WORKING REPORT – ENTRE DEUX LACS

I’ve been playing around with the multicolor yarn I mentioned yesterday. It’s Mountain Colors Wool Crepein a symphony of vivid blues, accented with greens and a smidgen of purple. The yarn review page shows a manufacturer’s gauge of 2 stitches per inch. Apparently that was for multiple strands used at the same time. The review posted shows 4 stitches = 1 inch for double strands, but I intend to use it single stranded.

The yarn is a very stretchy wool crepe – almost a boucle in texture. That means it can be worked over a wide range of gauges. Right now I’mswatching atabout 6 stitches/8 rows= 1 inch on 4mm (US #6). The fabric is very light and bouncy, and the bumpy texture of the yarn makes it more opaque than I originally thought I’d see working on this needle size.

Although the texture of the yarn is interesting, it’s the color that captured me. Color sections are medium sized- about 6 to 10 inches, and the colors are especially intense. Using this over long rows would mull the colors together because each would last for an inch or so over one row and then change. While the result would be pleasing, it’s not what I want to do. I also don’t want to do a big flash piece because the color sections aren’tlong enough to do that easily. I want puddles of these blues, and to achieve a moreMonet’spond lookthana Jackson Pollok effect.

With a repeat so short, I’d need to make little tiny sections to let the colors accumulate into puddles (reference bad grammar French pun for this project’s code name). Entrelac appears to be good for this. I’ve never been a big fan of it – mostly because I find the large diamonds or squares on most entrelac pieces to be clunky looking, but I did have fun with the Forest Path Stole. That was subtle, with the entrelac technique skewing the scraps of lace and introducing lots of movement into the design. So I started playing around with plain stockinette entrelac. After several swatch attempts at various patch sizes, I think I’ve found the effect I was looking for – a six-stitch block, each block being about 1 inch wide:

The entrelac tilework effect is rather muted, but the colors are puddling nicely. I’ll continue with this swatch for another couple of courses, then see how it blocks out. One thing I’m thinking of doing is to dispense with the M1 increases in favor of plain old YOs. That might add a touch more of an openwork feel without compromising the color-puddle effect.

Once I’ve gotten a look and feel I like, I’ll think about garment shapes. I’ve got only 1450 yards. I suspect that entrelac takes more yardage than plain stockinette just because EVERYTHING fun takes more yardage than plain stockinette. As a result, I’m looking at a short-sleeved three-season top. I’ve decided I like the fit of shaped tops better than flat knit rectangles, but that presents a problem with the entrelac technique, which is better suited for producing unshaped yardage. I’ll continue noodling over that problem…

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