How to Do Entrelac Knitting

How to Do 2-Color Entrelac Knitting
Mollie Johanson

What is Entrelac Knitting?

Entrelac Knitting Sample in Two Shades of Teal
Mollie Johanson

Entrelac knitting is a more advanced technique that creates a beautiful woven texture. Unlike most basketweave stitches, entrelac works on the diagonal and in different directions so it truly looks like strips of woven knitting. Worked in short rows, you can knit this type of pattern in one or more colors.

Although this technique requires a lot of steps, each step is small and easy to learn. It's worth taking the time to practice first, but before long you'll be making blankets, scarves, bags, and more! 

In addition to the basics of knitting, before trying entrelac, you should know the SKP decrease, how to pick up stitches, and the make one increase (M1).

You can start with a multiple of just about any number and use that number for the groupings of stitches. In this example, the swatch starts with a multiple of five stitches. This example also shows the more traditional stockinette entrelac, but it is possible to knit this with garter stitch and other patterns.

Section One: Base Triangles

Entrelac Base Triangles
Mollie Johanson

Cast on a multiple of 5 stitches with a long-tail cast-on.

Tip: This cast-on method lets you skip knitting the first row. If you use another method, knit one row before beginning the short rows.

Row 1: Purl 2. Turn.

Row 2: Knit 2. Turn.

Row 3: Purl 3. Turn.

Row 4: Knit 3. Turn.

Row 5: Purl 4. Turn.

Row 6: Knit 4. Turn.

Row 7: Purl 5. Do not turn.

Repeat rows 1-7 across all the cast-on stitches until you reach the end. This forms the base triangles and groupings of stitches. Turn your work.

Note: If you want to start with a different multiple of stitches, add more short rows, increasing the number of knits and purls like above and stopping when you purl the same number as your multiple.

Section Two: Right Triangle

Entrelac Right Triangle
Mollie Johanson

If you want to use two colors as shown here, add your second color at the beginning of this section, which starts with a triangle.

Row 1: Knit 2. Turn.

Row 2: Purl 2. Turn.

Row 3: Knit 1, M1, SKP. Turn. (With each SKP you will add a stitch from the left to the right.)

Row 4: Purl 3. Turn.

Row 5: Knit 1, M1, Knit 1, SKP. Turn.

Row 6: Purl 4. Turn.

Row 7: Knit 1, M1, Knit 2, SKP. Do not turn.

Section Two: Left-Leaning Square

Entrelac Left Leaning Square
Mollie Johanson

Now it's time to make the squares for this section.

Row 1: Use your right needle to pick up 4 stitches knitwise along the edge of the base triangle, spacing the new stitches evenly. Knit 1 (from the next set grouping of stitches). You should have 10 stitches on your right needle. Turn.

Row 2: Purl 5. Turn.

Row 3: Knit 4, SKP. Turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until all the stitches from the second base triangle are knitted into the square.

You just finished the first left-leaning square. Repeat these steps along each base triangle.

Section Two: Left Triangle

Ending the Right Triangle
Mollie Johanson

At the end of the section, add another triangle. 

Row 1: Use your right needle to pick up 4 stitches knitwise along the edge of the base triangle. Turn.

Row 2: Purl 2 together, purl 3. Turn.

Row 3: Knit 4. Turn.

Row 4: Purl 2 together, purl 2. Turn.

Row 5: Knit 3. Turn.

Row 6: Purl 2 together, purl 1. Turn.

Row 7: Knit 2. Turn.

Row 6: Purl 2 together. Do not turn. If you're using more than one color, change colors as you purl these last two stitches together. 

You should be ending with the wrong side of the work facing you, with one stitch on the right and the rest of the groupings on the left needle.

Section Three: First Right-Leaning Square

Knitting the First Right Leaning Square
Mollie Johanson

Section three of entrelac knitting has only squares and when looking at them on the right side of the work, they lean to the right. 

Row 1: Use your right needle to evenly pick up 4 stitches purlwise along the edge of the left triangle from the previous section. Turn.

Row 2: Knit 5. Turn.

Row 3: Purl 4, purl 2 together. Turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until all the stitches from the section two square are knitted into the square. 

You finished the first right-leaning square. The rest of this section is almost the same!

Section Three: Right-Leaning Squares

A Row of Right Leaning Squares
Mollie Johanson

The rest of the squares in this section start with one additional stitch (because in the last step, you started with an active stitch).

Row 1: Use your right needle to evenly pick up 5 stitches purlwise along the edge of the square from the previous section. Turn.

Row 2: Knit 5. Turn.

Row 3: Purl 4, purl 2 together. Turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until all the stitches from the section two square are knitted into the square. Then repeat this process for each square in the section.

Repeat sections two and three until your work is as large as needed. End with section four.

Section Four: Right Cast-Off Triangle

Top Right Cast-Off Triangle
Mollie Johanson

To finish off your entrelac piece, you need to knit triangles that fill in the gaps, while binding off your stitches. 

Row 1: Knit 2. Turn.

Row 2: Purl 2. Turn.

Row 3: Knit 1, M1, SKP. Turn. 

Row 4: Purl 3. Turn.

Row 5: Cast off 5 stitches. Do not turn.

Section Four: Center Cast-Off Triangle

Top Center Cast-Off Triangle
Mollie Johanson

For all the cast-off triangles in the center, start with picking up stitches.

Row 1: Use your right needle to evenly pick up 3 stitches knitwise along the edge of the square from the previous section. Knit 1 (from the next set grouping of stitches). You should have 5 stitches on your right needle. Turn.

Row 2: Purl 5. Turn.

Row 3: SKP, Knit 2, SKP. Turn. 

Row 4: Purl 4. Turn.

Row 5: SKP, Knit 1, SKP. Turn. 

Row 4: Purl 3. Turn.

Row 5: SKP, SKP. Turn. 

Row 6: Purl 1. Turn.

Row 7: Slip, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over. Do not turn. 

Repeat this for each center triangle you need.

Section Four: Left Cast-Off Triangle

Top Left Cast-Off Triangle
Mollie Johanson

You're almost done! This last cast-off triangle finishes the job.

Row 1: Use your right needle to evenly pick up 5 stitches knitwise along the edge of the square from the previous section. Turn.

Row 2: Purl 2 together, purl 3. Turn.

Row 3: Knit 2, knit 2 together. Turn.

Row 4: Purl 2 together, purl 1. Turn.

Row 5: Knit 2 together. 

Secure the last stitch, then weave in any ends that you have left. If you changed colors, there may be a lot, but those color changes add to the woven effect.

Block your work if desired. Not all yarn blocks well, but it will help even out the edges of your entrelac work.