How to Work the Purl Side Squares for Entrelac Knitting

  • 01 of 09

    Starting the Left Side Triangle in Entrelac

    Red yarn on knitting needles
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Once you have worked the base row of triangles for entrelac, it's time to start shaping what's known as the purl side squares and triangles.

    As with the base triangles, you're working short rows and will be both knitting and purling, but the decreasing happens on the purl side.

    This section starts with a triangle on the left-hand side of the work that will help make the edge straight.

    For the purposes of this tutorial, we switched colors here to make it easier to see what's going on; that's also a popular way to knit entrelac, but you can certainly do it all in one color if you prefer.

    To begin the side triangle, change to your second color, leaving a long tail when cutting off the first color. Purl the first 2 stitches, then turn the work and knit those same 2 stitches. Turn the work again.

    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Shaping the Left Triangle

    Red yarn on knitting needles
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Next, purl into the front and back of the first stitch, then purl 2 together, as shown in the picture.

    Turn the work and knit those 3 stitches. On the side triangles, you do not need to slip stitches because you'll never be picking up stitches on the side.

    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Finishing the Left Side Triangle

    Finished Left Entrelac Triangle
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Continue in this manner, working one more stitch between the increase and the decrease on the purl side each time, so that the purl 2 together is always happening with one previously worked stitch and one unworked stitch, until you have worked all the stitches in that original base triangle.

    For the purposes of this tutorial with 8-stitch squares, the rest on the instructions look like this:

    1. Purl into the front and back, purl 1, purl 2 together, turn, knit 4, turn.
    2. Pfb, purl 2, p2tog, turn, knit 5, turn.
    3. Pfb, purl 3, p2tog, turn, knit 6, turn.
    4. Pfb, purl 4, p2tog, turn, knit 7, turn.
    5. Pfb, purl 5, p2tog. All 8 stitches have been worked, do not turn.
    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Picking up Stitches to Make Entrelac Squares

    Red and white yarn
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Now that the edge triangle has been worked, it's time to start working the purl side squares (again, just called purl squares because that's the side where most of the action is happening).

    Now's the time all those slipped stitches on the base triangles will start to come in handy. Using the right-hand needle and with the purl side of the work facing you, pick up and purl 8 stitches along the side of the base triangle. You can work right into those slipped stitches so it should be really simple.

    Of course, if you're working with triangle bases larger than 8 stitches, pick up however many stitches are equal to the number of stitches you started each triangle with on the previous row.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Shaping the Entrelac Purl Square

    White yarn on knitting needles
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    After picking up the stitches, turn the work, knit 7 stitches and purl the last stitch as if to purl.

    Turn the work again, purl 7 stitches (that includes the slipped stitch from the knit side) and purl 2 together.

    Repeat those two rows, knitting straight but slipping the last stitch on the knit side and purling 2 together (the last previously worked stitch and the first unworked stitch) each purl side.

    In this example with eight stitches, you'll be repeating these rows six times for a total of seven times.

    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Finishing the Purl Enterlac Square

    Finished Purl Entrelac Squares
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    To finish the final portion of the purl entrelac square, knit across seven stitches and slip the last stitch again. Turn the work, purl 7 and purl 2 together.

    Do not turn the work. Your first square is completed and you can repeat these exact same instructions (starting with step four of this tutorial) to shape the remaining squares you need across the row.

    In the sample swatch, you need one more square; a different triangle edge piece is worked after that an explained later in this tutorial.

    If your piece is wider and composed of more base triangles than the one shown, just continue in this manner until you've reached the edge of your work.

    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Starting the Right Side Triangle

    Picking up stitches for the right-side triangle.
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Now that all of your purl side squares have been worked, you'll need to add a right-side triangle. Just like on the left side of the work, this is to help keep the side edges of the project straight.

    Begin with the right-hand needle and the wrong side of the work facing to pick up and purl 8 stitches along the edge of the base triangle as shown.

    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Shaping the Right Side Triangle

    Shaping the right side triangle on entrelac.
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    To begin the shaping of the right side triangle, turn the work and knit 7 stitches, then slip the last stitch as if to purl.

    Turn the work, purl 6 and purl 2 together.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Finishing the Right Side Triangle

    Finished Purl Side Entrelac
    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Continue in this manner, knitting across the right side stitches and slipping the last stitch, then purling 2 together—the last worked stitch and the first unworked stitch—at the end of each purl row.

    For this sample swatch, the remaining rows will be worked as follows:

    1. Knit 6, slip 1, turn, purl 5, purl 2 together, turn.
    2. Knit 5, slip 1, turn, purl 4, purl 2 together, turn.
    3. Knit 4, slip 1, turn, purl 3, purl 2 together, turn.
    4. Knit 3, slip 1, turn, purl 2, purl 2 together, turn.
    5. Knit 2, slip 1, turn, purl 1, purl 2 together, turn.
    6. Knit 1, slip 1, turn, purl 2 together.

    To start the knit side squares, turn the work one more time.