Entrelac Knitting: Base Triangles

  • 01 of 05

    Casting on for Entrelac Knitting

    Cast on for Entrelac
    24 stitches cast on to begin entrelac knitting. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Entrelac knitting, a form of knitting that makes a fabric of textured diamonds and triangles, can seem a little intimidating at first because of a large number of steps and different pieces that are needed to put your knit fabric together.

    This is the first in a series of step-by-step tutorials that will help you work through an entrelac swatch and learn how the pieces go together so you'll be able to work entrelac pieces in any size you like.

    To follow along you'll need two colors of yarn (one will work but two makes it easier to see how the pieces stack on each other) and corresponding knitting needles.

    For this tutorial, you'll cast on 24 stitches. To work entrelac in a different size, determine how many stitches you want each triangle or square to be (in this case it's 8) and multiply by how many of them you want across the row (in this case 3).

    Some instructions suggest using a particular cast-on technique (commonly the knit or cable cast ons) for entrelac, but I've tried different cast ons and don't find there's much difference, so long as you remember to cast on loosely.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Starting the First Entrelac Triangle

    Starting an Entrelac Base Triangle
    Knit two stitches to start forming the entrelac base triangle. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    All entrelac knitting begins with a base of triangles; the next set of squares is worked by picking up stitches along the side and working them together with the previous stitches to form the knit fabric.

    But lest we get ahead of ourselves, the base triangles (and the rest of the work, too) are made by working short rows, in which you work some stitches and turn the work and work back without completing a full row of knitting.

    To begin forming the first triangle, simply knit the first two stitches on the needle.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Continuing the Entrelac Base Triangle

    Continuing a Base Triangle in Entrelac
    The first two stitches have been worked again, and the triangle is already starting to form. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Now you must turn the work, which simply means you put the need that was in your right hand in your left hand and the one from your left hand in your right. The two stitches you just worked are now in a position to be worked again.

    These stitches are worked simply by purling the first stitch and slipping the second stitch as if to purl. When edge stitches are slipped in entrelac knitting, it makes it a lot easier to pick up stitches where you will need them later.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Finishing an Entrelac Base Triangle

    Finished Entrelac Base Triangle
    This first base triangle for the entrelac swatch is complete. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    For the next row, knit 3 stitches and turn the work, then purl 2 and slip the final stitch.

    Continue in this manner, working one more stitch on each right-side row and slipping the last stitch on the wrong side rows, until you have worked all of the stitches that are the base of one triangle (in this case, that's 8).

    More specifically, the rest of what you'll do for the project shown in this tutorial is:

    Knit 4 and turn, purl 3 and slip 1.

    Knit 5 and turn, purl 4, slip 1.

    Knit 6, turn, purl 5, slip 1.

    Knit 7, turn, purl 6, slip 1.

    Knit 8. Do not turn. The first triangle is complete.

    If you're making bigger base triangles, keep going until you've worked as many stitches as are in each triangle (for instance 10 if you were working three triangles on 30 stitches).

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Finishing the Base Triangles

    Finished Entrelac Base Triangles
    The base entrelac triangles are finished. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Now that you have one base triangle complete, just repeat the process, in this case on the next 8 stitches and again on the final 8 stitches, until all stitches have been worked and you are left with three triangles on the needle.

    If you are working a project that requires more stitches in each triangle, they're still worked the same way.

    Your project will look a little funny at this point, with the stitches on the needle spread out from each other and the individual triangles only slightly connected to each other. Don't worry; after the next set of blocks, things will look just fine.

    From here, proceed to the tutorial on working a left-edge triangle, which will ensure that the side of your knit fabric is straight.