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January 25, 2010

Entrelac – solid versus varigated

Monique asked if I prefer to knit entrelac in solid or variegated yarns.  The easy answer is YES! I like to knit entrelac.  Which yarn depends on what effect I want to achieve.  With hand-dyed yarns, like the wonderful goodness from Brooks Farm Yarns, you can get a neat look with less effort.  I like the way Sherry dyes yarns and her dye patterns lend themselves well to entrelac because she uses shorter dye paths so I get thin stripes across the squares in a fairly repeatable pattern.

NatalieScarfNatalieHatfinished large

A few great examples of this are Natalie’s Scarf, Natalie’s Hat and the Entrelac Baby Blanket.  All are show here in Brooks Farm Yarns Solana.

What I don’t like to use in hand-dyed yarns when working entrelac are spotty yarns with splotches of color of inconsistent size. That just looks like splotchy knitting, which frankly will look splotchy if I knit it in straight stockinette just as much as if I put the extra work into entrelac.  Why bother?

Machine dyed, multi-color yarns with LONG color runs can get you some interesting looks too.  Take Noro Kureyon for example.  This is a shawl I knit from Scarf Style called the Lady Eleanor Shawl by Kathleen Power Johnson. The long color paths of Noro made my squares LOOK like they were knit from different skeins of yarn without having to go to the bother of changing skeins.  Neat!

These socks are a pattern that I wrote for a class on Entrelac Socks, I knit them from a self striping sock yarn (you can see what it would do in normal stockinette in the foot) and the blocks worked up as mostly solid colors.  I was fascinated by how knitting entrelac in the round changed where the squares fell and made each side of the socks look different.

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So, with all these wonderful looks from multi-colored yarn, why would I ever want to knit with solid colors? Predictability, price and fabric care.  The entrelac blanket I am currently knitting is machine washable, a big plus for first-time mommys and it comes in the color selection I wanted to use for this girl baby.  Cost is also a big factor in this project, I have 4 baby gifts needed in fairly short order. Dropping $100 per on yarn is more than my budget allows. Knit from Perfection this blanket is half that price.

Thanks for asking, Monique.  I hope that answered your question.  If you have a question you want to ask, feel free to leave a comment.  I will answer them either publicly or privately depending on my mood and the nature of the question. 🙂

Alissa, KnittingFairy

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