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.

knitting entrelac

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.

knitting entrelac

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.

knitting entrelac

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.

entrelac socks

Once you’ve made one of the free patterns included in the tutorial, try your hand at lace entrelac, or take on a larger project like the classic Lady Eleanor Stole, shown in the header image!


Knitting Entrelac: You Can Do It!



  1. P.J. B at 7:23 am September 6, 2017

    Not fair! To show such an exquisite lace entrelac white shawl without even identifying it! Please tell us…

  2. Nancy W at 8:48 am September 6, 2017

    This is a wonderful resource. Unfortunately, the “free tutorial” link takes you to a page where there is no working link to download the ebook.

    • Carol P at 12:55 pm September 6, 2017

      Glad to know it’s not just me who couldn’t figure out how to download this eBook! Interweave, please fix this!

    • Jennifer O at 6:57 pm September 6, 2017

      When I click on the “free tutorial” link it takes me to a page where it asks for my email address. I then received the download in an email. Try again, hope you have good luck!

  3. Gisela B at 9:16 am September 6, 2017

    I would love to know what the name of the entrap white lace shawl shown in your article is and where can I get the pattern. There really should be a link so that it is easy for the reader to find it. Please advise. Thank you.

  4. Myriam G at 4:17 pm September 6, 2017

    Ladies, I found it!
    It’s the Forest Path Stole, you can find it here

    it’s a popular pattern, there are already 515 projects on ravelry – gorgeous stuff, go take a look

    the search I did was Scarf+Shawl with Entrelac as Technique and Rectangle as Shape

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