Tunisian Knit En­trelac: Oh, the Pos­si­bil­i­ties!

Crochet World - - Crochet World - By Dora Ohren­stein

Tunisian En­trelac is a fun tech­nique adapted from En­trelac knit­ting and is suit­able for many projects. It al­lows you to work a project in many col­ors with­out seams. Prac­tice mak­ing this swatch to get the hang of it, then con­sider mak­ing a scarf or blan­ket. It’s a fine way to use left­overs from your stash. I rec­om­mend this for peo­ple who al­ready have some ex­pe­ri­ence with Tunisian cro­chet. The tech­nique shown here uses only En­trelac squares. Once you are com­fort­able with this, you can move on to a more ad­vanced vari­a­tion, where the side edges are filled in with En­trelac tri­an­gles. With the En­trelac tech­nique, the main body of the work con­sists of squares aligned at an an­gle to the edges of the work. Squares of one color are worked all across the width, then an­other “strip” of squares is made with a sec­ond color. You can use as many col­ors as you like when work­ing these strips of squares. For our pur­poses here, we al­ter­nate two col­ors. You can also vary the size of your squares by mak­ing them any num­ber of stitches and rows you wish. In the trial swatch, each square con­sists of 7 stitches across and 7 rows. To make the squares lay at an an­gle, we be­gin the Re­turn row dif­fer­ently; in­stead of be­gin­ning by pulling through 1 loop for the very first stitch, we be­gin by draw­ing the yarn through 2 loops at the start of the Re­turn row. This means that on your For­ward Pass you will have 8 loops on the hook, but when you fin­ish your Re­turn Pass there will only be 7 stitches. The last stitch of the For­ward Pass will be made in the next un­worked chain of the foun­da­tion chain on the very first strip. That’s why we need 14 foun­da­tion chains for each square, 7 to serve as the base chains for the first row of stitches, and 7 to form the side edge of each square. In sub­se­quent strips the last stitch of each row is worked into the side edges of the next square. That is how one square gets at­tached to the next, and it’s one of the most in­trigu­ing as­pects of En­trelac method. Once all 7 rows of a square are com­pleted, we work a row of Tunisian slip stitches across the last row in or­der to com­plete the square, end­ing on the left­hand side in prepa­ra­tion to be­gin the next square. Un­like nor­mal For­ward rows, we don’t want to leave loops on the hook to be worked off on the re­turn row. In­stead, in­sert the hook be­tween the front and back ver­ti­cal bars just as if you were mak­ing an­other Tks, draw up a loop and then draw the loop through the loop on your hook. Note that since the first slip stitch goes from the first to the 2nd Tks, there will only be 6 slip stitches made across the row even though we have 7 stitches in to­tal.

SPE­CIAL STITCHES

The 2 stitches used in this swatch are:

Tunisian Knit Stitch (Tks): In­sert hook be­tween front and back ver­ti­cal bar and draw up loop.

Tunisian Slip Stitch (Tsl st): In­sert hook as in Tks in next st, draw up loop and pull through loop on hook. Al­ways work these loosely, as we will be work­ing into them later. Start with 2 col­ors of worsted-weight yarn and a size L/11/8mm hook. It does not need to be a Tunisian hook. That’s be­cause we will be work­ing with only 7 stitches at a time, so the long hook usu­ally used for Tunisian cro­chet is not nec­es­sary.

FIRST STRIP

Foun­da­tion ch: Ch 43 (mul­ti­ple of 14 for each square, plus 1). First Square Row 1: For­ward: Draw up a lp in 2nd ch from hook, draw up a lp in next 6 chs (8 lps on hook); Re­turn: [ Yo, draw through 2 lps] 7 times. (7 Tks) All Re­turn rows are made as in row 1.

Rows 2–7: Draw up a lp in next 6 sts, draw up a lp in next un­worked ch of foun­da­tion ch, (8 lps on hook), re­turn pass as for row 1.

Row 8: Tsl st in next 6 Tks, sl st in next un­worked ch. You should end with 1 lp on your hook. First Square com­pleted.

2nd Square

*Now work­ing again into un­worked ch of foun­da­tion ch, draw up a lp in next 7 chs. Work the Re­turn row as be­fore. Rep rows 2–7 of First Square, for the 3rd and last square of this strip, rep from * once. Fas­ten off. You will find that your lit­tle squares have a ten­dency to curl. This is the na­ture of Tunisian cro­chet, es­pe­cially Tks stitches. There is a very easy way to flat­ten your work, how­ever: steam block­ing. This sim­ply means to fire up your steam iron and hover it over your swatch, very close but not touch­ing the fab­ric, and blast steam on it for sev­eral sec­onds. Here is a photo of my first strip af­ter steam block­ing. I rec­om­mend do­ing this once you’ve fin­ished the first strip so that it’s eas­ier to see and work the re­main­ing strips.

