What Is Entrelac Knitting (Spoiler: It's Amazing)

September 26, 2020 3 min read

Entrelac knitting

If you have never heard of entrelac knitting, prepare to be amazed. An advanced technique, this style of knitting creates a fantastic woven texture. Entrelac is a French word that means "interlace" so it makes perfect sense. It is a bit different from a traditional basket weave stitch because it works on a diagonal to give the appearance of actual strips of knitting. It is composed of tiers of blocks that are set on their points. The entrelac style requires working in short rows. It looks beautiful in one solid color or with multiple colors. 

The entrelac technique requires several steps, but each step is simple to learn and the end result is well worth it. With a bit of practice, you will be knitting scarves, hats, and bags with the admired entrelac pattern. 

Basic Skills Needed for Entrelac Knitting

As previously mentioned, entrelac knitting is an advanced technique and requires you to draw on other knitting skills to be successful. Before attempting the entrelac technique, you need to be proficient at the following:

  • How to cast on
  • How to knit stitch
  • How to purl stitch
  • How to decrease stitches
  • How to increase stitches
  • How to pick up stitches
  • How to bind off

If you have already mastered these knitting skills, you are ready for the entrelac technique.

Basic skills for entrelac knitting

How to Entrelac Knit

Individual sections are worked separately and then joined to the adjacent section as it is being knit. The individual blocks are each created by a simple turn.

Step One

First, decide how many stitches you will use to start. You can start with a multiple of any number and stick to that number for the stitch groupings. Cast on your stitches with a long-tail cast on. Next you will alternate between purl stitch and your knit stitch.

Step Two

Next, you will create the right triangle. If you are using an additional color, this is where you add it. Again, you will alternate between purl stitch and your knit stitch, but you will also add a turn.

Step Three

To make the squares for this section, use your right needle to pick up four stitches knitwise along the edge of the triangle. You will keep knitting and turning to create the left leaning square.

Step Four

To create the left triangle, pick up four stitches again knitwise along the edge of the other triangle. Then continue with your stitches, keeping the turns in place. 

Step Five

The next section has right leaning squares. Pick up four stitches purlwise this time along the edge of the left triangle from the previous section. Continue with your stitches, adding the turn.

Step Six

To finish your entrelac garment, you are required to knit triangles that will complete the gaps and bind your stitches. First, cast-off the right triangles, then the center and finally the left. 

Secure the final stitch and weave in any loose ends. 

If you are excited to knit your first entrelac garment, this is an easy to follow video that will help you get started. Our favorite knitted garments using the entrelac technique are scarfs, shawls, and sweaters. There are hundreds of free entrelac patterns online. Here are a few of our favorites. It is easy to stick with what you know and remain in your comfort level. Challenge yourself and give the entrelac technique a try. 



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