30 July 2008

Entrelac 106 -- topping it off with triangles

The essential guide, is just that -- a basic guide designed to provide information on the basic modules needed to understand and construct a basic entrelac piece.

If you get the basics it isn't hard to see how other stitch patterns (including lace and cables) can be used instead of stocking stitch or mixed in with stocking stitch for added interest.

And yes, entrelac works just fine in garter -- and is often done in same when felting is part of the picture.

How to use entrelac in the round and how to use entrelac in garment construction are more advanced topics best suited for another time.

For now, its top triangle time and the end to the essential guide to entrelac.

The "normal" way of completing an entrelac piece is with a course of top triangles. And the usual round of top triangles has the following properties:

Short rows are still out of the picture, picking up stitches are on the agenda (this time from the right side), and decreases are doubled.

The top triangles, like many of the other modules, connect the picked up stitches to live stitches of the rectangles/triangles of the last row/course.

But these top triangles have decreases at both ends of the rows and that additional decrease binds off the top edge of the piece.

If you're planning or even considering the option of picking up stitches from this edge to add a border or start a segment of plain knitting, the slip stitch that begins the row that follows the p2tog can be an important design choice.

If you slip that stitch with the yarn neutral or to the back, you will end with a more horizontal chain edge.

If you slip it with the yarn in front (and then send that yarn to the back to form the stitch) ala Domino Knitting, you have nice little vertical nubs to pick up or graft (read Russian) to another piece.

You can compare the results of each of these two slip stitch treatments in the photo above.


If you are planning to transition to plain vertical knitting from these top triangles, here's an additional tip, you'll likely need to increase the total number of stitches by a factor of about 1.375 to 1.4 because entrelac is based on bias knitting.

So, if your basic module is 10 stitches, you'll want to pick up an additional 4 stitches for each module. There is, of course a fudge factor that's even more in the YMMV realm if you're changing gauge/yarn weight.

There are, of course, other choices for top triangle treatments. I can think of at least three that will leave you with live stitches at the top of your piece. Those choices will be the subject of a future post.

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