Thursday, June 14, 2012

Entrelac Revisited

A while ago I did a tutorial on entrelac, a great way to knit a modular-type of garment with blocks of alternating colors. Now I decided it was time to do a tutorial on entrelac in the round.When working entrelac in the round you're basically just excluding the side triangle, which may be a godsend for some. Entrelac is definitely easier when worked in the round. But, I recommend everyone learn entrelac flat first.

It might seem counter intuitive, but when you learn how to knit entrelac flat, and then learn it in the round it will just feel like doing it a little differently. If you learn in the round first, and then decide you also want to learn how to work it flat, it will feel totally alien and be extremely confusing.

Materials: I'm using US size 8 Takumi Clover needles, with a 12 inch cable. The size of you needle and cable really depends on your yarn, and the pattern. My yarn is a cream and light pink color of Berella's "4" yarn.

Step 1: Cast on a multiple of 8 stitches to fill up your needle. The blocks and base triangles we'll be working, just like my flat tutorial, will be worked over 8 stitches. It provides a nice even number that's not too large, but not so small that the slipped stitch edges are hard to identify.

We're going to be working the base triangles identically to how you work the base triangles in a flat piece of entrelac. If you're working on an entrelac hat, you will probably have done a set number of ribbed rounds or something similar. I'm just picking up and just knitting the entrelac.

Step 2: Building the Base Triangles 

1. Knit 1 stitch
2. Turn your work around, and purl the stitch you just knit.

Note: Some patterns and instructions on entrelac will slip the first stitch of each row, including this very first stitch. I personally do not do this because I've found that knitting the first stitch provides a more "stable" triangle for me, after knitting it once I slip purlwise for the rest of the triangle. If you want to slip this stitch and then purl, that's fine too. 

3. Turn work. Slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch.
4. Turn work, purl back to start. (By start, I mean back to the start of this base triangle, or, in other words, back to the first original stitch that you're slipping.)
5. Turn work, slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches.
6. Turn work, purl back to start.
7. Turn work, slip 1 stitch, knit 3 stitches.
8. Turn work, purl back to start.
9. Turn work, slip 1 stitch, knit 4 stitches.

Continue in this way, adding 1 more stitch of the set 8 every time you turn to knit. Once you have 8 stitches on the right hand needle, you will stop. Do not turn and purl.

You're now done with that base triangle, and you will just pretend for the time being that it doesn't exist anymore. Begin the next triangle on the next set of 8 stitches in the same way as above.

Continue your way around the needle, picking up the 8 stitches of each base triangle.

At this point it looks like you have an awkward, mushy crown on your needles. Now we're basically going to be filling the little loops formed between each of the triangles with the right slanting diamonds. 

Step 2: The Right Slanting Diamonds 

Like I said, there are no side triangles in entrelac worked in the round! Yay! We just get to move on to the central diamonds.

This first diamond might throw you off, it's a rebel without a cause, and it wants to be different than all the other diamonds, it wants to be special. The first diamond will be picked up with the right side facing you. All the other diamonds will be picked up with the wrong side facing you, and there's a special maneuver to begin the other diamonds as well, but we'll worry about that later.

Because you've been slipping the first stitch purlwise, you should have a very neat little edge of "v's" to pick up from.

You'll be inserting your needles between each of the "legs" of this v, and picking up a new stitch with your alternating color. In this case, that's white. 

As I said, you'll be picking up from the front for this diamond. Insert the right hand needle into the "v" at the base of the last triangle (the one you just finished knitting), with alternating color behind, loop and pull the new white stitch onto the left hand needle. Continue this way, picking up a total of 8 stitches. Now it's time to begin forming the first diamond.

Row 1: Purl 7, purl the last white stitch, p2tog (1 white and 1 pink) together
Row 2: Turn and knit across the 8 stitches.
Row 3: Turn, slip 1 stitch, purl 6, p2tog
Row 4: Turn and a knit 8.

You'll keep working this way until the pink stitches (or whatever color you're using) are decreased away. Once you have purled the final pink stitch with the white stitch, you will stop. Don't knit back across. It's time to pick up 8 new stitches.

This time, and for all the rest of the diamonds this round, you'll be picking up with the wrong side facing you.

To begin, yarn back and insert you right hand needle into the first slipped stitch and pull yarn through. (If you're having trouble, this is shown on my original entrelac tutorial, located here: Entrelac Part 1 and Entrelac Part 2) Pick up a total of 8 stitches.

Now bring your yarn back to the front, and slip the last white stitch you just picked up onto your left hand needle, and purl it together with the first pink stitch.

Row 1: Turn, knit 8 stitches.
Row 2: Turn, purl 7, p2tog.
Row 3: Turn, knit 8 stitches.
Row 4: Turn, purl 7, p2tog.

Just as before, continue this until all your pink stitches are gone, on the last p2tog do not turn and knit, just pick up 8 more stitches and do it all again.

That's it for now, folks! The rest of the tutorial, for the left slanting diamonds and the ending triangles should be in tomorrow! If you have any questions, email me at 

Also - if you like my tutorials, maybe you'd like to donate a dollar (or more!) for my little yarn fund (which doubles as my Addi needles fund, sigh, maybe someday), which of course will be used for more tutorials! Donate Here

No pressure of course, everything here will remain free.

Edit: I would like to put a very special thank you out to Kay Green for being my first donation. I really appreciate it, thank you for the very special night. 


  1. Thank you so very much!

  2. Thanks so much. There were oodles of info about flat enterloc...I made a cap years ago using Nancy Zimmerman's pattern but couldn't figure what to do after the original triangles. Yarn playgirl

  3. Elizabeth Zimmerman

  4. Both of you are very welcome! If you ever have requests for help on something, just let me know!

  5. This post was extremely helpful for me! I spent forever trying to find a video tutorial on youtube for knitting entrelac in the round. I finally figured it out after looking at this. Did you ever post the second part? I can't seem to find it anywhere...

  6. This was extremely helpful. A friend of mine brought a book to called Entree to Entrelac. A lot of the patterns in the book require joining in the round but we couldn't figure out how to do it from the instructions in the book. The patterns in the book are fabulous but it is very advanced. Your tutorial made it so much easier for us and my friend is on her way with her first entrelac top.

    I sent an email to Ashley letting her know the next part of the tutorial is not available and she said she will post that. So we'll be patient and wait for it. Thanks so much for posting these tutorials Ashley.

  7. Thanks so much for these tutorials Ashley. I would like to know more about the second part.

  8. The second part of the entrelac in the round tutorial? Please, please, please help me, I am stucked.