interconnecting rectangles. Also called patchwork knitting, basketweave knitting, or birch-bark patterning, entrelac can stand on its own in garter or stockinette stitch, or it can provide an interesting framework for other texture or color-work techniques.
Entrelac fabric’s series of tilted blocks are worked one at a time in tiers. Within a tier, blocks are worked in the same direction, either right to left or left to right. Each tier of blocks builds upon the one below it. Individual blocks are worked by picking up stitches along the selvedge of a block from the tier below and working stitches of the growing block together with live stitches from the top edge of the next block below.
To produce a piece with straight rather than pointed edges across the bottom and top, the first and last tiers must consist of rows of triangular half-blocks. For straight vertical edges, every other tier of a flatworked entrelac piece begins and ends with a triangle. Individual blocks may be worked over any number of stitches, and a piece may have any number of individual blocks. In all cases, each block contains twice as many rows as it does stitches.
Though the basics of knitting entrelac has several variations, the method shown in our free tutorial produces tidy results. When you practice entrelac for the first time, try working every other tier of blocks in a different color to emphasize the basketweave effect and make it easier to identify the blocks and live stitches of each tier.
Knitting Entrelac: You Can Do It!