2ND STRIP

The next strip of squares re­quires some vari­a­tions for both the very first and very last square. There will be a to­tal of 4 squares in this strip in­stead of 3.

Row 1: Join 2nd color in the first square at row 1, in­sert­ing your hook un­der 2 lps at the side of the first st. Ch 7, draw up a lp in 2nd ch from hook and in the next 5 chs, in­sert hook in same place as join and draw up a lp (8 lps on hook); work Re­turn row as usual. (7 sts)

Row 2: Tks in next 6 sts; now in­sert­ing hook un­der 2 lps draw up lp in side edge of row 2 of square be­low.

Rows 3–7: Rep row 2, al­ways draw­ing up last lp of For­ward row by in­sert­ing hook un­der 2 lps in side edge of com­pa­ra­ble row of square be­low.

Row 8: Tsl st in next 6 Tks, sl st in top of first st of row 7 of next square. To be­gin the next square, draw up lps in the sl st row of the square be­low. Those sl sts are easy to see as they are tilted to­ward you. You can in­sert your hook un­der both lps of each sl st. How­ever, it may be eas­ier and look even nicer if you in­sert your hook un­der the back lp (see Stitch Guide) and also un­der 1 lp just be­hind it. That gives the top of the square be­low a nice fin­ish, as you can see in the photo. The last lp in the For­ward row is drawn up in the side of row 1 of the fol­low­ing square be­low, in­sert­ing hook un­der 2 lps. [Draw up a lp in next Tsl st] 6 times, draw up a lp in side of row 1 of next square (8 lps on hook), work Re­turn row as usual. For the re­main­der of this square, rep in­struc­tions for the pre­vi­ous square from rows 2–7. Tsl st in next 6 Tks, sl st in cor­ner of last square of pre­vi­ous strip. The very last square of this strip must be worked dif­fer­ently, be­cause there is no square be­low on the out­side edge. This square uses the same For­ward row as oth­ers, but the Re­turn row is worked by draw­ing through only 1 lp at the start of the Re­turn row.

Last Square Strip 2

Row 1: [Draw up a lp in next Tsl st] 5 times, draw up lp in last bar. (7 lps on hook) Re­turn: Yo, draw through 1 lp, *yo, draw through 2 lps, rep from * 6 times. (7 sts) All re­turn rows on this square are made as in this row.

Rows 2–7: Tks in next 6 sts, in­sert­ing hook un­der 2 bars in side edge of anal­o­gous row of square be­low, draw up lp in last st. Tsl st in next 6 Tks. Fas­ten off. On all even-num­bered strips, the last square will be made this way.

STRIP 3

First Square

Row 1: Join color A in the first square of the pre­vi­ous strip, in the top of the first st of the last row. You can in­sert un­der the back lp only or un­der 2 lps to match what you did on ear­lier squares. [Draw up a lp in next Tsl st] 6 times, in­sert­ing un­der 2 lps draw up a lp in side of first st of row 1 of next square

(8 lps on hook). Work Re­turn row as usual.

Row 2: Tks in next 6 sts; now in­sert­ing hook un­der 2 lps draw up lp in side edge of row 2 of square be­low.

Rows 3–7: Rep row 2, al­ways draw­ing up last lp of For­ward row by in­sert­ing hook un­der 2 lps in side edge of com­pa­ra­ble row of square be­low.

Row 8: Tsl st in next 6 Tks, sl st in top of first st of row 7 of next square. To fin­ish this Strip, work 2 more Squares in the same man­ner. When fin­ish­ing the last Square of the Strip, sl st in top of row 7 of next Square be­low. Fas­ten off. To make ad­di­tional Strips, rep Strips 2 and 3. When you’ve com­pleted your swatch, steam-block it once more. If you are us­ing worsted-weight yarn and L hook as I did, you may find the width of your swatch works per­fectly for a scarf. All you have to do is keep go­ing! To use your swatch as the ba­sis for a throw, mea­sure the width of your swatch, then de­cide how wide you want your throw to be. Sim­ple math will help you fig­ure out how many squares will be needed for your throw. What­ever you use Tunisian En­trelac for, re­mem­ber to have fun with color!

Fin­ished Swatch

Com­pleted for­ward pass of row 1 of sec­ond square

Com­pleted for­ward pass of row 1 of first square

Row 1 of 2nd strip com­pleted

Join yarn for 2nd strip and ch 7

Af­ter block­ing

For­ward row of 2nd square of 2nd strip

Strip 3, first For­ward row

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