WORKING REPORT – ENTRE DEUX LACS

Yes, I know I’m stuck in a rut reporting on this, but between schooling my unruly fingers into a new way of knitting and tackling a design (on the fly) in a technique that’s new to me, I’ve got a high fascination quotient here. I lead off with some advice I’ve received.

Mary-Helen wrote to share some experiences she’s had designing and knitting entrelac projects, and gave me permission to share her hints here. She advises that being produced on the bias,entrelac piecesdo hang quite differently from items knit in vertical orientation. For starters, entrelac can be loose-fitting and blousy. (I found this out the hard way when I over-calculated my starting width). She suggests that since I said I wanted a closer but not tight fit, that I plan on not being overly generous in adding garment ease. She says that she’s achieved a pleasing fit in some entrelac pieces by working the back of the garment in stockinette. Doing both would help avoid the maternity-smock/boxy-baggy effect. She says that with careful planning, I might not need to do any waist shaping, as the piece will fit well enough on its own.

Mary-Helen alsonoted that I’ve not mentioned any ribbing. She suggests addingeither ribbing or a garter stitch bandlater to help tame the bottom edge. (She observed that many entrelac piecesdo blouse out over the ribbing, in the puffy-body look popular in the 1980s.)

She went on to discuss square-formation. She said that adding cable details to eachsquare helps hers draw in a bit, avoiding the puffy mushroom-field look that some entrelacs have. Finally, she mentioned that the February archives of Witty Knitter contain some detailed musings on entrelac design.

Thank you, M-H! I hope I haven’t misinterpreted your notes too badly.

As you can see, I’m just about to begin the second course of teeny rectangles. You also get to see some of my collection of fancy stitch markers:

It looks like it will take about an hour to do one course of the rectangles, as I completed this one while watching Enterprise last night. I’ll keep going plain for a couple more courses. Then if necessary, I’ll think about nipping in a bit at the waist by doing a few rectangles per row on five stitches instead of six. I’ll probably work those decreases on rectangles at the edge and at the points at which the waist nips happen in princess-style seaming.

Right now I’ve got little or no ease. If I don’t like the effect in about six more inches, I think I’ll retool and begin again – taking all this good advice close to heart. Perhaps I’ll begin again on a different stitch count.Perhaps I’ll investigaterunning vertical panels of entrelac, withsmall columns of stockinette in between (I could bury the shaping in the stockinette columns.)

Good thing I don’t mind ripping back on a think-piece.

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